LouAnn who pens the fantastic blog onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com, accepted a gauntlet – to devote one post a week to write about one’s blessings. I like the idea, especially given all the other topics that one can entertain. And for me there are at least three days in any given year which are deserving of individual mention. Today is one of them.
Thirty two years ago today, I became a mom for the first time. I would become a mom two more times – another wonderful boy two-plus years later, and one more gift that came as part of the package that is Andy (and in many ways he helped seal the deal, because I fell for that little boy the moment I met him). But today it is about the man who can claim this day as his birthday.
I am not going to go too far back in time – for it will make his eyes roll and may somehow diminish the present. Yet, I hold thirty-two years worth of moments (longer if one were to include the lengthy conversations we had before he actually appeared). I have known him and loved him longer than he has known himself. That gives me a pretty decent perspective on the qualities that make the man.
He’s a really, really good man. He’s smart and dogged, determined and stalwart. He loves his wife tenderly and holds their relationship tenaciously. He still wants me in his life. And I love being a part of it. Sometimes he worries about me, other times he is probably frustrated by me – much of the time we just talk about the stuff of which life is made. He has gotten certain traits from me, but he is far more his own incredible concoction of talents and flaws than anything else. I take no credit – he has much credit to take. And I am blessed to be his mom. To have been a part of his journey and the keeper of some of his secrets. To have been provided with the opportunity to laugh and cry with him, celebrate and grieve with him, ponder and occasionally just punt when there seemed like nothing else to do.
Time has accelerated since I became a mom, because its passing has been marked by their development and growth, stumbles and leaps. I have often wished that it would slow down a bit, for I consider myself way too immature to be the mother of such phenomenal adults. Part of the blessing I guess, is that in my heart, he is (as his brothers are) my boys, my heart and my soul. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, even when I was too young to know they ways to become one. But my greatest legacy is not that I am a mom – it’s that I’m the mom of these men. Happy Birthday my magnificent boy – you are loved beyond all measure.
(And those this isn’t a video of you, the song of course is for you)
“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” — Mary Oliver
You would think that the continuing saga of potty training our youngest sir (Bogey – he with the bladder of a peanut and a vacant scare which may not bode well for his aptitude), would leave me somewhat compromised in terms of fodder for posts dealing with anything other than the delight and frustration of puppyhood. Given that my travels are limited to two and half hour intervals, it is true that I haven’t seen much other than what is going on in my kitchen. But I’m here to tell you, there’s a lot of amazing that happens here.
Bonnie, the remarkable creator of paperkeeper.wordpress.com was here for a couple of days and in effect, holed up in the kitchen with me for the majority of her visit. True, a better host would have planned sightseeing expeditions in and around D.C. (she left the day of the government shutdown); I invited her to walk up and down the driveway. And having her here was an experience in amazement. Amazement that we started talking at Union Station on Sunday evening and didn’t stop until we said good-bye at Dulles airport. That the kitchen became the haven for stories sad and delightful, evocative memories and whispered hopes. There was no better place to be to explore the reality of a friendship that started with imagined dimensionality created by our words and email conversations. I could listen and see and ask and think and travel around years of Bonnie’s life and she let me be amazed. We laughed and considered and opined and let the comfort of the kitchen make all of that conversation safe. It was a joy to have her here and to realize as I sit here today, that I had so much wonder going on around me. Perhaps therein is the kernel of truth – any moment which is attended to with sensibilities focused contains far more amazement than we might think.
I will leave Bonnie’s travels to Bonnie – for it is her story to tell. And she tells it like no one else. I for one have to go walk the pup.