Sunday, August 24, 2008

Optimus Prime is not a mortgage instrument.

Yesterday we had a lovely visit with a young couple, Andrew and Carrie, and their cutie-boy Caden. I can count the number of cutie-boys there have been in my life on one hand and Caden is definitely one of them. This evening I have the luxury of sitting here and letting my mind wander and it naturally wanders back to the first and foremost of my cutie-boys, Tommy. I call this a luxury because I remember those long-ago evenings when falling into bed by this time of night and not being awakened till morning was HEAVEN.

Now it's only fair to mention my cutie-girl, Denise, since she was the firstborn and is still my Sunshine. We used to call her "Buddy" and she was all that. On the motorcycle, on the boat, in the Corvette, Denise was the largest part of our extended childhood. Bicycles, bumps and bruises. And yet she survived.

Back in the day some of us didn't give much thought to having a child. It kind of just happened to us pretty much without a plan. I realize now that I gave more thought to getting our dog last year than I did to having babies back then. It was just the thing you did when you graduated; only the rarest women went on to be professionals and make lives for themselves. The rest of us coveted marriage and children, a life like the Cleaver's.

It is amazing the miracle that is a child and I'm happy to see young mothers who are way more in touch with that fact than I and my peers were. Nowdays these women actually study ahead of time instead of running to the Dr. Spock book when something out of the ordinary happens. It's great that they're informed, I guess, but then I remember the "two sides of the coin" theory. In the stone age we never heard of ADHD, autism or acid reflux. Baby aspirin for a fever, penicillin for strep throat, Desitin for diaper rash -- that's as complicated as it ever got for most of us. We did so much seemingly wrong, although generally with the best of intentions, and yet the children, mine included, survived.

Holding little Caden last night, laughing with him and getting his big wet "kisses" was wonderful and yet somewhat bittersweet. Raising a child involves so much more these days and seems a more frightening venture than I could participate in at this time (big thanks to the universe for menopause!). More diseases, more dangers and life is moving at the speed of light. So much more for the little ones to learn so much earlier. Homework in first grade -- the pressure! Yet at the same time it is all so simple: a young couple on the brink of life creating yet another life, putting all their hopes and dreams on the line, trying very hard to do the right things. I am in awe of so many of them and very greatful that they share their beautiful babies with us.


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