For over a week, it’s been on my to-do list to write about Jay’s birthday – or anything really. I’ve been stalling.
His birthday was simple, but awesome. The cupcakes and party hats and balloons and presents made him very happy. So happy that he wore the party hat for 4 straight days including to school and the balloons – although somewhat deflated – are still hanging out in our living room. The yo-yo that he asked for and got, still goes everywhere with him and the Perry the Platypus stuffed animal has spent every night since January 10th cuddled up with either Ace or Jay. That platypus is living the good life.
When told “Happy Birthday” Jay said “Thank you” and when asked how old he is, he will say “Six“. These are new things that he learned on the morning of his birthday. That it only took him about 5 minutes to master the correct responses is news in and of itself.
There are people who you see or speak with occasionally or in passing and when they say “Hi, how are you?” Or “How are the boys?” You give the generic answer of “Hey, we are good. The kids are doing well. How are you?”
And while you ask the question, you don’t really expect them to go into too much detail. You expect the same answer you gave them. “Everything’s fine.”
Then there are the people who even if you don’t see them or talk to them everyday, when they ask how you are, you know they are looking for the truth. These are the people to whom you can say things like “Well, last week was tough.” Or “I’m totally stressed out and I need a break.”
A couple days ago one of those people who I tell the truth to sent me a text message asking me how the boys were doing. I paused trying to think of what my response would be. Know what I wrote?
“The boys are doing well. No news. Things have been easier with them lately than they have been in a long time.”
I looked at those words for a while … I soaked them in … I wanted to make sure they were real.
I have been seeing it everywhere.
I’ll be on the phone for a while and my friend on the other line will say: “I’m happy you got some alone time.” When I say “Oh, I’m not alone the kids are here. They’re playing in the next room” – I see it.
When I can be in the living room on a Sunday morning writing a blog post while the boys are contentedly playing together – I see it.
When Jay and I go to pick up Ace from the Boys & Girls club and Jay sees one of his classmates and says “It’s Josiah” and then walks over to him where the boys exchange hellos – I see it. Man do I see it.
A part of the reason I haven’t written before is that I feel a little guilty about all this. I know other people are having a hard time with their kids now. I wish if everyone could feel some relief from their hurts and stresses. I wish if just by wishing it, I could make it so. I don’t deserve this bit of peace or seeing this amount of progress anymore than anyone else.
While I’m hoping for and praying for all my online friends and their children to experience some easing of what pains them – this is where we are.
Overall life isn’t easy. Life is busy. There are still bills to pay and there’s still homework to do and there are always Doritos crumbs on my floor and popcorn crumbs in my couch. We have our bumps and our downs and our setbacks and our messes but the truth is that my boys are doing well and that opens me up to deal with everything else with a good attitude which I think then helps my boys to keep doing well.