Friday, June 19, 2009

Letter to a Future Boy Wonder

Dear Boy Wonder,
In regard to your teary pleas Saturday to come for an early morning walk with me, let me state for the record that no one—least of all your utterly partial mother—could resist your passionate insistence not to be parted. Those big hazel eyes! That adorable quivering chin! No matter that I intended on briskly walking four miles around Lakeshore Park discussing matters inappropriate for small ears with my girlfriends. No matter that you hadn’t had breakfast. No matter that you desperately wanted to take along a yellow metal truck so gigantic you can actually sit in it and roll downhill. All argument was futile in the face of your winning determination, and so against my better judgement, off we went: You, me, and the gigantic yellow truck.

Although previously unreached, it turns out your six year-old boy energy levels actually do have limits. Especially in the absence of breakfast. About one mile into it, you decided you would have nothing more to do with pushing your truck. The metal truck you love, and for that reason, could not bear to leave in the parking lot where we could return for it later. So I agreed to carry the truck for the remainder of our walk. An entire mile. An exercise for which my right shoulder is still suffering days later.

Which in a roundabout way leads me to the reason for this missive: There may come a time in your future when you wonder what mothers are for, other than to nag you about cleaning your room or eating your vegetables. You may resent me or be angry with me or think you can do it all on your own. You may question what it is I actually DO for you. But here's the thing, Boy Wonder, just so you know: I was good to your six year-old self. I listened to you, I carried your gigantic toys when you could not, I helped you blow your nose, and I laughed at your terrible made-up jokes. I held you while you ate breakfast and cuddled with you at night and took your temperature when you coughed. I read you books about trucks, water power, flags, trains, gemstones, and glaciers until my eyes glazed over and my voice cracked. We had a lot of fun together. Even when I couldn’t move my shoulder for days afterwards.

You won't remember all this when you grow up, but I want you to know--your mother loves you. She always has.


Ed Lilly said...

Well said. I wonder sometimes if blog posts such as this will be saved and pored over years from now in the same way letters from my grandparents and great-grandparents' past were.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

As the father of five boys (four grown), acquired from various places in the world in strange ways, I have some words that you may understand.

First, do not raise your children to be good children, but good parents. They will never give back what you gave them, or even be grateful enough for it. But if they can in turn give that much to a succeeding generation, then you have done well.

Second, do not judge your parents until your own children are grown. What I credit and blame my parents for now is quite different than what I had concluded at age 30.

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

What a beautiful post to your son. As mom to three boys, I've been there and AM there. And I hope, too, that even if they don't remember the details, they will remember how much I loved them.

...tom... said...
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...tom... said...

@ Ed Lilly

I wonder sometimes if blog posts such as this will be saved and pored over years from now in the same way letters from my grandparents and great-grandparents' past were.

I have letters that my father sent to his new bride as he traveled around the world in the Navy during WWII.

I have many letters that my wife-to-be and I exchanged from college campus and hometown over a two-year period.

Somehow I doubt that these ephemeral blog posts will so long endure. Even if they do, in some format, how accessible will they be compared to that shoebox of letters and photos stuffed in the back of a closet or in the basement..??

While this web-based format may seem more stable and 'archival' ...I seriously doubt that will prove out.



500Jerk said...

I write this blog in part to document family life, and my 80 year-old mother--a thwarted librarian if there ever was one--is good enough to print out each post in hard copy and archive it to that old stalwart, the three-ringed binder. I'm hopeful that we will use the 500Jerk blog posts to remember these years.

500Jerk said...

And, I'm curious, how are other bloggers archiving posts?