Much of what I enjoy about other blogs, particularly "mommy" ones, is the sense of irony that is so different from my own sentimental view of parenthood. Brutally honest and often painful, they reveal wounds and issues I don't think I could talk about on line. Loving mothers and beautiful writers, women like Liz at Mom 101, Mir at WouldaCouldaShoulda, Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored and Jenn at Mommy Needs Coffee are all gutsy beyond measure in their honesty. Mocha Momma Kelly, Liza from Lizawashere and BeenThere's Cooper Munroe are just as honest but with a different tone - one more familiar to me. All perspectives are worthy, moving and wise.
Here's one of the few times I really feel generational difference though. These bloggers are substantially younger than I am; I'm old enough to be the mother of most of them. I don't feel that difference often, but today, with one of my boys gone already and the other leaving tomorrow, I just can't get un-sugary.
The great gift of raising children is I am sure the most profound privilege life brings us. The pleasures are infinite. To my delighted surprise, they don't stop when these tiny people emerge as full-blown adults, taking their places as productive, loving, principled men. The entire time they, and Josh's girlfriend Amy, were here this week, was so great that I'm struck dumb with gratitude and love.
For an entire afternoon excavating six boxes of treasures from 20 boxes of childhood stuff -- from broken Nintendos and the Jerry Garcia's death issue of Newsweek to Double Dare sweatshirts and high school yearbooks, they worked, sorted, laughed, read aloud, complained, laughed some more, and got it all done despite my best efforts to help. I wish I could tell you what it felt like to see them laughing together over a first grade "book" Dan had written or once-treasured but minor value baseball cards, remembering the pleasures and joys of their lives.
Nobody's life is perfect and our family certainly has had its share of pain, but there is a beautiful foundation that holds us up - draws us to one another and fills us with love. That's corny. We have two sons who are funny and attractive and honorable and productive and considerate and who clearly love us. We are grateful. That's corny too. I don't know how to say that with any self-restraint or discipline - stylistic or otherwise.
I adore these young men even as I struggle to retain the distance they deserve (reasonably successful), welcome them when they want to be with us (easy as pie), shut up when they need to be someplace else( do my best), keep my mouth shut when I disagree (getting better all the time.) I am very proud of their self-reliance and accomplishments, their candor about obstacles in their lives, their incredible humor -- they are both very funny, particularly when they are together -- and their gentle, loving souls. They've accepted our newly religious lifetstyle with interest and respect. They are also very good to one another. I revel in their friendship, all the flying back and forth for concerts and birthdays, and great gifts they give one another.
In other words, I'm a corny, unoriginal mom. My sons have brought an unanticipated portion of joy and satisfaction, fun and admiration, adventure and idealism, into my life. And they love us. Stupid us. Despite all the mistakes and complications. I'd love to be able to be a bit ironic about it, to ditch what my kids call my "pink Cindy glasses" for a while just to see how I would sound, but it ain't gonna happen. So I hope all my edgier colleagues will tolerate this gooey post and understand my inability, tonight, as the year winds down and this family visit winds with it, to say anything except "God I love my kids."