Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Roses Are Like Children

Last night I was at the White Sox game watching my son line up with the boys chosen this year as the All State Team selection.  Each young man's name was announced and their image shown on the big screen in the park.  I was so proud.  So grateful to be part of his special honor.

A few minutes later, the woman in front of me turned to her friend and asked, "So what did you think of the Blagojevich set back?  You know they decided to uphold most of the charges."  I hadn't heard the news that the former governor would remain in prison and for now it doesn't look like his sentence will be shortened. 

I leaned back. The images of this past spring and summer came flooding.  So many happenings to be grateful for that I didn't make time to jot them down.   This morning the paper features a photo of Blago's wife, Patti, and young daughter, Amy, as they spoke with the press.  What haunts me is the image of his daughter leaning on her mother's shoulder as she sobs at the news. 

Is it the news about her father's fate, or is she thinking of all the events he's missed sharing with her?  All the events he won't be there for.  This truly brave young woman graduated high school without her father looking on.  She graduated from the same school that my older daughter attended.  She now attends one of the greatest universities in the world.  Kudos to her.  

It's the baby steps along the way that her father missed.  The baby steps that I just completed with my son that I'm so grateful for.  Parties leading up to high school graduation celebrate all the hard work families have put in to raising beautiful, successful young adults.  Pictures just don't capture the joy that's in the air. 

The college orientation trip with my son was the first time I actually broke down sobbing.  He left us to take his official photo I.D.  He walked away smiling and chatting with the other new students.  He never turned back.  Oh god...I was so happy for him.  He's starting his life.  

We've been working on his college dorm.  I'm not complaining.  Just happy to help him figure out what a mattress cover is. 

It's empty nest for me.  My daughters were cute.  After their brother's graduation, they played, "Dancing Queen" by Abba.  "Hey mom, no more kids."

At a graduation party, someone asked how I'm going to handle a house without children.  It's been 29 years total for me!    The reality is that they leave physically, but we all need each other. 

I think I'm going to grow roses.  I've always loved them, but I've never had the patience.  Roses are almost like children.  They're very expensive.  They need lots of love and attention.  Check out the volumes of books dedicated to growing roses in the garden section of the library!  Special soil. Special food.  Vitamins.  Thorns along the way.  Each rose is unique, beautiful.  Disappointment when they can't blossom.  But stand back and admire them when they're grown. 

Roses Are Red.
The Pinks Are A Gem.
Live Life With Gratitude
As You Stop To Smell Them.

....And Be Grateful You're Not Blago.