Sunday, June 12, 2016

thirty-seven years of john

 By surprise, we got to spend the whole day with you, and it was a summer day about as perfect as they ever are, hot sun, fresh breeze, water crisp and blue.

 This is a storyline happening here where the kid in the blue shirt is instructing the other child about "Fart Power," and did she want a shield or did she just want to use her hand?

Hallucinations were also mentioned.

From the farts or the power?  That was unclear.  Dannell and I just looked at each other.

 Sometimes she plays with her cousins and she is in charge. That's when they play Office or Family or Laundry.

Other times the boys are in charge of the storyline and we get things like Fart Power.

Anyway, things are changing at the lake in ways unexpected and also good.

Change is just weird and you go with it, and in a little while it's normal.

Here were are, Johann, back in the first summer of your life, when we were all kids getting to know each other.  I was sure every tear you shed, every tummy ache, every frustrating moment you experienced was because I was inept.

If only you had a mother who knew what in the heck she was doing, your life would be perfect.

Later I realized that isn't it, really.    Babies are babies, and inexperienced parents always take everything personally.

But I sure did love you, and you were also fond of me.  And grace happened.  Plenty of grace.

 A bit from something I wrote about 15 years ago:

"But those nights—I really took on that whole sleep situation as a personal cause.   It was my responsibility to get that tiny little child to sleep.  And not just to sleep: To sleep, all night, in a crib, way across the room.  It’s ludicrous to me now!  What a futile endeavor!  Here was a girl (me), dizzy with exhaustion, walking in a shaft of light from the hallway, back and forth, back and forth, patting the bottom of this darling, intelligent little bit of a guy who really wanted to just be on his mom.  We had a daughter who talked very early and this is how she referred to it, in completely blunt terms:  “I wanna be on you.”  She spoke for all babies, including her big brother."

Here's one you and Dannell some years back:

You and Dan, early 80's, having decorated the bouncy horse.

Here it is:  What you don't really know during those crazy squirrel years is this:  You are raising your best friends.

The fighting and so forth, the laundry and cooking and the yelling you all do and the insanely bizarre conversations and situations?

They're going to grow up to be about the most lovely people you've ever known.

I look at you as a 12 year old with Baby Jay on your lap and Kirsten, Heidi, and Dan beside you, and how could we ever have imagined the spectacular people this quintet grew up to be? 

Now we're lucky watching all your kids grow and my mother has said too: what exceptionally kind parents you all are, and the sense of humor and respect you bring to the way you raise your families.

Here's to another year John, of us knowing how lucky we are to be your parents, and how lucky all your siblings, kids, wife, nieces and nephews, grandparents are--the whole family.

Happy Birthday Buddy.

With love for always, Mom and Dad and Everybody

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