Thursday, February 7, 2013

Being Glad it Happened

One of the tough things about writing a blog, or writing in general, is getting edited.

Writers, if I can include myself in the group, are a sensitive bunch. No matter what we say, we want people to like our words. We put ourselves out there and rejection, no matter how small it might be, is feared.
The cup is always half empty in his
world - provided you've fed him
his bottle. 

After more than a decade of having professors, colleagues, editors, publishers and readers rip my words to shreds, I’ve developed a thicker skin. It was with all of these experiences in mind that I recently asked Mrs. Blackwell her thoughts on the state of this blog.

Naturally she had an opinion. She took a moment, gathered her diplomatic instincts, and offered a measured, thoughtful response.

 “I like it,” she said. “But….”

To paraphrase my wife, the long and the short of it was that many of my posts seem to be taking on the tone of a guy who was sad to see his son growing up.

Crawling. Eating. Talking. Fun developments were all met with a sigh, and a less-than-enthusiastic resolution that, “I wish the boy would slow down and/or stop growing.”

Once I was done breaking dishes and throwing the furniture, I began to absorb her observation.

And, upon this more deliberate consideration, I thought she had a point. 

There’s much to enjoy about having a kid. I spend a lot of my time — though not as much as I’d like — with my son on my lap, bouncing, tossing, chatting and laughing.

Mrs. Blackwell has other friends she sees
when she's seeks blind optimism.
The bad times, if you can call them that, are always fleeting. He can be in the throws of a complete meltdown crying, with tears and all manner of wetness covering his face but the moment he sees the picture of flowers hanging in our kitchen, he starts to laugh.

He might be tired, but he can still find the energy to occasionally laugh at the sight of his feet.

Of course, he hasn’t always done these cute things. For the first few months of his life, he didn’t do much of anything except for sleep in three-hour increments and fill diapers.

I can't help but notice that I don't yearn for those days. 

But, being that he’s all of nine months old, it’s not like I’ve had a great deal of time to get used to anything. 

We're in the middle of a fun phase of development. (I'm told others are less fun. See: ages 13-17.)

Perhaps I fell into the trap of looking toward perceived storm clouds ahead instead of enjoying the sunny skies above. 

So consider this a vow, dear reader, that in future posts, I'll be sure to live more in the present, enjoy the situation at hand instead of lamenting its imminent end. 

So, the next time the little guy is laughing, giggling, gurgling, smiling and otherwise making my life more fun, I'll remember that the great things in life wouldn't be great if they were with us every, single moment. (Pretty sure I stole that last line from Hallmark.) 

I can't recall the circumstances, but I do remember not long after Mrs. Blackwell and I started dating she said to me: “Don’t be said it’s over. Be glad it happened.”

Well said, darling. Couldn't have blogged it better myself. 

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