Goodbye to an Old Friend

With the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been experiencing suddenly changing to an ice storm, many things around us changed, also.  Suddenly we were surrounded by glittering diamonds of ice covering trees, bushes, even the mundane blacktop driveway looked beautiful. As my sons and I were getting ready to drive to school one of them commented: “Look at the tree!” We have a rather large tree in our front yard that has been there ever since we moved here twenty seven years ago. It is unique in that when it was small it must have needed alot of sun and wasn’t able to get it, being in the shadows of two large black walnut trees, thus it sought another route – it grew perhaps four feet upwards then bent at a right  ninety degree angle and continued growing to adulthood. We were able to tell people: “You can spot our house – it’s the one with the really crooked tree in the front yard.”  The morning of our ice storm brought a sudden realization – this tree looked different. Upon closer examination I found that it had totally succombed to the weight of all that ice and was now totally lying on the ground, having become uprooted. I should preface that this same tree has seen all three of our sons learn to climb a tree just because of it’s unusual shape; it was the perfect ‘beginner’ tree because it’s trunk was perfectly angled for doing a running-jump, then shinneying up the rest of the way.

   We will all miss this tree, each for his (or her) own reasons. My middle son seemed to love it the most; manys the time he decided to hide in it’s top branches while others searched for him. After a long family walk, he would be the first (and swiftest) to reach home. When the rest of us would finally saunter up the driveway, he wasn’t to be found. We knew where to look –  the top branches of this tree. My youngest son, now 12, expressed remorse at not trying to climb said tree: “If I DID want to climb a tree, it would have been that one”, he said.  My husband used to readily express his displeasure at this tree because, due to it’s unusual angles, he could not drive a riding lawn mower under it. I will miss it simply because it was like an old friend – always there, always bursting into bloom first thing in the Spring, providing shade to the front of the house and, because it brought pleasure to my sons.

   Goodbye, old friend – you served our family well these many years.



Published in: on January 19, 2007 at 12:38 am  Comments (2)  

Of Shots and Sons…

I spent yesterday in an unconventional, yet pleasant manner: helping my oldest son care for his 6 month old sick son. It started Wednesday when the baby went to the pediatrician for his baby shots. The pediatrician convinced the baby’s mother that it would be fine to give him ‘half’ of the infant flu shot. By Friday (yesterday) he was very ill and throwing up. I should preface here that he’s never been sick a day in his life, before this. I have been blessed during my years as a parent to be a ‘stay-at-home’ mom, so I have never experienced the inner turmoil and conflict of having a sick child and still having to go to work. My grandson’s Mom had to work a double shift yesterday while her baby was home with his Daddy; this tore at my ‘Grandmotherly’ heart, so I stepped in to help them all. From around 1:30 p.m. until around 10:30 p.m. I was comfortably ensconced in a rocking chair with said very sick little boy on my chest, doing what I do best – Rocking and Patting. During this time, my son & I held quite a few conversations ranging from his work, to life at home with his father & brothers, to baby-care in general. While I rocked, my son the chef cooked for me for the first time! I’ve had questions from friends throughout the years: “So, if he’s a chef-I would guess he cooks for you, right?” (no)…NOW I can say that he has, and it was very good! For lunch we had leftover Chinese Chicken with Hoisin sauce and vegetables; he’s working at expanding his experiences to other cuisines. For dinner we had spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread. That might sound rather mundane to you-but I will tell you…this was no AVERAGE spaghetti & meatballs! Being the chef, he said he just doesn’t know how to cook ‘from a jar or can’ (unlike his Mom who ulilizes good old Ragu!). His sauce was fresh – freshly chopped basil, garlic, herbs, fresh ground Parmesan for the finished dish and bread…I felt like I was in a very fancy restaurant!

    During this time, my grandson slept or ate baby cereal. At one point during the evening I put him in his walker and he actually rallied a little and gave us a few smiles…we were thrilled! I should say here that I’ve had experience with many, many babies – from my own three to many babies in my day care and afterwards, to many foster babies but none compare to the pangs of seeing your grandchild sick. It was wonderful to see him smile and to show his Daddy that his son was slowly getting a little better.

   Today he went back to the pediatrician to find out exactly WHAT he has – end result? The pediatrician said: “He has a stomach flu.” REALLY? I would never have guessed! The remedy? The same thing I suggested to my son last night…the BRAT diet: Bananas, Rice (cereal), Apples and Toast. Being my grandson is too small for toast, the other three will work. He’s doing a little better today which produced big sighs of relief from all of us. I well remember the feelings of sitting up late at night with a sick child, doing what I do best…Rocking and Patting. THIS time I’m learning what Mothering is all about…it goes on to include GRANDMothering and it’s a wonderful feeling.

Hoping this new year is slowly ‘growing’ on you and becoming a good year.



Published in: on January 14, 2007 at 2:12 am  Leave a Comment