Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Handprints They Leave

My boys, that is. Let me explain. I firmly believe that the people that come and go from our lives leave evidence that they were there in their wake. Some leave us smiling, and some leave us crying. Some stay longer than others. We are born alone, and we surround ourselves with others throughout our life, and we cannot take them with us when we go.

As I flit around from class to class, campus to campus, to work and to home and back again, the evidence my John and Evan leave behind is hard to miss. I spent the largest part of my day infuriated yesterday. You see, I stopped at a carwash to clean the salt grime that winter driving leaves on a car. And I thought to myself, "Self, why don't you vacuum it out while you're here. It will save you the hassle of tangled extension cords and a cumbersome Kirby being dragged to the curb at home." So I did. And for the first time, in the glaring light of day, I actually looked at my car. (Since John's car died a while back, he has mainly been driving my car and chaufferring me to the places I need to go.) What I found pissed me off beyond belief. Scuffs from gym shoes on the backs of the seats. French fries under the floor mats in the backseat. Dirt everywhere. What was supposed to be a quick stop turned into a 2-hour cleaning frenzy. Let me remind you that this car was brand spanking new in September. A 2009. The first new car I have ever purchased for myself. I was livid, and the boys got quite the lecture about respecting the things we own. I even broke down $20,000 to Evan in his terms, explaing that I could buy x amount of Webkinz for the price of the car, thinking maybe he would realize just how expensive automobiles are, and would respect the car a little more.

So I go back to class, and am a little early. I whip out my MP3 player from my backpack and am going to listen to some tunage while I am reviewing my notes for our quiz in biology. No music. What???? Why does it not work? The battery is charged, but it keeps trying to reboot itself. I try to remember the last time I used it. Or the last time it was used, period. And I flashback to a vision of little Evan wearing it and be-bopping around the house with it. He has his own, but mine has more memory, and thus more songs. Now I need a new MP3 player.

There is evidence all over the place that the boys are here. A discarded pile of school uniforms in the laundry room, holes in the knees of the pants or stains on the shirts (Pant: $45/pair, Shirts: $25/ each). Piles of shoes that are not outgrown, but simply worn out because they don't treat them well (I don't buy them the cheapies, either). Dirty dishes piled on the counter. Litlle pastel colored Post-It's all over my desk because the little one thinks they are "make-your-own" stickers. Money missing from my purse because someone, at some time, removed it for something they needed. It would seem that my boys don't leave handprints. They leave a path of destruction.

But wait...

This is the same little boy who came up to me early this morning and hugged my neck, telling me how I am the best Mommy he has ever had (LOL!). The one who gives me sloppy kisses on the cheek and presents to me Crayola masterpieces and macaroni sculptures, that I accept with such glee that you would be convinced that they are from Van Gogh. The one whose rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" would have given Beethoven a run for his money.

This is the man who looks deep into my eyes and tells me how convinced he is that I can do this when I am doubting myself the most. The one who kept his hand on my leg and wore lead the entire time I was getting head scans done for a brain tumor, just to assure me that he was there, that he was not leaving me. The one who cried with me when the doctors told me to consider aborting our child who was sure to be too premature to survive.

My life with these boys is messy. And expensive.That's a definite. Yes, they leave paths of destruction through it all. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world, truth be told. These are all such small prices for the joy they can bring to my life.

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