Today was no exception.
Sure . . . Sam, one of my twin boys, seems bound and determined to follow in his middle sister’s footsteps. He did his major homework assignment on one of the elements of the periodic table . . . and then promptly forgot to turn it in. That creates another major loss of points. I watched tonight, standing over him like a giant lumbering toward the beanstalk, as he put it in the homework folder which I then promptly followed in his arms to his backpack. Now, God help me, if he doesn’t forget his backpack all should be well.
But all three kids are hopping and dancing about things that excite them. Noah, Sam’s twin brother, got all his work done early, turned in and ready. As a result not only does he get doughnuts and hot chocolate tomorrow (Lord help that poor teacher!) but he can wear pajamas, take a warm blanket and a stuffed animal and pillow to school. It required some minor surgery to repair a rip or two to the money, but that’s part of my job description now: monkey surgeon. They are watching a movie and getting ready for all of it.
Sam, just to be fair, gets to wear a funny hat.
Hannah gets to watch Star Wars and is learning new songs, ones that are rock songs, in her beginning band class.
Their oldest sister is in college. She’s been in one play already, done a monologue, worked on the technical crew of a dance presentation and has made contacts with people on broadway and in the TV/Film industry.
Where every day used to be a struggle, things have moved beyond the struggle.
That’s not to say we don’t work hard. I have to admit, while you can look around and see people all around you that seem to have it easy, the whole “grass is always greener” thing, that’s not always the case. Sure, I have worked with people who epitomized the line “paid exorbitant amounts of money to move their lips when they read” but most aren’t that way. No, we’ve worked, very, very, hard to get here. We’ve lost an insane amount in our lives. We’ve faced challenges that seemed more challenging than Fermat’s last theorem.
But I can say, with brutal honesty, that nothing has ever come easy in my family. That’s not a complaint, it’s just that it never stopped us. The worst thing you can tell a member of my family is “you can’t possibly hope to do that.” The reaction will be to find a way to prove you wrong. When someone told my brother he couldn’t build his own guitar, from scratch, carve the wood and all . . . he did it and still plays that guitar on stage. When I was told I couldn’t jump into one television market . . . then another; when I was told it was silly to write a novel . . . I did it. All three things I accomplished. None were easy, I worked my ass off, and I faced intense challenges along the way but I did it anyway.
When my kids were looked at with pity and sorrow and there were those – I know they were out there – who wondered how we’d make it . . . I never doubted. Hard work is no stranger for me. Caring for my kids . . . never hard work. The instant you looked at caring for your kids that way it loses the appeal. Think about it: if all you thought about was dirty diapers, cleaning baby bottles, skinned knees, whining, crying, running behind bicycles, chasing them down when they don’t want to do what they’re told . . . you’d go mad. But you never look at it that way.
So when my sons and daughter were bummed out, after all this work, that we weren’t going to see the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who in 3D in the theaters, even though I wasn’t sure we had the money, I got tickets anyway. They’ve had so much to be excited about they deserved one more thing.
After all . . . their excitement is infectious . . . and they worked for it. They worked really hard for it.