Black Clouds and Sunshine

Black Clouds and Sunshine

Hey there my other half.  I realized something today.  We’re on the right track with this parenting thing.  I know we often wonder if our efforts to raise our bits and pieces the right way are paying off.  I know it often seems, amid the fussing and temper-tantrums, the back-talk, and the out-right defiance that our cluelessness has taken us down a road of no return. The black clouds of doubt start to gather, and we think back to every moment we’ve spent raising these precious jewels, critiquing every word we said and rethinking every consequence we gave.  We start to feel guilty and responsible.  We start to wonder if we’ve failed.  And then something happens.  The sunshine breaks on through. We have spirited children, that is for sure.  Our sweet boy.  Even-keeled, rarely taking a swing on the pendulum of emotions to the extremes of joy, anger, or sadness.  Smart, my goodness is he smart!  I know we both want to claim that one.  I often think back to those months before his second birthday when he’d play for hours with a deck of UNO cards, pulling one-at-a-time from a plastic baggie, saying the color and naming the number.  He wasn’t even 2! I see so much of you in him.  Not only does he look just like you, but he has your amazingly forgiving heart, something I admit I struggle with more on this journey of ours.  He has my patience, I think, and my optimism.  He has our athletic prowess, and your ability to analyze sports.  I’m amazed when ya’ll talk football.  He knows every NFL team, their helmet, mascot, division, ranking, record, and all that other football stuff (he’s only 6).  He even beat you a couple of times in our family game of “predictions” (every Sunday we predict the winners for the games that week). He is one fine boy, as his Paw liked to say. Yet he is spirited.  At times, he is stubborn to the point of exasperation.  He has mastered the art of selective hearing.  Tell him to get dressed, the bus is coming soon, and there he is, 10 minutes later, still in his jammies.  Tell him to get dressed, we’ll be leaving for his ball game soon, and he’s in his room and dressed before we’ve finished the sentence! I’ve learned how to combat his readied response of “but Mama, I didn’t hear you!”  Just suggest we may need to visit the doctor since he clearly isn’t hearing me even when my voice has become, uhhh-hmmm, a little louder. Just make like you’re heading to the phone to call up the doctor, and suddenly he can repeat every word!  Determined and competitive, inquisitive and observant, all qualities that will serve him well on his journey, I think.  Our Boppy, our Goose, our sweet, sweet boy. And then there’s Little May.  Our girlie-girl.  Lord, she came into this world with a wild mess of black hair, screaming and crying, giving those nurses a run for their money as they tried to clean her up.  But do you remember what happened when you spoke to her?  She settled right on down.  I remember watching from the bed as the doctors worked to wrap everything up with me, and when she quieted, I told you to keep talking to her, knowing she recognized your voice from the womb.  You did, and she stayed calm, until they started to give her the bath.  Even our voices didn’t work for that one!  Not until they placed her in your arms, all swaddled up and smelling that new-baby smell, did she settle again. Our spit-fire. Our zero-to-sixty.  She is all spunk and spirit.  She takes a swing on that pendulum of emotions multiple times a day.  When she cries, the whole neighborhood probably hears.  But when she laughs, there is nothing like it.  All rolling and bubbly and free.  She is brave, standing up for herself and others if necessary.  Her moral compass is already strong and steady, leading her to correct people, including adults (to our embarrassment) and her big brother (to his frustration).  She also looks just like you, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that frustrates me a bit.  After all, I carried them for nine months, yet they pop out looking just like their Daddy!  She has your big heart, your silliness for sure.  She has my feistiness and my empathy.  She, too, inherited our athletic prowess, though probably more along the lines of anything involving flipping, jumping, climbing, leaping, twisting, and spinning.  Yes, I think we’ll definitely stick with the gymnastics. Yet she...

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