-- 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.