Sons & Daughters

I went to lunch with my oldest son last week, heard about a job he might get, about the call he hopes for, ate tacos, talked basketball, family, dogs, plans for summer, inside my head I fight my worries and work on a poker face. He is twenty-three.

When I was a new parent, I imagined that my worries for children would have a downhill scale, I would see that helpless infant grow taller and my concerns become smaller until the day they walked out into the world, strong and ready. I was a fool. Worry is always.

We have four kids and I think that they get stronger every day, so why do I still worry so much? I have lost most of my illusions about control, but still push for as much influence as I can get over the randomness of life. Worry is the weaker side of love.

What do they need? How can we help them get it?

The only two things I miss about my own twenties are confidence and good knees. Of course, knee replacement surgery is available. I am pretty sure that my confidence will never return to its former glory. Confidence was a sky full of soap bubble clouds, chased into the fade by wind and rain. All that’s left is a willingness to fight and a growing collection of fumbling strategies.

Lunches, holidays, birthdays, the occasional movie or basketball game. Those are the best, those moments when I can see their smiles and hopes, hear their stories, hear them laugh, the room alive with the noise, food, sarcasm, jokes, complaints, gossip, music, and, and maybe I should call Mom and Dad.

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3 thoughts on “Sons & Daughters

  1. Mark,

    I love this. Drema mentioned your essay on the phone moments ago (sorry I missed Soup today). You hit the nail on the head about WORRY. I’ve always been a worrier, but I swear I get worse every year, especially when it comes to my kids. Love your writing and you always get to the truth of things. As I read, I smiled to myself because I could also “hear” your voice. Love you new blog. Thanks for including me.

    Kathleen 🙂

  2. Charming! I love that your posts are short — am using mine to practice saying something in under 100,000 words. (Probably not an issue for a poet). And yeah, it does give you a chance to write something different from what you’d normally do.

  3. You’re inspiration! First, because you’re slogging through a manuscript. Slog is what it feels like. Secondly, because you’ve created a blog. I’m a computer nunu so a blog is impressive. Thanks for including me.

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