“我早上醒来一个骄傲的小男孩ing out a cup of coffee. The coffee was hot and sugary, but not nearly as sweet as his smile. It is impossible to grasp and even more difficult to explain that yesterday he was a tiny baby and today, he is making his mommy coffee for Valentine’s Day. Once again, as my groggy eyes gazed upon his face and my hands reached out to take my favorite mug, my heart burst into a trillion pieces.
I remember the day he was born with crystal clear detail. My blue hospital nightgown. The pink-walled room. The tiny little being with dark hair attached firmly to my breast. In the wee hours of the night, I called the nurse for more ice, refused any pain medication which might make me sleepy, and stared at him all night long while my husband snored loudly in the chair beside me. I have been gifted with two miracles in life and this boy is my first.
In France, they call seven the Age of Reasoning and as we close in on that number, I understand why.
The other day one of my son’s friends, who has been spending a lot of time at our house, called him ‘Rich Boy.’ At the time, my son really didn’t have much to say about it, but at bedtime, as is his nature, something was on his mind that he needed help sorting out. ‘Mommy, why was Charlie calling me Rich Boy?’
Why did Charlie call you Rich Boy?
My mind flashes back to a couple of months ago when my mother and I were folding laundry and she looked up and said, ‘Do you realize your daughter has about 20 pairs of underwear and a multitude of pajamas?’ When I began to get defensive, she just looked at me with that empathetic gaze only mothers have. ‘I understand, honey.’ Watermelon basket.
When I was growing up, in the middle of nowhere Alaska, I didn’t know my family was poor until I was about 10. Alaska, being the unique place it is, makes like-minded people out of communities pretty quickly. We all had warm clothes because they were necessary for survival. We all had guns and fishing poles because, again, it was necessary for survival. Not all of us had electricity and running water, but that just added to the adventure of being Alaskan. Everyone went camping over summer break and I don’t think I ever saw a family photo of Disneyland until I was well into my teenage years. My favorite part of Christmas wasn’t the chocolate or the doll, but the tangerine in the toe of my stocking. If another child had more than or less than me, I didn’t realize it… until February 14, 1989.
我们默默地开车去了商店，当我跑到新鲜的水果区时，我的妈妈消失了几个过道。当她回来时，我正试图将西瓜纳入一个悬挂秤。当她大喊我的名字时，我冻结了，西瓜从闪亮的秤上滑落，撞到地板上，陷入了一堆湿滑的甜美，甜美的烂摊子。我妈妈的眼睛立刻流着眼泪，我很震惊地以为她对我不高兴。When a clerk came over with a mop, she had a private talk with my mama and said for her ‘not to worry about it.’ We made our way to the cashier and left with two cans of fruit cocktail and a box of Dream Whip.
It was only later I found out she had discovered the pink mess in my backpack and had never said anything to me about my lie.
I have reflected back on that day often since becoming a mother.
很难解释一下，作为母亲，我们如何直接对孩子有一条直线。如果他们受伤，我们会感觉到。如果他们很高兴，我们会感觉到。它们是我们身体上几英尺四处走动的几乎没有的延伸。令人心碎。所有的。好。坏。快乐。悲伤。 I wish someone would have warned me motherhood equals being in a constant mess of tears. But even if they had, I wouldn’t have understood it until this little boy made me one.
I am guessing this is a standard trait of motherhood because if it wasn’t, then we wouldn’t work as hard as we do to make their worlds as perfect as possible and there would be no such thing as mom guilt (remember life without that?). We know one day, they will grow up. We know one day, they will discover the world is not perfect, people can be downright evil, and failure is a part of reaching success. Despite everything we do, they will find out that death is real and unpreventable. They will struggle with faith and wonder who and what God is.
But while they are little, we try so hard to keep them in a bubble, build up their foundation, and shape their self-esteem as solidly as we can because as they grow, the bubble gets harder and harder to maintain. In my experience, and this is a blessing, the bubble hasn’t burst all at one time. It is slowly being deflated as my little boy experiences outside influences and grapples with making sense of them. As each day progresses, I find myself trying to find the balance between protecting him and teaching him how to protect himself.
You see, the answer to my son’s question is so much more complicated than he can comprehend at almost seven, but still six. While appreciating how resourceful I am because of my childhood (I can wear the same outfit five times in a row and you will never know it), I want, more than anything, to give my children watermelon baskets, even if that means sometimes I must turn the fruit cocktail salad into the watermelon basket.
As he gazed expectantly and patiently into my eyes, I took a moment to look around his room. It is painted blue, a color he chose and we purchased from Lowes with a gift card. He has a variety of maps on the wall. The large one that hangs over his bed was given to me by Stephane our first Christmas together while I was still law school. The one that hangs over his dresser is actually a brochure for the Paris Metro. He has two framed pictures of trains we found when we converted a frame shop into a restaurant before he was born. He has a collage of brightly colored pictures his sister drew for him, which are stuck to the wall with patterned tape. The blanket on his bed was my stepson’s when he was a child and the bed itself was purchased from a thrift store. The dresser, which conveniently appears to match the bed, was given to me for a volunteering stint I did. Throw all of these items together and add some Spiderman curtains, and it is one heck of a little boy’s room.
Why did Charlie call you Rich Boy?
In that same conversation where my mother mentioned how many pairs of underwear my daughter had, she also inquired about my friend, Claire, and whether we had any plans to visit her on our upcoming trip. Claire has resources in life other people can only dream about. When I told her I didn’t think so, she asked why and after muttering a few plausible excuses, I finally came clean,
‘Because I am afraid when we walk into her ginormous house and my son sees all that she has, he will say he wishes he lived there and if he does that, it might kill me.’
I cast my eyes down to the floor. ‘Because I cannot provide him with private chefs and a maid and a chauffeur and a jet right at this moment. I don’t want him to envy someone’s life when we have worked so hard to provide him with this life.’
Why did Charlie call you Rich Boy?
Looking down into that beautiful face I have watched grow from babyhood into toddlerhood and now rests firmly in (little) boyhood, I spoke softly:
‘Buddy, ‘rich’ can mean many different things. A person can be ‘rich’ because they have a lot of money in their bank account, but a dessert can also be ‘rich’ because it is so full of flavor and perfectly satisfying. We are rich like dessert because our life is full of flavor. We have more than some and less than others, but what you need to know is there will always be people who have more than you in life and those who have less than you in life. There will always be someone who has a cooler bike and better hair and there will always be someone who thinks you have nicer shoes and prettier eyes. What is most important is that we do not waste our time wishing we had what others have but being grateful for what is right in front of us. We are so blessed, my son, in ways you cannot fathom right now, but will understand the more and more you grow inside and out. Just being American makes us very very lucky. Count your blessings, my love, and know I am teaching you to carve a watermelon basket.’
But that explanation can wait. Like I said, he is still six, not seven.”
This story was submitted tobeplay网络一直不畅经过Jaci Ohayon科罗拉多州。在Instagram上关注她here。并访问她的网站here。你有类似的经历吗？我们想听听您的重要旅程。提交自己的故事这里。Be sure to订阅to our free email newsletter for our best stories, andYouTube为了我们最好的视频。
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