Sunday, September 21, 2008

My heart soars like a hawk

I remember one day in, perhaps, 1979, when my boys were about 6 and 3, and the six-year-old had had enough of the three-year-old following him around and trying to horn in on his games, and he'd gotten rough with him. There were a lot of tears and I was absolutely furious, explaining to the older boy that he could absolutely not beat up a little boy, but also trying to tell him that his baby brother adored him and ...

... and I had this horrible moment of thinking that, if I had to explain that, then everything I had done was wasted, and I realized that all I really wanted out of life was for my boys to be friends, that nothing else, absolutely nothing else, mattered. That whatever I left behind on this planet was pointless without that.

A little while ago, I called my older son to check in with him about something or other. His wife answered the phone and said that she was studying for a test and that he and the girls were at Uncle Gabe's. It's about 120 miles away, and this is not, by far, the first time the boys have gotten together on a whim, to let their children play and to spend a little time together.

The little girl being held is Gabe's, the three others are Jed's daughters. The cousins are very close friends and I can only imagine what underage maternalism will erupt in December when their male cousin arrives on the scene.

And my heart soars like a hawk.


ronnie said...

Ya done good, Mike. Having met your mother, I'm not surprised. Having read your grandfather's writings, I'm even less surprised. You would have had to close your ears and heart to some very fine examples in order to be a bad parent yourself.

Sherwood's clan impresses me, too, in similar fashion.

Sherwood Harrington said...

What a wonderful, wonderful picture of four gorgeous human beings. If that's not a picture that survives in various forms for at least a century, then I miss my bet.

(What's being shaded by the blanket? Is it a sheep?)

There was a lot -- a whole lot -- that I never understood about my sons' relationship with one another, but one thing that I did understand was that they were a tighter unit than anyone outside of the two of them could ever grasp. They were always in each others' homes, in each others' faces, in each others' way, and clearly in each others' hearts, right up to and through the dismal days of November, 2006. It even continues now, with Adam's continuing, active, obviously loving bond with his niece, Grace.

Yes, Mike, it makes the heart soar. It also makes the eyes blur with this damn' stinging mist once in a while.

Anonymous said...

I'd say we have that bond,too, bro. Even though a photo of us with our siblings would have to be photo-shopped... (Note to brothers & sisters out there: if you're going to go into "the caring" or "artistic" professions, don't put too much geographic distance between yourselves. That's for doctors and lawyers who can hop on a plane "on a whim".)
I was just telling our little sister that I hope my only child - now 18 - will have some semblance of that experience with his two cousins, her daughters, after the childhood time they spent together.

Martha said...

mY heart joins yours, it IS all that really matters!