mercredi, février 21, 2007

The ointment money cannot buy

A long time ago I thought that it would be terrific to pen a letter to my children on their birthday. I'm not very good at preserving the past-and Barry is even worse. Partly because I don't know how to use it too well, and partly because I have no idea where I put it when we moved, I never think to get the videocam out. I suffer, oh I suffer. Every time I see a parent studiously shooting some school function I have waves of mommy guilt. But keeping this blog has become in part a means of recalling some of the tremendous little moments that come together to describe a life-in this case, the hilarious and philosophical and sad and grace-full times we have as a family. Today Sian and Colin marked my birthday with little notes and by doing what they are supposed to do every other evening-hang their towel up in the bathroom, put the dirty clothes in the hamper, brush their teeth (with toothpaste-what an act of love for mom) and not bust on each other too badly. But after I slipped on a patch of black ice getting out of the car this evening, they made sure I wasn't really hurt. Then they went to Colin's room to have a private conversation. Turns out they were retrieving every old piece of candy and party favors from last year's birthday parties. Slipping them into an Easter basket, they waited until it was time to go to bed. Then they asked me to play a game of hide and seek. Feeling more like an octogenerian after that stumble than a midlife baby boomer, I tottered into Colin's room. Jumping out from inside the closet and from behind the twin bed, the two plotters presented me with a basket. An Easter basket, to be specific. It sits on my desk now as I write, filled with, let's see-one snake (wooden), assorted jellybellies, some ribbons, and two species of plastic balloons. Yet it is what is invisible, seen only in a smile, or a hug, or a kiss on a child's forehead, that gives me profound and lasting joy-the best birthday present today, and the one I most want every day-their unselfconscious and unequalled love.

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