You know when you're awake with your infant at 3 am and you think, "Nobody ever told me it would be this hard"?
Well, I'm hear to tell you that it can also be so sweet. Today there were Spikes of Sweetness, when I literally gasped, stepping out of the situation mentally and looking from a distance at what was happening.
--> driving in the car, turning on my 15 yo's favorite music. Classical. Yes, classical. Angry violins enter the piece and he blasts it, doing air violin (think: air guitar). I am overcome with joy. My 15 yo likes Classical. Does it get any better than this?
--> at REI tonight, shopping for cross country gear. Of course, Kee picks the $40 pair of running shorts and the $45 pair and I can afford it. That feels so good, not because we get them, but because in his eyes and in his words, I can see and hear that he understands the depth of commitment it takes to earn a good living. He wasn't spending frivolously; he was calculating, "Hey, I'm going to be an adult M for a long time. If I buy these $40 running shorts now, they might last a good 5 to 7 years. That's a pretty good ROI." Yes, he knows what ROI means. It's a good thing, overcome with joy again.
--> this afternoon, when Jee was being bothered by a bully, little Jee didn't back down, didn't give in. He said, "That's not right! It isn't right and I'm trying to figure out how to solve this problem!" He understood so many dimensions about the situation -- motivation, anger and its many expressions, compassion, the modulations of friendship, all those nebulous little negotiations that occur in any interchange. Jee walked away with tear stained cheeks, having struggled and not actually won, but having gotten stronger. My heart burst.
--> Vee, when he came home late tonight had the look of a tired man. It was a maturity I hadn't seen before. I asked him how his day was and he actually told me all about it. Joy.
--> Best for last, right? Kee and I ran into some friends at REI tonight. The mom, a physician who takes exceptionally good care of her own children, asked Kory, "So how do you like school?" and I could tell she was expecting a ho-hum response. Instead: "It's great. I love it. I've got great teachers..." (sound of physician's jaw hitting the floor). After a few minutes of discussion, we all had a mutual feeling of "Yeah, this is how it should be. Teens should love their school. This is how it should be."
There is such sweetness is knowing what you want, working for it, and actually getting it.
Darn it, there's one more I wanted to capture. Tonight we went out on a run, Eee, Kee, and Me, all three, in the dark, each with our own music motivating us to run, not walk. Eee takes the lead. Kee actually follows. I get to stretch my legs and remember what it was like to really run. At one spot, I see Eee and Kee in the streetlamp light and just gasp, not because I am out of breath, but because this is something I always wanted, but never thought I would get -- a husband who jogs with his sons; a son who jogs with his dad. This is it. If only I cold imprint this full force on my mind