a life well lived

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Family (be warned ~ a self-indulgent posting) 03/01/00

I guess it is not surprising that my family, my children, are in my thoughts almost constantly these days.  I remember Pete holding the newborn Peter and saying, "I feel like I have the whole world in my arms."  Mike's 2/11 birth, which kept me in the hospital over Valentine's Day and Pete bringing both of us red tulips on 2/14.  Mim, our first girl.  Ian's birth.  Elsa's.  It seems such a short time ago.

We are a family of very different and very strong individuals.  As John, an only child himself, puts it, the four surviving children seem to come from four separate gene pools.  I could boot myself at times for trying - without success - to look like  an "ideal", like-minded family.  I felt threatened by  "divisiveness" instead of celebrating our family's diversity.

I finally, as they say, "get it."   As I waited for my tests yesterday and again today, I tried to think of what one special gift from each of my children stands out in my mind:

  • Peter showed us the importance of openness and honesty;
  • Mike's travels opened the world to our family; 
  • Mim's adventures - heading out to California for workshop classes at Pasadena Playhouse, her summer in the '60s doing theater workshop at Greenwich Village's famous Circle in the Square, her trips to Hawaii and Ireland, her stints at rural Berry College in Georgia and at the
  • University of Houston, getting her undergraduate degree commuting from BA to night school at NYU - added dash & sophistication; 
  • Ian taught how unpredictable life can be; 
  • Elsa played the family Pied Piper, leading us (especially me) astray to NYC, Williamsburg,  Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, DisneyWorld and many points in between.

Which quality stands out in my mind about each of my children?

  • Peter's personal image and love of being a devoted father, which is first and foremost in his heart
  • Mike's ease with his fellow humans
  • Kerry's compassion for and capacity to help the women she counsels, giving them hope in darkness
  • Mim's ability to give 100% of herself to whatever cause or people she holds dear
  • Ian's love of nature and all of God's creatures
  • Elsa's unshakeable belief in the possible, no matter what the odds
  • John's sense of fair play

Once I stopped trying to redesign who my children are and learned to respect them instead, I was free to see lucky I am to have complex children who do not pull their punches.  Because each of them is a strong, outspoken individual,  I can see myself as an individual who is part of an incredible family.

I have a big day tomorrow, so am heading to bed early.  Be back with you tomorrow night. 

Nite-nite and God bless ~ Nan (aka Kay Lockhart)

No comments:

Post a Comment