Throughout this summer, I've been reading Danny Miller's highly moving story of the premature birth of his twin sons at his blog, Jew Eat Yet? His tale of the loss of his son, Oliver, and then of Charlie's fight for survival in a Los Angeles NICU, has brought his readers along on a harrowing journey that reaches all the amazing parts of parenthood. In reading Danny's heart-wrenching entries, I cannot help but turn to my own children, and see them again as the miracles that they are.
It's not that we, parents of children who are..."out of the box" for lack of a better word, can ever forget the amazing fact of having a family, but rather that we can (at least *I* can) easily lose perspective. And maybe it's just me. Maybe I have unreasonable expectations, maybe I'm so influenced by what we're all "supposed" to be doing, that I cannot see the good parts of children who are not like all the others.
The other day, the Bliss family was having dinner with my sister's family. Now...my sister AB, is one of those lucky people who has children who are highly compliant. They follow the rules, they heed the demands of their parents, they perform fantastically at school. Rebellion is simply not a part of their lives, and I'm quite confident, based on obverving their personalities, that rebellion will never be a part of their lives. It's just not in them. So...at this dinner, my son, is trying to explain why he has to leave the party early. Why he has to get up at six in the morning to pick up trash at the local park.
Community service. This simply does not register on the mind of my nine-year old nephew. So J is his special way smiles broadly and says to little T, "I'm helping society and our environment tomorrow morning! It's a good thing to be green."
Yes, it is.
Our summer has been filled with a lot of music, J and A both are in cover bands and they're playing all over town - at band battles, baseball fundraisers, and J's band is playing in local under-18 clubs. They're having a blast and doing well. M is busy with swimming and guitar lessons.
We're all playing lots of Playstation Rock Band gigs. We've been to Mammoth Lakes and have been completely indulgent in going out to dinner. I've done lots of reading, prepping for classes and a presentation in October, and lounging around in idle and funny conversation with the kids. We've watched a lot of tv, our feet up, popsicles in hands, our dog in our laps. The summer has been surprisingly cool. When it's hot we swim in our community swimming pool. We've had few battles this summer since the boy both decided summer school wasn't going to happen, but for the most part D and I have just focused on enjoying the free time we have without the onus of work.
Our vacation is coming to an end and the routine will once again jump up and force us to strive towards "in the box" behavior. But until that day, we've tried to adjust our perspective and soak in the miracle of our little family. Thank you, Danny, for sharing your story and reminding me of the amazing parts of life that get swallowed up in routine and living in the box.