Thursday, September 17, 2009
Love Notes from a 7 Year Old Boy
(My son, Gabe, the romantic.... all grown up now walking on the Oregon beach with the love of his life, Aleks.)
I've been cleaning out old files this week, years of them. Even after a gloriously happy second marriage; I've had a very tough time looking at old photo albums or reading stories from the books I'd written from the years of my first marriage. It hurt too badly to open the pages of my past life. The edges around my heart were still too raw.
For whatever reason -- time's passing, or my heart healing -- it seems, now is the time to sort through what feels like Life #1 with the sort of benevolent distance I've been waiting years to feel.
To my surprise, I am actually having fun... often laughing aloud! Looking through the files has reminded me that all was not pain, there were great moments of joy and many of those moments came from my kids.
Gabe, the youngest of four, was so funny that he actually inspired me to start writing down his take on life which lead to a book called Worms in My Tea, inspired by a day when Gabe -- ever the critter loving little boy - deposited a couple of wringly worms in my glass of iced tea. Unknowingly, I drank the tea and then was horrified to spot two intertwined, slimey critters among the ice cubes at the bottom. Gabe, about age 4, was beaming. "See, how they are huggin' and huggin' each other?" he asked, obviously pleased with this gift he'd shared with his smiling, gagging, mom.
Nobody saw things quite like Gabe did. From a young age he was a ponderer of deep thoughts. ("Does God have hair in his nose?") And he was a romantic from the day he entered first grade and noticed the opposite sex. I found, in the stack of memories, an article I'd written from 3 notes found around Valentine's Day -- written by Gabe, in first grade phoenetic spelling.
The heartfelt sincerity, of this one, to his new little 7 year old "Valentine" was palpable, even spiritual:
"I love you more than dimmines. Yur more preshus than baby Jesus lyin in a manjer with shelperds watching over.
P.S. its all true"
Gabe saved his dimes and quarters to buy his new girl a white fluffy teddy bear and when she thanked him, he was so touched, he wrote her back. I found this note typed on my computer.
"I'm glad you liked you're teddeybear. i rote a rime for you it goe'es like this
I think you'r grandey
I think you'r handy & I like to give canddey.
I know it's short but you know I love you & that's all that matter's.
Gabe's never been one to mince words; he has always just laid his heart and thoughts out there, telling it like it is. He is still like this today. Like Popeye, "he ams what he ams." I've never had to guess what mood Gabe is in, or what thoughts are flitting through his mind. His mind and his every mood is transparent as glass, which has been challenging at times -- but I wouldn't change this quality of his for anything.
Flipping deeper into the file, I found another note. Apparently Gabe's teacher had given the class a special Valentine's Day assignment and Gabe, in his mater of fact Texas style, complied.
"I'm polst to tell you good things about Valentims. They are giving presents becouse it's fun to watch them open it. I usually give my friends stufft bears & chocklets. The party's are fun beouse we get cookies, candy, Sprite & I can be with my friends.
I just flat out like Vallentines."
Today, that seven year old boy has morphed into a handsome young man of almost 23! He's got a fabulous girl, Aleks, who has stolen his heart ... and it is easy to see that they flat-out love each other. In .fact, I think he loves her even more than "dimmines."
It thrills my heart to know that Gabe has found a home for his heart in Aleks. In fact, that all of my children have found wonderful life mates.
When Greg asked me to marry him, I'll never forget my father (who has been in love with my mother for 53 years) hugged me and said, "I am so happy for you, Becky. There simply is no greater joy in life than to experience true love."
My dad was right. And one of the deepest joys of my heart is to see my kids happily in love. Because, to quote a 7 year old philosopher: "That's all that matters."
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." George Sand