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Walking around with Nate

Tonight, in the cold air, Nathan and I went for a long walk to nowhere special only to get outside for a little bit and hang out together. We talked about things like school, my trip coming up, friends of his and the friends at his old school that he missed sometimes.

I started thinking about how he had his whole life ahead of him and what fun things he could do along the way. He wanted to know if he could come on my trip with me. I told him he was too little to go so far away, but someday I would take him if he wanted to go later.

“Is grandma and grandpa dead”?

Shocked for a moment. I asked why he would ask such a question. He says he hasn’t seen them in a long time and thought they might have died. He was referring, of course, to my father and Paula’s mother. He’s never really had the pleasure of meeting much of Paula’s father so he wasn’t really missed.

A few weeks back, after having a perfectly good evening together, while being tucked in bed, Nathan becomes real sad and begins to cry, He asked another question I thought very odd.

“What if you and momma were to die”?

My five-year-old boy suddenly out of the blue, had the conception of mortality and he didn’t care for its implications one bit. He was in tears and very sad.

I tell him there is nothing to worry about; momma and I were going to be around for a long time. After letting that sink in, he felt better. I tickled the crap out of him just in case there were any lingering thoughts on it.

Now, my first response to the boy was about to be “mom and I are never going to die” but that’s not entirely true, is it? Someday, and this is the best scenario, Nathan will have to bury both of us. A bit humbling when you think about it.

While I am contemplating all that, I start to get angry all over again at an old wound. I wanted to pick up the phone and call my father, I wanted to call Paula’s father as well as her mother and just lay some smack into their selfish asses. How dare you not concern yourself with being a part of your grandchild’s life, no matter what the other factors are between us. Are you such petty jackasses that it doesn’t bother you? Do you not care?

I wanted to call my mom and thank her, that through all of the issues we have been working through, through all of the things she has endured, she has always tried to stay a part of Nathan’s life.

I don’t know if that little piece of me will ever stop being angry. I can let it go but it surfaces up again often enough to not let it go completely away.

Thank you mom, for being a good grandmother to my son. Thank you Pam, and Gary and all the extended family for helping to fill up a life. I don’t say thank you nearly enough.

After the walk we went inside and I tickled the crap out of him again.

He hates that.

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“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug, and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter. This is what we'd forgotten, the simplest things.”