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December 2011

Then there were none, and its okay!

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Our youngest son Alexi is leaving to New York this summer to attend culinary school, yeah I never saw that coming either, the kid who would starve, because there was nothing ready made!

While as a mom of the heart,  I feel a sense of sadness to see our baby go out the door and into the real, big wide world, the adventurer in me kind of wishes I could tag along.

When Alexi was growing up he struggled with school work at times and he struggled with trying to fit in and doing the right thing.

This struggle even resulted in Alexi putting his needs and feelings behind the desires of others. He was the perennial peace keeper and just wanted everyone happy, even at the expense of his own well being. Alexi struggled at times and made mistakes and some were kind of bone-headed, but he somehow forged ahead.


Some time during his sophomore/Junior year Alexi, discovered Alexi. Not the Alexi I wanted, or his dad wanted, or his team mates wanted, but the Alexi that did what was right for Alexi and stuck to his beliefs.

I was so proud of the fact that he could go the path less traveled, quietly doing his bit to help the world, further his learning and understanding of life.

I know at times because of me being gone so much during his last year and half of high school, due to our daughter-in-law's illness, he might have felt that we did not notice his path.

That's the funny thing about being a parent, just because we are not holding you up while you walk, or pushing the stroller to keep you going, we are still there.

I was there in spirit when he received his MVP award even though I was 600 miles away. I was besides him when he, along with his art class, painted a mural at the homeless shelter.

I was with him in thought at the soup kitchens, and various non profits he volunteered to work in, during school vacations.

I am even more proud of where he is going, off to a new exciting city, to follow his dream. I am even more pleased because he did this on his own.

Alexi was true to Alexi by picking the school, looking for his own housing and never refusing to give up even when challenges arose.

What Alexi might not know is that as his mom from the heart I will be there on his first day of class, I will be there when he is alone in his new little apartment for the first time, I will be there when he ventures off into that big city to discover new people, places and adventures.

I would have loved the opportunity to have lived in a big city when I was a young adult, but I chose a different path.

Now as a parent I have the unbelievable opportunity to live it through Alexi's eyes!

I get to share in his joys, triumphs, disappontments and courage.

So even though soon, there will be none left at home, I am so blessed to have been given the chance to be Alexi's mom of the heart and most of all I am even more blessed because Alexi let me in, and made room for me in his heart, and as such I will always be with him no matter how far he roams.

Ahhh, can we hope for paris, or Italy next??

Wait can I be your official food taster?? Yum Yum!!



When the boys of summer become men of life!

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"Youth is wasted on the young"

                                     George Bernard Shaw

 

When my youngest son graduated high school this past month the realization hit me that I no longer had anyone to go see playing on a team until my grandsons start in a few years.

I really enjoy watching sports live and even more so when I know someone on the team.

My husband did point out that we live near several little league fields where I could just walk down and watch a game any time I wanted during the spring and summer.

I told him that I did not want to be "the creepy old lady who no one knows lurking around the bleachers during the games!"

The funny thing was that I was having this conversation as we were driving on our way to my hubby's own baseball game.

While I sat on the bleachers with the only other wife that goes to watch the men play regularly, I had a sudden realization.

When boys are young they play sports for a few reasons, one, they see it as a way to a better way of life; two, their parents make them play to get them out of the house, or lastly because they really like to play.

Boys take for granted their stamina, their energy, their flexibility and most of all their health. Boys also take for granted the amount of free time they have in which to play said sports.

As boys of summer become men of life they must focus on college degrees, career development, getting married and making a living.   These newly developed men slowly come to the realization that the things they had taken for granted before, suddenly become a treasured past time that must be etched into their tight schedules in order to be able to continue to participate in their beloved sport.

As I watched these men warming up, on that warm, breezy, spring night, I was touched by what I was seeing in their eyes. These men come from all walks of life and vary in age, size and athletic ability, but as they gathered on that field slowly the years melted away and the sheer joy of boyhood is once again visible. There was an unmistakeable twinkle in their eyes, a glimmer of mischief and a twinge of anticipation at the excitement of the upcoming game.

I was mostly touched by the look on my hubby's face. I knew he loved baseball as much as I did, but I had never loved and lost. By this I mean I had never had the opportunity to actually play baseball on a team like he did in middle and high school. My Hubby had to put his beloved game aside for family, responsibilities and life.

When he finally took me up on my nagging, I mean persuation, of playing again, I was so happy for him, but I never looked at it like watching my kids playing, never thought it mattered whether I was in the stands or not.

Now that we were practically empty nesters, and watching his face it made me realize that this game mattered a lot more than any world series play off game.

It did not matter that there was only two of us in the stands, that no one would read about it in the paper, or see any highlight reels at 11.

What did matter was that these men, for a couple of hours a week, were able let go of the world, and tap into their youth of days gone by.

Their throws might not go as far, their sprint might be more of a trot, and the side winder might be more of lob, but to these men of life, being boys of summer for a little while longer, makes them feel like they just closed out a winning series.

Do you think we could do a wave of two??