My Three Sons

Annah Elizabeth2 Comments

This past week is a bit of a blur, Journeyer, and I can’t believe it’s Sunday!

Then, again, I’m so freaking HAPPY that it’s Sunday!!

Why?

Because I’ve been counting down the last fourteen days until I could spend an entire week with my two boys.

Big Guy’s task had been to find one college he wanted to visit over spring break.

He’d pretty much determined that he wanted to visit the University of Florida until Fave talked him into going to see San Diego State University.

“Dude,” he said, “I’m thinking about doing my graduate studies there. We could be in college together!”

Now, given that there is a six-year gap between these boys, they’ve really had very little in common during their time together at home.

When Fave left for college and was talking about Big Boy things and using Big Boy language, Big Guy was only twelve, and let’s just say we tried to keep it all as age appropriate as possible.

Any of you who have children with a big age gap, can appreciate the Herculean task of finding movies and activities and vacations suitable to both ends of that spectrum.

But now they’re seventeen and twenty-two and Fave is passing beyond the pulling away phase and coming around to the family phase, understanding how vital connections and people are, especially family.

He and I went to pick up groceries last night and then stood in the parking lot, talking for more than an hour, the good kind of talking, an adult conversation that was, but wasn’t, about parenting…

Does that make sense? The conversation was a discussion about life and parenting and relationships and people, but neither of us was acting like the child or the parent…we were two people engaged in learning and understanding and compassion and love…

Can you imagine how happy this Mama’s heartfelt?

Fave beginning to understand the dynamics behind the parenting and comprehending some of the struggles we all faced.

He’s able to separate and see some of the dysfunction that took place for what it was and isolate that from the rest of the more common experiences.

Honestly, Journeyer, I wish I’d been able to see the bigger picture of my life at his age!

It makes me proud.

Watching these two boys laugh and converse and wrestle with each other just made my heart soar.

Yesterday, as we were sitting at breakfast, the woman next to us said, “I couldn’t help but overhear that there’s a three-hour time difference where you live. Where are you from?”

She and her husband are from Illinois and are out west to attend their grandson’s graduation from the Marine’s boot camp.

“How many children do you have?” she asked.

I wanted to reply “four,” but I know the questions that tend to ensue: How old are they? What are they doing? Are all four of them here with you? What do the others do?

I can answer all of those questions, without seeming to create fear and panic, until the last one.

“Well,” I imagine myself saying, “I’m not sure exactly what he does, because he’s in heaven.”

So I just answer three, because it’s easier.

But what I’ve also found, however, is that if we are engaged in earnest, getting-to-know-someone discourse, the door to Gavin or some other form of honest and meaningful dialogue most always opens.

“How many kids do you have?”

Two boys…grandchildren, mostly boys, too…two great grandchildren, also boys… And all of these cherubs are from the one son.

“Our other son’s wife couldn’t have children. They tried everything they could, even infertility treatments, but that is so expensive,” the woman said, “and they didn’t want to adopt because the birth mother can always come back and reclaim the child.”

I think my fork was suspended halfway between my plate and my mouth. I hope my face reflected the awe and kinship I was feeling.

“They decided on dogs and I must say they treat them just like their children,” she chuckles, “and so we also have four grand-dogs.”

You know where I went next, don’t you, Journeyer?

I told this woman how much I appreciated her sharing, how happy I was for her boy that he and his wife found a way to live their best lives, even when some misfortune prevented them from having the life they’d initially dreamed of.

“I actually have three sons, myself, four children,” I shared…

I think all of us who have outlived our children have experienced this at one time or another. I wish it weren’t so awkward…

One of the things I’ve been thinking about in recent years is the fact that part of the reason it is so awkward is because we, society, isn’t talking about it enough.

The topic of child loss can be like the white elephant in the room or something so toxic is causes people to evacuate the room.

I’ve also been wondering if I’m not perpetuating that problem by not being totally transparent when I meet new people…

But what I can tell you for sure is that I am always joyful when I do connect on a meaningful level, when a person goes from being a stranger to being a neighbor…whether that interaction takes place in an intimate discussion group or over a bowl of cereal in a Comfort Inn lounge…

In other #HappyHappens news, these other Moments made me smile and brought be a sense of fulfillment…

Big Guy, who has only flown one other time in his life, was clearly delighted with the entire experience. How I loved watching the awe and appreciation on his face, and the excitement when he showed me the many photos he’d taken.

More family time! My mom and my brother live a mere three hours from San Diego and were able to make the trip down yesterday.

We met up with my nephew, who’s also going to school here, and then took the trolley down to Petco Park to watch a Padres game.

I’m not a big baseball fan, but this ball field is exquisite!

And, O.M.G., if you’ve never tried Phil’s B.B.Q….well, you need to make a trip west. Every barbeque I’ve ever had used a vinegar base, of which I’m also not a fan.

But Phil’s? Let’s just say my mouth is watering just typing this. It honestly is!

They’re meat has the smokiest, sweetest but also not-too-sweet flavor you’ll ever taste. I could write an entire post about that sandwich, but I think I’ll just let your own imagination make you drool…

I only get to see my mom about once every couple of years, and my brother I’ve only seen a handful of times in more a decade, so you can only imagine how special spending the entire day with them was.

And my baby brother’s big bear hug as we part was nothing shy of…well, for everything else there’s mastercard…

And my mom…love you…always and forever…

And then my boys…

All three of them…

I’ve always believed that Gavin spirit is always around…

That means he was part of the gentle scolding I gave while trying to stop a brotherly-love-type wrestling match that occurred in our hotel room yesterday morning…

He laughed with everyone else when I forgot that stadium seat bottoms aren’t stationary and consequently found myself sitting on the deck after standing for a moment…

He was a part of all of our conversations…

And he enjoyed listening to the waves and feeling the wind on his face as we rode our bikes miles along the boardwalk…
 
When Beauty was younger, I took her on several Mother-Daughter trips, but this is the first time I’ve done something with just my boys…

Spending time with my three sons…

It’s going the heart good…

What about you, Journeyer? What week’s Moments(s) brought a smile to your face or made your heart go pitter-patter?

p.s. I’ll be back to add photos later, but for now, a shower and a walk on the beach with Big Guy is calling! May you capture as many instances of Happy as you can in the coming week, Journeyer!

*Luv*

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