Photo: Thinking about all of the women in my sons’ lives, I’m the most unique for all of the reasons you can think of. That uniqueness does not go unnoticed, but it often goes without a lot of comment, though we’ve talked about skin color plenty of times. To see how my six year-old sees me and expresses my likeness is awesome. He said he spent a lot of time on my hair. “Nobody else’s portrait had hair like your hair!”
Ok, ya’ll know that I’m not the biggest fan of Mother’s Day, but then this happened:
Ursa Major made sure that I wouldn’t peek at my present all weekend. He brought this home and was so proud. I really must say, it’s a work of art. It’s the hair that really gets me. He told me that he tried many different shapes and that it took a long time to cut them. He wanted to make my locs perfect, and to make sure that my hair looked the way it’s supposed to look. I’m telling you… you think the children don’t pay attention, but they do. They notice stuff. I’m so glad that Major sees how differently I look from all the other women of his life, and that he’s proud of me. He’s proud of my hair. He thinks it’s beautiful enough to spend time on and get just right.
Oh Lord, may he always see me this way. May he always remember that time when he thought I was special.
And Lord, may you remind me, should the day come when my skin and my locs cause him confusion or embarrassment, of this time. Remind me that there was a time when he wasn’t afraid of having a mommy with brown skin and different hair. Remind me that there was a time when he thought I was beautiful enough to spend time on and get just right. Remind me that he will come back to that again.
Through the chaos of May in Massachusetts and all of the insanity of our lives, the boys have rewarded both me and The Husband with little gifts that only they can give. The Husband in particular has been the recipient of rewards reserved only for him.
The first came last weekend. In church, in preparation to receive communion, we got to the part of the liturgy where the congregation recites the Lord’s Prayer. As Sunday school ends just after the sermon so that kiddos can join us for the rest of the service, the boys usually pass the time quietly with little clipboards and crayons. Major usually hums along to the music and at least stands up when The Husband and I stand. Imagine our surprise when, without our prompting and without missing a single word, Major recited the entirety of the Lord’s Prayer with all of us. He said it loudly and proudly, as if he’d known it forever. The Husband broke into tears. While this church life is still new to me, being a Christian and being an invested member of church life has always been important to him. Major’s presence and participation in that moment was a gift of profound joy and, in some ways, a confirmation of The Husband’s own faith .
The next big rewarding moment came this past Saturday. Ursa Major has graduated from a Lion Scout to a Tiger Scout! He received his neckerchief and slide, his cute little uniform and hat, and he’s got an official handbook and first badge. Big, big doings. The Husband, an Eagle Scout and now very involved Scout Leader, proudly wearing his own uniform (bedazzled with his many badges earned from his scouting days), was the one to present Major with his new stuff and welcome him to the next level. This is the sort of thing reserved for a father of boys and I was so happy for The Husband, who again was holding back tears. It’s really moving to witness a personal hope come to full realization like that.
Finally, and this is probably more important than the other two, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor: on Saturday night, we let the boys watch Star Wars for the very first time.
Don’t snicker at me. It really is that big of a deal! You know why?
I married a huge Star Wars nerd.
I’m not. I’m a Trekkie. I forgive him for choosing the wrong nerd universe.
The Husband loves Star Wars and he has indulged the boys as much as he can with everything Star Wars that he possible can. The boys know most of the story already, thanks to The 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Book and all the Lego stuff and all the other crap that’s got a logo on it in this house. With the nor’easter and us being so tired from the event earlier in the day, we decided it would be a good time to let them watch.
I wish I could have recorded The Husband’s frantic search for his 6-disc complete Blueray set with the digital extras. He opened no less than 6 boxes in the office and the attic, digging through all the old DVDs that we haven’t watched in years. Upon finding his set, he proudly marched down the stairs, hiding the logo from the boys, carefully selecting the disk for Episode 4 (the original 1977 film) and putting it in our game console. When the music started and the Star Wars logo came up on the television screen, Dear Reader, I thought all three of those boys were going to die of pure elation right then and there.
Enjoying the boys experiencing something cool for the very first time is one of my sincere joys in life. Having that experience and getting to observe The Husband is something otherworldly. I didn’t think he could enjoy that movie any more than he already does… but every single “whoa!” and “what?” and “Oh my God!” and “this is scary!” and “Yeah! Get him!” and other reactions that came from the boys gave The Husband such a thrill, such a depth of joy, that I couldn’t help but watch him instead of the movie. He was the boy I met back in 2002 all over again. He’s been glowing ever since.
Sometimes, parenting is magic. Not all the time, but… wow… sometimes. It’s the big little rewards that keep you going. You can never predict what they are going to be.
Happy Monday, Dear Reader. Have a great week. I’m here with you. Let’s get something accomplished so we can celebrate on Friday, yeah?
Until Wednesday, take care.