Monday, November 25, 2013

Love is an Understatement

This past weekend, Don was out of town for work.  I go into mama hen mode when he is gone.  I have to make sure all my eggs are in their nest and I need to know where they are at all times.  If they permitted me to sit on them, I probably would. The weather was bitter cold so it made it easy for me to convince the boys to stay inside. It isn't a secret that I have control issues, which leads to worry issues, which could result in a complete breakdown.

We live near a popular university that had a football game this weekend. This means that by noon strangers have parked in front of our house and throughout the day there is a constant stream of strangers.  So just another reason to keep everyone on lockdown.  The boys don't know they are on lock down, all they know is that I let them watch more TV and play more games than usual.

However, even with that, they start to go a little crazy.  I had a couple drop off a gift they had seen and wanted to give to us.  It was the book "Go The Fuck To Sleep". And a bottle of wine. It. Was. Perfect. When they were there the boys were bouncing all over them.  Jack and Oscar took off their shirts and were leaping, climbing and backflipping off the couch.  I really couldn't get a word in edgewise.

They left and went to dinner. I secretly envied them, their kids are older, but I wondered what freedom felt like as they got into their car and didn't have to buckle anyone else up.  I went to my computer and wrote them a thank you note.

As a one woman show I find myself in overdrive.  As I was cleaning up after dinner I had a thought.  Am I totally f*cking up the boys?  Really.  By this time, I had 2 on a computer and the other 2 were watching a movie. I had given them a dinner of macaroni and cheese.   Shouldn't I be doing some kind of art with them? Should I read them a book? Should I be asking them to practice their instruments?  Should I have given them a healthier dinner?

My tsunami of doubt continued. Only one of my sons is in a sport.  Should the others ones be enrolled? Did I fail them by missing the cut off? Are they going to feel like losers in high school because I didn't push them to play a sport at a younger age? Am I selfish? Do I yell too much? They should see me read more. I never open a book around them because I can't get through a page without being interrupted.
Do they think all I do is look at my phone and make food and clean?

I poured myself a glass of wine and sat on the couch, and looked at my messages.  I had already received a reply from my friend.  It said, "When we think of you, Don  and the boys, LOVE is an understatement".

It was like he could hear all the doubts in my head and delivered a simple sentence that I desperately needed..  He was right. If there is one thing I am not failing to do is love the boys. I devour them. I may not be an avid reader, but if there is one thing I am capable of doing is loving.  The people who I have loved or love know this.  If our friends could see that with what they witnessed? Then it must be there.

When everyone was finally in bed, I sat down and watched a show. It was Oprah (of course) and she was interviewing a couple who lost their son Ben in the Sandy Hook Tragedy.  They said that when you protect your heart and make decisions based on fear, you don't allow love to come in. It is best, even in the face of evil that you make the choice to love.  I can do that! But first I need to chill the fu*k out with the fear thoughts.

Prior to this I watched a documentary on JFK. By this time I was a blubbering mess.  Jackie Kennedy put on a brave face and was fearless.

At some point, I have to let the boys leave the nest.  It is my apprehention, not theirs that kept them inside.  The next day I allowed Jack to go to a friends house….all by himself.  I watched as he crossed the street. He looked both ways twice and cautiously ran across.

When he returned home I gave him a huge hug and I will admit, I was happy my little bird was back.  The one thing the mother of Ben said she missed was the feeling of her 6 year old's touch.  As I hugged Jack I appreciated that even more now. His squishy face and fuzzy hair couldn't be more perfect and I soaked it in.

I said a little prayer of gratitude, and decided to focus on love.  Which the word love, is truly an understatement.

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