In college, I studied math and computer science. Your dad was born during finals week, December 1992. I was 21. When spring came, and the weather warmed up, he and I spent most afternoons on in a small cubby on the SW corner on the second floor of the university's library. I worked on calculus problems while he napped in his stroller
Sometimes a neighbor would keep and him for a few hours, and on those days I'd walk instead to the M-Shop to write. This was back in the day Sweetie when computers were just coming on the scene, so everything was written long-hand in my spiral notebook. (Isn't it hard to imagine a world without Google?)
I was convinced I'd pen an ever-so-slightly-embellished memoir about spending my college years in the thick of marriage and motherhood. I didn't finish a book, but I did write at my favorite table as often as I could. Convinced this would be the day a bit of coolness from all of the people around me would settle into my soul and sprout a brilliant ..
work of literature
If I walked the long way through the park, there was one hill in particular that seemed worse than others.
It certainly wasn't for the faint of calves. It felt high and long and grueling, with just enough incline and not nearly enough ways to talk myself out of the route. Going around meant adding extra time to my walking commute, and the only thing I hated worse (at the time) than exercise was
exercise that took a long time
So every day I'd put one foot in front of the other, cheeks flushed, head down, fists clenched. My hair would get sweaty, and I'd get down on myself for gaining nearly a hundred pounds(!) while I was pregnant, or my tummy for craving so much cheese the night before
The reality was the journey wasn't that far, nor the hill that high, and before I knew it, I'd arrived.
And Sam, it would hit me every time. The beauty of campus in the spring, the swans on Lake Laverne, beautiful flowering trees, geese parents stopping traffic while their goslings crossed the road. It didn't take long before I'd rescinded my woe-is-me thoughts and instead shifted my focus toward
It takes a change of perspective to notice this about ourselves.
Our bad habits of blaming life, and cheese, and writing spot locations. It takes the company of something larger than us, beauty so big that we find our very eyes and bodies and spirits caught up in that which lies before us. And sometimes it takes a grueling hill to see that our valleys are little more than inconveniences nestled between truly
great and beautiful moments
One day sweet one, one day your parents too will tell you stories that you probably won't believe
When I visited this Mother's Day weekend, we spent the afternoon cooking together. (Your dad is a whale of a cook) While you napped, we shared steaming hot bowls of miso soup, and they filled me in on a few I'd never heard.
They too told of seasons when they were quick to blame circumstances: they'd lost <everything>, couldn't get a job, couldn't catch a break, couldn't find a place to live, didn't feel supported or understood. Walking and walking with cheeks flushed, head down, fists clenched
Sam, did you know that they've been together since the sixth grade(?!)
During all of these years, they've been through many valleys and have always reached the top of the hills together. And when they do, they shake their heads at themselves for ever doubting their strength
One day you'll understand, this stage is a hard one. Finding your sea legs in life is no small thing, especially with the demands of school and work and a little guy underfoot. But it's never long before their focus shifts to how grateful they are, mostly for you
They're choosing to be grateful for your high energy, that I'm sure will come in handy one day when they'll need their driveway shoveled. Gratitude for the strong will you'll call upon when peer pressure arrives, and things start to look hard
Gratitude for your endurance, especially at 2 am. It will come in handy one day as you walk up your own hills. When you overcome your own fears and blame inconveniences, to witness something beautiful. Something beyond your wildest imaginations; a life that awaits you
And Sam, you might need a little guidance getting there, and that's where we come in
Consider this letter the official blueprint. Construction TBD
xoxo .. Grandma