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And time marches on

**** This post was written almost five years ago.  I never published it- not sure why- and I just discovered it.  So I thought that, although it is dated, I would share it. ****

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My baby, Ryan, will be finishing his first and only year of preschool next week.  Next year, then, he will be in kindergarten.  I don’t know if you remember, but when Ryan started preschool this past fall, he and I were a mess.  He was not ready to leave me and, frankly, I was not ready to let him go.  But he did, and we’ve both survived… and grown.  Next year, he’ll be in school five days a week, three half days and two full days.  I know he can do it!  I think I can do it.

My son, Adam, my first born, will be graduating from grade school in eight days.  Next fall, he’ll put on a tie and march off to high school.  When he entered eighth grade this past fall, I could not believe he was actually that old.  He still was not as tall as me, and I still thought of him as my boy.  Now he is taller than me, and he acts older.  He’s ready to walk down the halls of a bigger school and move on with his life.  Me? Not as much, but what choice do I have?

Boys.  They are busy and rough when they’re little, wearing you out each day with their non-stop energy.  They don’t care if they bathe, if they smell, if they brush their teeth, if they’ve worn the same outfit five days in a row, if that outfit even matches.  But they’re also protective and loving, cuddly.

Last week, as he was climbing up the sliding board at the park, Ryan asked me if I am pretty.  I told him I didn’t know but that Daddy thinks I am.

He looked at me, squinting his eyes against the morning sun, studying my face.

“What?” I asked him.

“My teachers asked us to tell them about our mommies yesterday.  Is our mommy funny or silly or pretty or nice? ” He continued to squint down at me.

“Well, what did you say?” I asked him, curious to hear how he would describe me.  Funny, I thought, say funny.  I’ve always wanted to be funny.

“I said you were a little pretty,” he said, smiling that shy Ryan smile.

“Oh, well, thank you.” I told him, smiling back at his suddenly sheepish face.

He giggled, then was quiet.  He looked down at his tennis shoes and ran his hand along the rail of the slide.

“But, Mommy,” he said.  “I really think you’re a lot pretty.  I said a little, but I think it’s a lot.”.

He giggled again, looking at me through his eyelashes.

“Thanks, buddy,” I told him.  “You’re always so sweet.”

“What?” he said.  “You are.”

And then he slid down the slide and our conversation was over.

Boys.  How do you not love them?

A few weeks back Adam asked me if women could be doctors.  I have no idea where that question could have come.  After all, I am a doctor, but I knew that he meant a medical doctor.

“Of course, they can!” I exclaimed.  “You’ve been to female doctors.  Remember Dr. Rousseau?”

“Oh, yeah,” he said.  “But I always thought she was the nurse.”.

“Oh, my gosh, Adam!” I said.  “No!  She’s a doctor.  Women can be anything men can be.  What are you thinking?”

“Well, that’s good,” he said.  “Because they should be able to.”

Boys.  How do you not love them?

I remember when I was a teenager, babysitting in my neighborhood.  Every family that asked me to watch their kids had boys.  Four boys in the house in the court across from ours, two boys in the house next to that one, two boy cousins, one boy across town that I was a nanny to.  All boys, and no girls.  I loved watching little boys.  I ran and played with them, tickled them and giggled with them.  There was something about boys that made my heart melt.

When I discovered that the second baby I was carrying was a girl, I panicked a little.  I told my husband, “what am I supposed to do with a girl?”

“Aren’t you one?” he asked me.

“Well, yes, but I’m not a typical girl,” I said.

But that was a lie.  I was a typical girl.  As soon as that little girl came into the world, I had her in bows and dresses.  The more pink she had on, the better.  When she got a little bigger, we had tea parties and painted our nails.  What had I been so afraid of?

And then her sister came along.  She shopped with me from the day she came out of the womb, I think.  Helping me pick out home décor, showing me clothes she thought would look pretty on me.  Cooing and ooing over little babies we saw in shopping carts at the grocery or on swings at the park.  She was all girl (and still is).

Ahh, girls, how can you not love them?

LIfe is funny.  It never goes quite like you planned or how you thought it should go.  NEVER.  This road of life turns and twists, sometimes even does a loop-de-loop.  Just when you think you know where you’re going, the road throws in a sharp curve and something crazy happens,  Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not.

One week in February, 1999, before John and I had been married even two years, our house was burglarized, John was let go from his job, and I learned that I was pregnant.  All in one week!  I thought for sure that God was angry with me.  I did.  I knew that was silly, but how could my world have changed that much in just seven days.  It was crazy– and, so I thought at the time– not good crazy.  Bad, very bad, crazy.

But 19 years later, I can tell you that my punishment (for that’s what I thought it was that week) was exactly what John and I needed.  John left a job that he was not meant to do, and we both stepped on to a path that we would not have done so otherwise.  We were still so emotionally young and suddenly we were forced to, quite frankly, grow up.  And so we did– which led to having boys and girls.

My boys were the road I knew.  My girls were not.  They were a new road, one I was a little scared to do down.  But as I traveled, and still travel, down that road, I find that the sun shines there too.  It’s no different.  Girls and boys need the same thing.  It’s cliché, but true.  They just need love.  That’s it.

A few months ago, I heard a story on NPR about a counselor at an inner city school in a big city.  The attrition rate at this school was high though I don’t remember what the percentage of kids dropping out was.  But you get it– tough inner city school.  Within the walls of this school, though, is a counselor who is doing something amazing.  He is convincing kids that they are talented, skilled, intelligent and, most importantly, he is convincing them that they can be and do something in their life.  When asked what he was doing by the NPR interviewer, his answer was simple.  He shows them love and he listens to them.  And once the kids believe that he really does care, he starts giving them advice on how they can escape their situations.

Love.  It. Is. Always. The. Answer.

Always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “And time marches on”

    1. Thanks, I like it too! I read it and I could remember both of those times- when Ryan told me that and when Adam asked me if women could be drs. My silly boys.

  1. Made me cry!

    On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 3:45 PM Joy in the Morning wrote:

    > reneprys posted: “**** This post was written almost five years ago. I > never published it- not sure why- and I just discovered it. So I thought > that, although it is dated, I would share it. **** > ****************************************************************************” > >

    1. Hey Sue, sorry, I did not mean to make you cry. I hope you are doing ok and I am praying that you will soon find a job as good if not better than this last one!

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