There’s a treelined path at the YMCA field where my kids play soccer. I didn’t notice it until a week or so ago. It’s absolutely beautiful this time of year. You should totally go and see it before winter leaves us all cursing and hoping for an early spring. It’s located on NW 58th Street off MacArthur Boulevard in Warr Acres on the west side of Oklahoma City.
I often hesitate to post pictures of my kids, but then again, they are my whole world. How can I not write about them? Besides, The Pioneer Woman does it, not to mention Dooce. I can’t help myself, fellow bloggers. I love ’em both.
Parenting is hard work. It’s demanding and exhausting. It drives me crazy when the dollhouse with all the little people winds up in the dining room. Invariably, I get up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom and step on a plastic dog or tiny chair. I curse it and then I ask forgiveness. Pray those who see me at my worst will also be those who love me most. My husband, my kids.
I took these pictures yesterday after Sullivan’s soccer game. My boy has such a winning smile. I hug him every chance I get, knowing as I do that his childhood is evaporating before my eyes. He is within four inches of 17-year-old sister! Didn’t I just bring him home from the hospital, the roly-poly that he was? I wonder every day if I’ve done enough. Am I doing enough? Am I reading enough stories? Am I making enough homemade cookies? Am I showing him the world?
Tonight, he went to a Halloween party. I insisted he take a hostess gift for his friend’s mom. This annoyed him to no end. Like seriously, he thought I was trying to ruin his night. Ha! Then I explained that it was just a small gesture; a way of saying thank you for all the hard work to put together the party.
Parties are a lot of hard work. Mothers worry over invitations and RSVPs; party favors and cupcakes. Then there’s the matter of making sure the birthday kid’s hair is not a complete disaster at party time. I love to see all the efforts moms (and dads!) make. The Halloween party Sully attended last night was amazing. The mom, dad and grandma – maybe two grandmas! – were running around putting the finishing touches on everything. I was digging the mummy hot dogs.
These are the small events that when strung together make up a childhood, a life. When Juliette was little I couldn’t imagine the day would come when she’d turn 17 and no longer want a birthday party with all her little, errr, not-so-little friends. But, it happens, and before you know it every college in the world is sending brochures to your house.
This is the look Sullivan gets on his face when he says, “I love you, Daddy.” It always bears a hint of questioning. Like he’s really saying, “You know I love you, Daddy, right?”
I love to watch him play soccer. I love to see all the moms and dads cheering on their kids. Their voices rise and fall with kicks and goals and steals and misses. It’s all joy for me, even the losing. It doesn’t matter. Not to me anyway. I’m just so glad to be alive. Even when we’re losing we’re still breathing, still carrying on.
“I was walking late one night along a tree-lined path; a chestnut fell at my feet. The noise it made as it burst, the resonance it provoked in me, and an upheaval out of all proportion to this insignificant event thrust me into miracle, into the rapture of the definitive, as if there were no more questions—only answers. I was drunk on a thousand unexpected discoveries, none of which I could make use of. This is how I nearly reached the Supreme. But instead I went on with my walk.” ― Emil Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
Beads of sweat on his neck, Sullivan ran so hard today. He said his chest hurt. I remember when he was little we went swimming in the pool one day and it was unseasonably cool and his lips turned blue. Juliette and I freaked out! I took him to the pediatrician the next day and he said he had a little heart murmur and we needed to watch it. He said he might grow out of it and then again, he might not. But, praise God he did. But, I thought about it today. I need to take him back to the doctor just for my peace of mind. I love you, Son.
If parenting is hard and marriage is hard then imagine what happens when you put them together. It’s a miracle any of us survive without serious health effects. Ha! But, my kids have the best dad ever. It’s a role he’s grown into and one he cherishes. I feel blessed to be part of this family, to sit with Robert and the kids on the pew in church every Sunday, to whisper prayers and hopes and try to keep all my promises. We watch the seasons roll by, one after another, and here we are, soaking up the autumn colors of another fall.
As L.M. Montgomery wrote in Anne of Green Gables, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” And, I am so glad for this treelined path!