Friday, November 20, 2009

And So It Begins...

We've certainly already endured our fair share of 'grown up' problems here at our house. But yesterday seemed to usher in a new era, one in which the blinders are off, and things will never be the same, no matter what we try to do about it.

My father-in-law died. My husband's dad...the boys' grandfather. I look at the facts, and it really isn't shocking or, if I am being honest, terribly tragic. He was 90. It was peaceful. Life on this Earth, as he would want to continue living it, was over.

My husband is being strong and stoic. But I know he's feeling guilt and regret. But I also know that as seemingly destructive and useless as guilt and regret can be, he will transform it into something worthwhile... More time with his boys. More love shown to those around him now. Being a better father than he already is, if that is even possible. And while that is all good, I hate the weight he puts on his own shoulders.

And I also hate that this is just the beginning. One down, three more grandparents to go. It's inevitable, but it is still jarring. Watching my boys absorb the reality while remaining firmly entrenched in their teen lives of friends and games and homework and life. Should they be sadder? Are they too sad? Do they really get it? Should they really get it?

And while we pass through this final arc of but one great, honorable circle of life, I am humbled by all the other tragedy and heartbreak around us. On one hand, our problems feel so big sometimes, yet, it is very, very obvious that others have so much more to bear.

Why, then, are we always so blindsided by things like this? If it is everywhere, everyday, why are we not calloused and shielded? Do our souls regenerate with new life after each little piece is ripped away?

Who knows, I guess. I suppose our ultimate task is to persevere.

"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins - not through strength but by perseverance." ~H. Jackson Brown.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Bean Sprouts

So I am kind of known around here as the mom of teens. However, the truth is I am the mother of only one (very moody and wonderfully maddening) teen. My other child is not a teen. In fact, he is one very sweet little boy that still likes a tuck-in, is willing to snuggle on the couch, never passes up an ice cream run with Dad, and speaks in full, non-inflammatory sentences.

But that's all about to change.

My precious Mr. Beans is about to officially cross to the dark side. Sure, I have seen subtle harbingers in the form of hormone surges, texts from girls (MANY texts from MANY girls), smelly armpits and even a bit of defiance. But I have heretofore been able to shrug them off because he's still my baby. After all, he's 12, not 13, so any experimental foray into teendom is only temporary, and kind of cute. Until this coming Saturday. God help us all...

And while I want so badly to hold onto him, as he is, keeping him cute and innocent and nice, I also wonder what life has in store for this creature that is unlike any other. I can't wait to meet him after all the messy teen chaos gets sorted out, and he becomes the incredible man I know he will be.

Because while the scenery will change, and hair will grow, and the voice will deepen, the awe-inspiring soul that draws others to him, the smart but gentle humor that comes so naturally, and the courage and self-esteem that make him stand so tall will all still be there, shining brightly.

Let's just hope I haven't lost my mind by then, so I can enjoy him a little.