Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Raising a Man

It seems like a very short time has passed since I was changing his diaper and now my son is shopping for his first home. I want to ask how this happened and yet I know that we really did live all of those days of his infancy, childhood, teen years and his progression into adult life. We must have done something right, although he was my first child ... my practice child in a way. He's turned out better than a parent has a right to hope for ... my son. There is an odd phenomenon that occurs with a parent and a child of the opposite sex. Same sex children we know ... it is familiar territory. Opposite sex children present uncharted waters and a sense of awe that we created this 'alien' creature. I will never understand how a toddler boy instinctively knows how to make that 'vroom' noise while pushing his little car along the floor. And, what is it about peeing outdoors that is so darned magical? But, life with a small boy is a great adventure if one doesn't weaken. They have more energy than is seemingly possible but, oh how they can love their mommies. You haven't lived unless you have hugged a little guy who is damp with sweat from playing so hard and smells somewhat like a wet puppy. I won't forget the smell or the feel of those hugs and I will cherish them forever. It passes all too quickly. One day, they don't want you to hug them or kiss them anymore ... especially in front of anyone else. Then, there are the phases where mom is too stupid for words. But, those things pass away. My job of raising my son is finished but not my job of being his mother. I love that he occasionally still wants to talk. I love that he wants my input into his decision making from time to time. But mostly, I just love being around him because he is a great person who is fun and makes me laugh, think and appreciate different perspectives in life. It is an honor to be asked to help in the house hunting project. It is going to be gratifying to see him take this next step as well as future steps in his adult life. But, no matter how old and independent he gets, I'm still going to look at him and see that little blonde boy with the huge grin on his face and remember those wet puppy hugs. I hope he knows that he has been one of my greatest joys in my life.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dates, Times and Other Meaningless Stuff

Most of us live our lives according to arbitrary timelines. If it is Monday, it is back to work or school and then at the end of the week we all exclaim TGIF (thank god its Friday). Of course, in the general scheme of things, the way we carve up our time ... days, months, years ... is necessary to keep people on the same page concerning commerce, education, etc. The importance of all of these measures of time start to drift away as we grow older. We hear someone bemoaning that Monday morning is looming and suddenly realize that if we don't have a job or a child in school it doesn't really matter what day of the week it is ... barring doctor appointments and other necessary business. A friend recently exclaimed rather joyfully that it was Friday. She still works so this was meaningful for her. My unspoken thought was "so?" Don't get me wrong ... there are some notable differences regarding weekdays versus weekends. My family works and their availability to me is definitely more plausible on weekends but, having said that, I may or may not see the kids and my husband works weekends too. So, I go through life on my own timeline. If I want to stay up late and sleep in, I do. It doesn't matter whether it is Monday or Friday to me. Most activities that I want to do can be done any day and are more easily accomplished while the bulk of the populous is at work or in school. But, this lack of accountability has its pros and cons. It is easy to be seduced into being a serial procrastinator. I have had to begin to manufacture my own deadlines or I probably wouldn't ever finish a project. No one is expecting me to finish cleaning out a closet by Friday. Its of no particular concern to anyone whether I get my flower beds weeded on Saturday. So, while it is definitely pleasant not to be held hostage by a weekly schedule, it can be a little disorienting to have no set of expectations put upon me ... except by myself. I've come to the conclusion that people were meant to have some sort of routine and that society had to come up with ways of marking a work week, etc. because the chaos created by individuals all trying to function on own time would be impossible. As for me, I'm trying to reconcile a lifetime of discipline with the fact that I can now do whatever I please ... whenever I please. And trust me, it is both a gift and a curse. I'm hoping I will figure out the perfect balance of freedom and obligation so as to make the remainder of my days productive and enjoyable. Wish me luck.