Saturday, February 25, 2012
Kids Do Say...
Mine are all grown, on their own, have their own lives and families, and are building their own memories. I posted a funny story about my something my son said on Facebook and it made a lot of people laugh, so I realized it might be worth repeating:
My cousin's daughter just posted about her son's being so happy to have a new baby brother. It made me think of my first son who asked me for a brother when he was 9. (He already had 2 sisters.) When I asked how he was so sure I would have a boy, He told me that if I wanted a boy, I'd have a boy, but, a few seconds later, he came up with "By the time that kid's worth anything, I'll be 18 years old. Forget about it."
Thinking back to the years of living with my first born, a five pound, “chicken” about whom one of my mother’s friends said to her when she so proudly pulled out a picture of him, her first grandchild, “Those are the ones who turn out good,” all I can remember is that I really did think I was living with the village idiot. He didn’t say a word until he was over two.
Maybe it was because his sister, born 15 months later and talking when she was eight months old, but she’s another story. She taught herself to count backwards from 100 before she was three and I was too naïve to figure out that that was strange. What kind of kid would want to do that? And when she, at no more than two, was sitting with my father while he watched two football games at once, as he did every Sunday, she said to him, “I don’t understand this game, all they do is run around, go like this (putting two hands in the air), and fall down. She was the one who told my mother, as she lit up a cigarette, “Nanny, you’re going to die tomorrow.” My mother quit smoking before my third child was born, so she wasn’t yet three.
And so it went, one night, when they were both in high school, my son awakened his sister in the middle of the night with “If you were a girl, what would you do if….” Apparently he was madly in love with someone and had no idea how to do whatever it was he wanted to do.
Until he was invited to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, I think I still thought he just didn’t measure up academically. When I called him in England where he was on an internship and asked if he wanted to come home for the ceremony, he asked, “What’s that?” See why we thought of him as Mr. Magoo?
Imagine how happy I was when my third child, a beautiful, normal little girl was born. I had a friend who used to repeat, as we did dumb things “Normal is boring.” No, normal, when it comes to children, is wonderful--easy, fun, comfortable, predictable.
My mother used to tell me when my children were little: “Little children, little problems, big children, big problems.” All I can add to that is “Do is the best you can and pray a lot.” Unfortunately, the image of the mommy and the daddy and the dog and the pretty house with the white picket fence might not last forever.