Michael turned 50, and Mother’s Day is near.
Sometimes it is difficult to put into words the emotion that we feel as parents while we watch our children advance in life. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wonder if life could have been easier, or better for Michael and his older brother David if I had made different decisions along the way.
When they were little, it was so easy to protect them and make every effort to create a life to be full, well-lived, and crammed with happy times. Teaching them how to read, swim, play ball, build sheds and later homes. Teaching them how to earn money as well as how to lose it when their commitments were met. It would be neat if that list, that was on the refrigerator so many years ago, would be the plan that could follow us through the years. The right side of the list contained items of interest that could and would create revenue. The left side of the list contained “wrong actions” that would cost certain sums of money. Break a window, $15. Not keeping your room clean $5 per week and so on. The list worked well until the early teens when both boys started earning money out in the world. De-tasseling, building grain bins, mowing lawns, watching pets, and so on. That is how independence is developed. It hurts to watch those “wings” sprout and know that they are getting ready to leave the nest…ouch. But as we all know it is necessary to let them fly.
Life was so different when they were growing up. They rode the bus to and from school, played ball in the outlet, built forts in the woods, we almost never concerned ourselves with danger from the outside world.
Years later I was shocked when I learned that my grandchildren had to practice lockdown in their schools and on their playgrounds. During all the playdates I had with my grandchildren I remained alert to their every move. Who might take them or harm them became a constant thought in my mind. It took a lot of fun out of the playdate. Sorry, they will never experience the freedom that I grew up knowing.
Daddy, who fought in WWII, would have been infuriated if he had to watch the things he fought for, deteriorating to such levels of criminality. That is probably why God does not let us live too long, the changes can just do us in.
Recently I attended a memorial service for one of my former teachers. During the celebration of life, they played Kenny Rogers’ “THROUGH THE YEARS”…what a beautiful song. There was also a video of this amazing man and his family. He had lived a life with one marriage, five children, a slew of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My tears, and I think most everyone’s tears, flowed as we turned the page and said goodbye to one more of our friends. Someone who had appeared to live the life we all wish we could experience
When we begin to celebrate Michael’s 50th birthday, it was a very happy moment for this mother. Michael has survived many of life’s’ bumps and bruises, yet still has a gleam in his eyes and a smile on his face. I am proud of him and his brother. They are good, hard-working, responsible men.
For me, being a mother is the holiest of gifts and the best job on the planet. Thank you, God.
In closing, I hope you have a very Happy May and Mothers Day. Dads you must wait until next month to celebrate your good fortune…or at least if you follow the Hallmark calendar.
Back to work, Nancy