Life Lessons

It’s like learning to ride a bike, you never forget how.  I have to believe this is true.  For my child who is actually currently learning how to ride a two-wheeler and for myself, as I struggle to get back to my writing stride.

Recently, my Grandmother passed away.  I have felt a strong surge of writers block for a long time now and when this event occurred, it seemed to push me back even further.  But just like most times in my life, I can appreciate a challenge.  So here I sit in my bedroom with words jumbled in my head and on the page in front of me.

I have so many thoughts and memories about my dear Grandmother that I would like to write about but have been unsure how.  I think it would mean she really is gone.  I believe denial is a good thing sometimes.  I have thought about writing a book about her or possibly about all of the strong women in my life and what I have learned from them.  Sometimes I stop and tell myself I am crazy and sometimes I stop and tell myself it’s the crazy that keeps me motivated.  There are moments I have overwhelming emotional attacks and cannot seem to grasp the reality that this woman, this family staple in my life is really not on this earth anymore.  It’s so difficult for me to imagine such simple things disappearing from my world; the sound of her sweetness on the other end of the phone each week, her soft kisses, her hands on my face, her strong advice, the light of her smile, her positive outlook and happy attitude….  And so we go on with life without her here with us in person.  We move forward and boil our corn on the cob for seven minutes, add a dash of sugar to our tomato sauce and smile as much as we can.  And most of all, we laugh and enjoy life while we can because that is what she tried to do and would want us to do now.  We can carry on her memory and keep her spirit alive by carrying on all she has taught us.

So as I help my child to ride a two-wheeler bike, I am reminded of how I am teaching him something that he will have forever.  I taught him how to steer and pedal and now it’s all about balance and momentum.  He is not so sure of himself yet but I am there for him, holding on, not letting go unless I let him know I am.  His trust in me is strong and we have had so much fun together.  I am excited and honored to be a part of this monumental stage of his life.

After helping my children speak, crawl and walk, I realized there are so many more exciting milestones ahead.  Teaching my children about real life and being allowed into their inquisitive minds is pretty amazing.  Answering their well thought-out questions and listening to the gears in their minds work when they ask things like:

“I don’t understand why my friends say they don’t like to kiss girls, but then I see them kiss their Mommy.” and “What happens if we all get old and then everyone in Connecticut dies?”

Mind you, I am not a life expert or child psychologist able to provide my children with the most appropriate and kid friendly responses.  But I am humbled by the chance God has given me as a Mother to try.

My Grandmother once told me that kids will always mimic their parents.  “You can’t help it.  It’s in you, it’s got to come out somewhere.”  So I can only hope that my children will absorb my determination and will remember all that I have tried to teach them.

And so, I take a moment to recall some of the lessons I have learned from my own parents along the way and reach deep to remember some of the answers they once told me.  It is through some of those life lessons I was taught that I am able to empathize with my children as they experience feelings of sadness and disappointment and celebrate with them when they are excited and happy.

As I continue to steer and pedal my way through my life, I still try to balance the happy, the sad, the stress and the fun and not lose my momentum.  And even though we are now minus the matriarch of our larger family, we can lean on each other if we lose our balance.  I guess I should not give up so easily when the words do not just flow right onto the white space.  I should just put my helmet back on and try again.

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