Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Perspective on worry

My father is part of the Greatest Generation. There are days (especially days when I'm in a hurry and following one driving toward Wal-Mart) when I don't give adequate respect to these quaint fellows in their hiked-up pants and SAS shoes.

Yesterday, though, Dad was part of the Honor Flight that takes World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit their memorial. He was chosen as one of the four veterans to place a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I've looked at this picture over and over.

I often fight worry as I wave good-bye to my boys, watching them leave for college or for a conference or for a semester abroad. I worry that they will miss their planes. I worry that they will merge onto the freeway at the wrong time. I worry that they will be lonely or bored or scared because those emotions are breeding ground for bad decisions.

My father is 83 now but he was 17 when he caught the train to join the Navy. Like me, my grandmother had four boys. She waved good-bye to three of them as she sent them off to active military service, two in the Pacific front and one in Korea. I can only imagine her worries.

Today I'm thinking of Grandma as I honor my father's war service. I'm proud of you, Dad, and I love you.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In the Beginning...

...there was a girl who said to her boy, "I want as many kids as possible, as fast as possible!" And being that the "girl" was already 29, she meant it. No fooling around with Mother Nature at that stage of the game. Boy the Eldest looked at girl and reminded her that although they were deeply and madly in love, they were practically strangers and maybe they should spend at least a tiny portion of what they estimated would be 70 years of married life on the Getting To Know Each Other portion of their time together.

So it was that Girl was 32 by the time Boy#1 was born, followed 21 months later by Boy #2, then Boy #3 arrived 23 months later, and Boy #4 when Boy #1 was still four months shy of his sixth birthday. At this point Boy the Eldest and Girl looked at each other and said, whshew! Enough already!

That was18 years, five months, and three days ago.

So now Girl is feathering a different kind of nest, one that has boys scattered hither and thither and doesn't revolve around piano lessons and baseball games and Preferred Customer status at the grocery store.

What now?