Elliott brought the above Mother’s Day card home from pre-school this week for Katie. He obviously had some help writing the answers. That is not Elliott’s handwriting. And when the response to the first question is my mom is 14 years old, you can assume the answers were not censored.
So to clarify a few things:
Katie is not 14. It is true I married a younger woman, just not that young. In fact, Elliott is closer to 14 than Katie. I am now fully engaged in a panic attack thinking of Elliott as a 14 year old.
Answer two. If you look at the portrait that Elliott drew of Katie, you might be hoping he didn’t draw this based on a memory of the two of them playing together. He is obviously too young to understand that you don’t get tricked into answering questions that make you identify a point during any woman’s day or life when she looks prettier than she did or will. We’ll work on that one before he turns 14.
Answer three. If I were ever forced to come up with a list of the 2 million things I think Katie most likes to make, airplanes would not show up on that list. Elliott clearly knows something I don’t. Somewhere along the way they had an airplane making session that left quite an impression.
My mom always says: “Good job eating dinner.” I about fell to the ground when I read this one. Elliott, you don’t eat dinner. Remember. You don’t like food, especially when it comes in bulk proportions like meals. I get where he is coming from on this one, though. Because on the two or three occasions in his life when Elliott has eaten dinner, we have quickly thrown together awards ceremonies that make the Academy Awards look like a day at the library.
The last one, my mom is funny when she laughs – I couldn’t agree with you more little buddy.
We go out of our way to fill our house with laughter, and there is no doubt the boys have a mama who helps lead that charge. There is no clearer indication of the success of this mission than Ian breaking into one of his deep, lingering laughs. It is by far the greatest laugh I have ever heard. Sometimes you wonder if he’ll ever stop. He usually does, just seconds before we do rock, paper, scissors to see who will change his underwear.
Ian has this serious side as well. He was in the back yard playing this week when I heard him yelling for me. The daddy chant I call it. So when I finally responded, I found Ian standing, looking very intently into the seat of his swing. “This bug isn’t moving daddy,” he said. I knew Ian well enough to have no clue whether he was concerned that this dead bug was borrowing his swing, or that the thing died before he could tell it good-bye. Katie has passed on her love of nature to both of the boys, and Ian embraces it. In the middle of a recent foot race down the sidewalk with Elliott, Ian stopped dead in his tracks to look at a worm that had about as much movement left in it as the bug resting in his swing. Elliott wouldn’t have forfeited victory if an elephant had been lying on the sidewalk, let alone a dead worm.
After the victory celebration, though, Elliott would be begging his mama to help him spell worm, and look it up in books to learn everything he could about a worm, and to draw a worm - because you now know that Elliott is quite the artist. And no matter how tired mama is, she’ll do all of those things.
I believe that mothers are the last remaining thread holding our families together. So many things are changing about the dynamics of a family, mainly who and what makes up a family, and who has what it takes to live up to the responsibility of remaining a part of that family, but a mother’s love is constant. I believe that because I see my wife’s love look like that of my own mom’s and Katie’s mom, and that of my grandmothers’ before. When things get challenging, especially when it comes to the children, mom is there.
I have an awesome wife. I thank God for that every day.
But I am certain that one day Elliott and Ian will recognize that I do have flaws in my life. They will begin to question how on earth their dad latched on to the perfect wife, the perfect mom. They may even quietly, and I am sure in good humor, call it a miracle. I know I sure do. I hope on that day they too will give God all the thanks he so deserves for making their mom the thread that holds our house together.