Older Son's 35th birthday is tomorrow. My personal Mother's Day. We are having lunch. It seems not enough. It has never seemed like enough.
One year, when he was about 8 or 9, I don't remember what he wanted for his birthday, but I couldn't afford it. So we took a walk to Goodrich Dairy and he got a strawberry ice cream cone. Then we went to the Gerald Ford Birthplace and hung out for awhile. There is a pretty little flower-filled park there, where the house used to stand. I don't know if the day was memorable for him, but it was for me. We spent a lovely afternoon together. I felt guilty for years that he didn't get his .... whatever-it-was-he-wanted. But now I realize it was one of those special, rare moments a parent gets to spend alone with a child.
Most of the time when my children were young, we didn't have much money. In Denver, when Older Son was in the First Grade, I worked in an office downtown. First husband was responsible for getting Prodigal Son, then "the baby" to day care each morning, and Older Son and I would walk the six blocks to the bus stop each morning. I would drop him off at the one public school in Denver that was offering a before and after day care, then hop back on the bus to my job downtown. In the afternoon it was the same thing, only backwards. During those walks we practiced Arithmetic, talked about books we'd read, and sometimes were responsible for keeping the earth turning on its axis, simply from the pace of our feet. I admit that the latter was usually on bitter cold winter mornings in the dark.
I guess it kind of reminds me of the semi-regular lunch dates we have now... A time to chat, share stories, catch up. I get to hear about the various antics of his five children, and he gets to hear about my latest project(s).
Tomorrow we're going to the sandwich place of his choice, and were going to hang out. We're going to enjoy each others company, and laugh. I might give him a little gift card from the superstore where I work, but the real gift will be the time we spend together. Luckily, we won't have to keep moving to ensure that the earth turns on its axis. Phew!
- ► 2012 (14)