God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Joy is a Boy

OK—it is probably nobody’s dream to be parenting in retirement—it certainly wasn’t ours. I clearly remember saying that such a thing would never,never happen to us. The empty nest fit us and the plans we had for our golden years quite well, thank you. But then—life happens, doesn’t it?

Now it is hard to imagine life without Casey and the joy and pleasure we find in him. Of course, there are days when I think of friends who don’t need to get an 8 year old off to school each morning; who can travel at will; who can have a leisurely restaurant meal any night they so choose; who don’t find themselves with a new peer group 30 years younger than they—in other words, they live lives appropriate to their age. But, these are fleeting thoughts as they can not lead anywhere good, and they deny the truth that through Casey we have a pleasure denied to our friends.

Yesterday I chuckled as I checked his room—it is so boy. When our children were growing up, there were 4 of them, I worked, and life was often consumed by the responsibilities of that period of life--rushing, rushing, rushing. Now, with Casey, I realize just how many things I missed and let pass by—not realizing the pleasure they bring. Or maybe—it takes perspective brought by the experience of age to fully appreciate the simplicity and the Tom Sawyer in an eight year old's mind.

Casey has a collection of “important” things that he is saving for a significant purpose. There is the plastic tear off part of the milk carton lid—a true treasure, the metal ring from the top of a soda can, innumerable colorful spoons that accompanied innumerable gelato cones, ice cream sticks with traces of chocolate still clinging, box tops, scraps of paper with imagined Chinese writing—products of boredom in school, broken toy pieces and then some indistinguishable/unidentifiable “things.”

I ask Casey, “Why do you have these” as I begin gathering them up. Then I see the horrified expression on his face registering fear that his treasures are on the way to the trash. That is when he explains that he may need them and he likes them and they are important. So—what can I do but put them back in their carefully arranged places as the smile inside me finds it way to the outside.

God is giving me a chance to savor what I had missed when there were four and I was too busy. He is giving me the opportunity to encourage this child's mind to be a child. I can enjoy his treasures with him and know that they are not ready for recycling--that they have a much more important purpose. I can thank God that He found a purpose for my "golden years" far greater than I had dreamed.

Yes, joy is a boy called Casey.


Laurie said...

what a joy to read this today - thank you Jane!

Jane said...

Thank You!

Jerry said...

Jane - that was a beautiful post! I think that many moms would argue with it (I know mine would) but if they are lucky they do realize eventually that sons are truly interesting creatures! *smile*

Tina said...

You made my cry this morning...thank you for the lovely images and helping me to think of my "little" boy who is 18 and downstairs sleeping.