Sunday, May 11, 2008

How Do I Love Thee?

A little more than seven years ago, I married a woman who was raising two children. Our marriage gave her one more. That woman has asked me many times, “Why do you love me?”

An important reason is that she is such a wonderful mother. She loves her children; she aches for them; she fights hard for their best interest in a world that is often cruel. Before I came to love this woman, she was something of a hero to me. As a single mother, she worked hard to build a life for her girls. She often took the more difficult, riskier road because it held the potential for a better future. She grabbed hold of opportunities I would have been afraid to pursue.

This woman is more than just a mother to her daughters. She became a mother to my son. In fact, she is a mother to every child. She could never turn her back on any one of the world’s children. Our home is filled with kids because she encourages them and loves them and welcomes them. (I think, on the other hand, that all kids should be shipped to an island in the middle of the Pacific until they turn at least 25.) If I want to find my wife in a crowded room, I look for the kids.

This woman is a spectacularly wonderful mother, despite her doubts. She will make an excellent grandmother. That’s why I love her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Granny!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Redemption is Oh, So Bitter Sweet!

17 years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful lil' girl who thought me to be perfect in everyway ... "I was her hero."

Through the years, she saw me for who I really was - a struggling single mom, who made (and continues to make) her share of mistakes. A parent herself who is afraid to let her children make their own mistakes and is constantly "trying to fix things", a mom who desperately wants to be a friend .. and now I am no longer her hero, but the one person that she spits angry, hurtful words at whenever things do not go her way.

This 17 year old girl has had to pay for my mistakes. Money has been tight. I can't always buy her the $100 shoes that she must have or buy her fast food for dinner every night. I am not always there when she needs me; the last minute ride to the mall nor do I always say yes when she asks if she can stay out til 3am with a group of friends that I barely know.

How is she paying?

She will be having a child of her own in 5 months. And while I do know that she is fortunate enough to have me as a parent who will do what I can to help her graduate from high school, pursue her nursing career; I also hope that I am around long enough to say those famous words that all grandmothers were born to say ...

"I told you so!"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesdays with Curmudgeon

My profile picture features an old guy that may seem, at first glance, generic. It's really me.

Though I don't use a cane yet, the hunched-over posture comes from the heavy weight of realizing that I will soon be 40 and a grandfather. Granny thinks some of the poor posture comes from all the beer in my gut dragging me down, but what does she know? She's old, too.

The most telling part of the image is the hand resting on the painful lower back. I have actually suffered from an on again, off again back injury for about 8 years. In recent times, however, the pain has been much more on than off. My basketball buddies are beginning to wonder if I have become a homebody. The people with whom I work have suggested every remedy in the book, from chiropractors and pills, to acupuncture and voodoo.

You can't see my eyes in that image. I have had near perfect vision to this stage in my life. Now I am old. I have a hard time reading the scores at the bottom of the screen during SportsCenter, which makes life almost unbearable. I am sure that glasses are not far off the horizon for me.

Oh yes, you'll surely tell me. My home hasn't been destroyed by cyclone. I still have all my limbs. Only one of my teenaged children is pregnant. I should be thankful, you say.

I say, bite me. I'm old, and I'm getting crotchetier by the minute.