Photo: I celebrated the first “good” Fall day by making chili and cornbread. I LOVE Northern Cornbread and I think I’ve finally found the perfect recipe for it. Minor decided he wanted to help. Of course, that really meant he wanted to make a mess.
“Mama, where did I come from?”
Oh Lordy. I was not even prepared this morning.
The day started off all sorts of weird anyway: The Husband and I slept in late because he had a special thing going on for work, there was no school this morning so there was no need for the morning rush. So I wasn’t up at my usual 5 am, the coffee maker didn’t go off until 7:30 and little boys didn’t roll out of bed until 8:45.
So when Major broke out with that question at around 8:50 this morning, I was not even in the right hemisphere.
I found an answer. “Well, you came from me,” I said.
Minor: “We came from you?”
Me: “Yep. From me. You lived in my tummy until you were ready to come out.”
Minor: “Your what?” (Oh Lordy…)
Major: “But then we came out, right?”
Me, praying that there is no further follow-up to this line of thought: “Yes. You obviously came out.”
Minor: “Can we go back in there?”
Me: “Nope! You are way too big!”
Major, laughing: “No way! It would be dark in there!”
Minor, very thoughtful: “Oh yeah… it would be dark… that’s scary.”
Clearly. Obviously. That’s the problem. Not the lack of space and air!
Major: “And we drank from your boobies, right?”
Me, again praying that this is the only such question: “Yep.”
Minor: “But not anymore! We’re big boys now!”
Thank God for that!
That’s the kind of day it’s been, Dear Reader. We went through our no-school day without much agenda beyond my getting the floors clean and the laundry done. Little boys had spontaneous dance parties, large-scale battles with sticks in the yard, there were fantastical pretend play sessions involving fires, police, and airplanes… but every once in a while, Major would stop, think, and throw out some sort of ridiculous question. Like, “why do you get to call Daddy [The Husband], but we can’t?” and this gem: “Why don’t we live with grandma and grandpa?”
Because Mama doesn’t want to have to strangle someone in their sleep.
Anyway, it certainly reveals an interesting new development in his little life and reflects the inquisitive observations that I know he’s been having for a while. I like that he feels comfortable enough to ask, and I want to honor that comfort, so I answer as best I can, within reason. There will be so many more, and they’ll get more difficult, but they are fun for now. So I am smiling a bit. That brain is working, and it’s working well!
I spoke to my mom for a long time yesterday about the frustrations that I wrote about on Friday. In her very loving and motherly way, she told me to get over it.
“This is the easy stuff to brush off,” she explained. “It’s going to get a lot harder.”
It’ll start with a toy, but then become more complex as they meet new friends and encounter more of what the world has to offer.
“It’s when they come in and declare that they want to go skiing in Colorado with such and such friend over winter break and you can’t/don’t have the money to swing the airfare, that’s when this gets sad. That’s when it hurts. They are going to come in with a request that they are passionate about, that you know they are worthy of, but you are going to have to say ‘no’ because, well, life has limitations…”
She spoke for a long time about her experiences growing up in this regard. My mom didn’t want for things, but she wasn’t rich by any means when she was growing up. I’d describe her upbringing as lower-middle class, at best. Just enough, you know? But just on the edge.
“But,” she said, “I knew kids who were hungry. It kept things in perspective. I didn’t get all bent outta shape about stuff…”
She suggested, as my community doesn’t have the same economic mix that hers or even mine did growing up, that I strongly consider making volunteer work a regular part of the boys’ lives. They need to see need, but know service. The younger, the better.
I don’t know how much a 3- and 4-year old can do, but I am going to give it my best effort to find opportunities for them to perform little acts of service over the next year. The Husband and I were already planning on having them join the Scouts when the time comes (my Husband is an Eagle Scout, so this wasn’t really a discussion), but I think one of the extracurricular that they do growing up will be regularly serving the community. I think we’ll start by making kid’s bagged meals for the local food pantry that serves our area. I hope that this will grow into something larger as they grow older.
The biggest part of her chat with me though, was her telling me that I needed to get over it. “If they see you making a think out of it, they will start to make a thing out of it. Your goal needs to be that they will encounter differences and be just fine with what they’ve got. Make sure they aren’t living a life dreaming of other people’s stuff. It’s gotta roll away.”
It’s gotta roll away.
“But that starts with you. It’s not a competition, Kyra.”
It’s not a competition.
I know this, but it’s good to hear it out loud. I’m so grateful for Mom’s wisdom. I wish I wasn’t such a damn slow study.
It was a beautiful day here in Massachusetts today, Dear Reader. I hope you got a bit of the fabulous weather, too. I wrote this post outside on my front steps in my favorite UMBC hoodie while the wind blew through the trees and the boys made tracks in the muddy yard. All the rain we got over the last few days brought my yard back to life and the cold nights have made for excellent sleeping. Ahhhh… let the Autumn begin!
It’s going to be such a great week, Dear Reader. What are you working on and what are you looking forward to? Let’s get at our goals together!
See you Wednesday!