Monday, April 24, 2006


A boy's story is the best that is ever told.

( The quote is from Charles Dickens)

It's no secret that I have a soft spot in my heart for small boys.

As a mom of 2 sons, I know that they will try your patience and push the limits at every opportunity--- but I also know that there is nothing more precious than a hug from small arms or the sound of a boy's unrestrained laughter.

This one is the son of my son, and he has me wrapped right around his grubby, inquisitive, band-aided finger. Watching him chase butterflies and blow on dandelion heads in the park and
fall down laughing when he zapped me with the hose was better than $250/hr therapy for getting my head screwed back on right.

There is an inherent difference between being a parent and being a grandparent. Parenting is very serious business. You're so overwhelmed with the responsibility, and every decision seems so momentous. Everything is a Very Big Deal.

By the time you get to be a grandparent, you've figured out that grass-stained jeans, skinned knees, and unfinished dinners don't really add up to a hill of beans in the long run. By the time your kids have kids, you've learned to regret the times you scolded rather than shrugged, or, worse yet, laughed.

You've seen all the psychological and even most of the medical advice you were given when your own kids were small do a 180 or two, so you don't trust the "experts" as much as you did when you were younger.

Brendan asked me this weekend, "Who takes care of you?"

I'm the only significant unmarried adult in his world, and it shocked him to hear that I neither have nor need a husband to live very nicely. (The conversation began with, "Who is your husband, and why don't I know him?") Most of the other women in his circle lead lives very different from mine. They wouldn't choose to move to a new city, change jobs, buy a new car, or go on a trip without consulting someone else. Yet I have done all of these things in his memory. I make my own money and my own decisions, I "do my own chores," I'm not afraid to go places and do things on my own. He was curious why that was , and how it all worked. The questions he asked let us talk a little bit about making choices, and understanding the repercussions-- both good and bad-- of those choices.

(Just so you don't think it was all Heavy conversation time, I also fielded the question, "Why do you drive a different kind of car every time you visit?" and had to explain about rental cars, too.)

And maybe, just maybe, our time together will open his mind to options for his own life that may require him to make non-traditional choices someday. Posted by Picasa

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