Friday, March 16, 2012

Tappers and listeners


Shared experiences can make listeners tune in so much more easily

I love those first letters home when kids go off to college. It’s that moment when they realize you know so much, they know so little, and they’re so grateful for you. Finally, after years and years of trying to teach them what they might need to know (how to balance a checkbook or work out a disagreement) or tell them things to beware of (too many late nights or poor nutrition), they finally get it. Suddenly, your words makes sense, and it’s payday for parents.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Etched in our hearts


Children leave home, but they often leave behind mementos of themselves  

I was mad. Really mad. In his path of destruction, Craig first spray-painted a big smiley face on the green utility bucket because he “just wanted to make everyone happy.” Then he took a sharp knife to the kitchen faucet, leaving deep gouges in the white enamel. But the topper was when he began carving his name into one of our kitchen chairs—“C R A . . . .” Enter the mean mommy, aghast at my little vandal. The dirty deed remains incomplete to this day, but the reminder of his errant behavior is forever etched in the chair.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Remembering the elderly and being a grandma


Grandmas come in all kinds of packages
My good friend of 20 years or more moved away and is now living in an old folks’ home halfway across the country. I miss her very much and told her so at Christmastime in a Facebook message, even though accessing such technology is challenging for her. Yesterday she sent me a letter in the mail—yes, the kind that comes with a stamp and a handwritten signature. She told me, “For sure I didn’t intend to live this long. It takes lots of effort to fight depression, but I’m doing just fine.” Evidently, her children and grandchildren visit when they can, but, as she says, “Everyone is busy.”