Friday, May 8, 2009

Random Friday Thoughts

-- This Sunday is Mother’s Day. We will appropriately honor Wife, of course. We will take her to lunch, give her gifts and she and I will go to the first of the spring/summer “Concert in the Park” series that our little suburb sponsors every year. It will be a nice day.

My dad had a lot of good qualities but gift-giving and/or honoring someone on his/her special day were not among them. I remember at least a couple of years when, before Mother’s Day, he would say, “She’s not my mother.” (Ouch). I don’t think he meant to be cruel or hurtful, but I know those words did not give my mother a warm fuzzy (although she began to reciprocate on Father’s Day). I remember one year neither my brother nor I did anything for my mom and I felt like a heel. I was still a little guy and didn’t drive but somehow I managed to get someone to take me to a drugstore that was open on Sundays (not common then) and came up with something before the day was done. My mother was appreciative but, in a lot of ways, I believe the damage had been done. I never let that happen again.

My children are old enough to take care of it on their own now, but I still prod them with gentle reminders and I do my part as well. The least I can do for the mother of my children and believe me, I am so happy to do it.

-- We are again in a transitional season in our family. This past year has been one where we once again adjusted to having Older Son in the house. He and his brother, younger by seven years, seemed to get to know each other again. When Older Son left for college they were 18 and 11, respectively, and now they’re 23 and 16. Sometimes in spite of themselves, they have ended up having a great time together and have become close friends. Wife had to once again get used to the acerbic wit and banter of two young males living in close quarters. Older Son, a college graduate now and familiar with the ways of the world (ahem), has been at times all too eager to give his brother “helpful” suggestions about his life. Younger Son, looking his brother straight in the eye now, has at times told him where to get off. The next minute they would be right back to those “how 'bout those Titans" discussions and life went right on. That’s just guys sometimes. Wife grew up with one sister and sometimes doesn’t get it.

Older Son moved out April 1. Oh we still see him plenty but the household dynamics have changed. The door had barely hit his butt on his way out before Wife was in his (former) room sprucing it up, putting a frilly quilt, dust ruffle and throw pillows on the bed and a pretty lamp and a candle on the bedside table. It really is amazing how nice she has made it look. She has, however, resigned herself to this being a gradual process as the panoramic of the Auburn football stadium still hangs on the wall above the bed and a bulletin board filled with photos of college life is nearby. (Wife said the green throw pillow brings out the green in the football field picture. OK, whatever.)

Anyway, Daughter arrives home for the summer today, having finished two years of college, and we’ll start adjusting to a new dynamic that only a young female can bring to a household. In addition, a friend of hers from Birmingham who is doing an internship in Nashville this summer will join us in a few weeks and occupy Older Son’s former room. Wife will, I am sure, start urging Older Son to finish the job and get the rest of his stuff moved out so she can get the room suitably prepared for its next occupant. What that means is that Older Son will come over and pull that stuff out of the closet and move it to our basement for safekeeping. Why clutter up his own new place?!

Wife has accurately quipped that we are now in the "revolving door" years. She could not have said it better.

-- Ralph the Dog is going to be none too happy with all of these new comings and goings. To begin with, he sleeps on Daughter’s bed now and, much to Wife’s chagrin, has burrowed a little place among the pillow shams that fits his little 20-pound body just right. Although he loves Daughter, he will not be happy to have to find a new place to sleep. And then when another person comes to live here for a while, that will not please him either.

Ralph the Dog, who is now somewhere between 11 and 12 years old, is, I believe, beginning to understand he is in his “golden” years and seems to believe that, at his age, he does not need a lot of additional stimulation. He has long looked to me as his leader and seems to be saying, “Isn’t it time for a little peace and quiet around here, friend?”

-- We have been deluged with rain here in Middle Tennessee. Grass in the yards in my neighborhood is nearing the one-foot mark as the windows for cutting have been few and far between for the past two weeks. It rains like crazy for hours, then the sun might come out for a couple but, just when things are beginning to dry, here come the rains again. It’s getting a little depressing.

-- A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there. You deserve all the pampering and praise you get on your special day. If you don’t hear from all of your offspring by about 5 p.m. be sure and call and make them feel guilty. Remind them of the pains of childbirth and lay it on thick. Then they won’t forget next year.


Maggie said...

so glad to be home! and obviously I'm not used to the non-college hours is 1:15 and I can't fall asleep. I guess now you'll know why I'll be sleeping in the morning. Ralph will be just fine...he will sleep at my feet and he'll get used to the guests. You know what they's always a party at our house in the summer...WOOO!!

Hal Johnson said...

It's a funny thing about getting older: the lives of other people just get more and more of interest. I loved this, Bob. Thanks.

Kelly said...

I loved this post, too, Bob.

Your Dad and I would have gotten along just fine about Mother's Day. I've actually said those words to my husband... "I'm not YOUR mother". Still, I'm such a curmudgeon about it my kids have to remind me that I'm still THIER mother! *sigh*

Our girls have gotten much closer now. They are 21 and 29 and can talk on the same level. It's nice seeing them form adult relationships.

Poor Ralph. Life can be hard!

quid said...

Bob --

I love this revolving door saga. My 23 YO moved back in last May right after mother's day. I had been in my new townhouse (rented, but it feels like mine) since February. He'd moved me in, but hadn't stopped by much while I got it "arranged". Suffice it to say my guest room and guest bath looked like what your wife just produced.

When the kids came for mother's day and grilled shish kebab and teased me mercilessly, son looked around (he was bunking at his sister's duplex) and I think he decided my digs were better than where he was. He managed to pick a big fight with his sister and eventually moved in here (sans dog, which he left with her).

We went thru a separation back in December when he foolishly decided to move in with a girl... only they nomaded it at a friend's house until they could get a place. They broke up two weeks later. This time, when he came back, I let him bring the dog.


Mother's day... the three of us are going to breakfast and then to the big new Ikea store to walk around. They have promised to let me pick out anything I want, as long as it is $9.99 or less (!)

Somehow, this sounds like when I used to take them shopping when they were in grade school. But the shoe is on the other foot!

Hope you all enjoy the day.

I'm looking forward to Maggie's comments on your future posts!


quid said...

Oh, the former guest room now features Bucs/Rays memorabilia all over the place, and a couple of cool posters of Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe (the kid has taste). Oh, and the never-ending baseball cap collection and a nice group of dusty dragon statues.


Bob said...

Quid, my daughter has chosen to make her identity known. Yes you can look forward to her pithy comments. She's a doll.

Yes I have a feeling we'll have lots of leaving and coming back in the years to come, both their bodies and their stuff. But I can hardly complain. When Dad died three years (when I was 48) ago I finally had to give up my room at his house and clean out the closet. I figured the house's new owners would not be that sentimental about all my old stuff.

Kelly, about 9 this morning Ralph was outside Maggie's room crying. I opened her door and let him in. He hopped up on the bed with her so I guess he is going to be willing to share if she is. He seemed to be saying, "Why should I be the one to have to give up my bed?!"

Pencil Writer said...

Emotional blackmail??? Sure it works, but is it legal? lol

Enjoyable post. And, kudos, Bob, for being the kind of husband that knows to appreciate his wife. Happy Mother's Day to her!

I know that revovling door/kids thing. The dynamics continue to change. There's more of that in the future, it seems.