My 34 year old son can't seem to remember my birthday. Or to send a card for Mother's Day. It's not easy to dismiss this with a wave of the hand and, "Oh, well..." Even though I can readily recall days that he blessed me with exorbitant generosity, like flying half way across country when I graduated from college and bringing with him a hand tooled leather computer bag for me. (What was he thinking? He couldn't afford that!)
I remind myself that he is a man
of great integrity, an independent thinker of authentic character. One
who can't be told by Hallmark how to express himself to his mom. In that knowledge, my buttons burst. But is it so wrong to want a personally signed card every Mother's Day? Maybe. Especially since this year
he unknowingly gifted me with a surprise blessing of which I never dared
This desire of my heart began in music class
at Cajon Valley Junior High. Our glee club teacher introduced us to a
wide variety of music, Cowboy folk songs, WWI era songs, and
lullabies were just a few groupings of traditional music we
learned. We were expected to memorize the songs for concerts--a great
way to seal the lyrics in adolescent minds.
forward twenty years to the birth of my first child--this precious,
albeit forgetful, boy of mine. As I cradled my infant in my arms, I sang
him many lullabies, some of which I had learned in the seventh grade
choir. One in particular, I decided, would always be his. "Golden
Slumbers." In time, I bore two more children, assigning each their own
song as well.
I loved singing my babies' songs to
them, always choosing a range that best suited my alto voice. I thought I
did pretty well with these melodies. In fact, it was the only time in
life that I ever wished I could make a recording. I wanted to make burn a
CD while my voice still was warm and full. Not for commercial
distribution, understand. Instead, I dreamed my kids would play these
recordings someday to bring back good memories. Of course, I never made
that recording. Another disappointment surrounding these lullabies was
that the children themselves never sang them. I loved their voices and
urged them to sing, but they were always the audience.
Present Time: Mother's Day, 2012
is my first Mother's Day as a Grandma. What a year it has been since
last May when I had no suspicion of my status change on the horizon! Today, my
daughter and her husband are having my darling granddaughter baptized.
And my first born son and his wife are nine months into adopting a
four year old. You might assume that the two grandchildren are the best
gifts ever, and they are a dream come true. I LOVE being Grammy.
I cherish most the awakening I have had in watching my children parent,
in particular, one night I spent with my son. The little boy he and his wife
are adopting is a firecracker! Sharp as the proverbial whip and giving
them the ol' run for the dollar. Add all the other cliches you can think
of that say he's a challenge to which they rise.
They keep a schedule
for him that would cause a station master to envy. The bedtime routine I watched one night started exactly at 7:45 with vitamins, brushing
teeth, toilet and bath. By 8:15 we were upstairs with my darling
wearing his terry cloth "roofie' robe (it looks like a dog with flopping
ears hanging on the hood) reading two--not one, nor three, but
two--bedtime stories. Next came the prayer, song, kiss, and backrub, in that order.
I was impressed with the
close interaction the two had developed. My son
seemed to finally be a man in my eyes. I was in awe. Then came the
"Golden slumbers kiss your eyes," my son sang in a voice I
had never heard.
"Smiles await you when you rise," my grandson joined
him on the second line. Tears flooded my eyes as they finished the song
in a duet. I was not tempted to join them. I could hardly breath, not
wanting to ruin the moment. I found out that night that my
grandson has a natural ear for melody and almost a photographic memory, not to
mention a lovely voice. But more astonishing, I realized that my son
had been listening, patterning his life as a child in my steps.
could not have been more surprised than if ten angels were standing
around us singing in chorus. And honestly, perhaps they were.
wonder for me: that from generation to generation we pass that
which we value to our children. They do see the love and sacrifice we give to them, and largely adopt
This also caused me to look backwards. How much of what I am and do has been handed to me from my
grandmother, great grandmother, and maybe much, much farther back?
Bible says that the sins of the father are visited on the children to
the third and fourth generation. Implied in this, and now learned by me, is that
so are the blessings. And while the aberrations of the parent have a
half life, so to speak, with being limited to bring less and less harm, the blessings are multiplied.
I am truly a blessed woman. I thank God for song, children, grandchildren,
but especially for the order of the family of which God granted us. And as for my Hallmark card? Think I've got that one beat.
PS My son technically did not give me a card on this Mother's Day, however, my GRANDSON brought me a bunch on white roses and a huge card that plays mechanical music!