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The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
M&M candies, learning to talk... growing up.
The other day, Josh asked if we could get some M&Ms because we haven't had any in awhile. At five years of age, with an older brother and expressive parents, he has nearly lost all of his little child language. We still use terms that he used and no longer uses. For instance, if there was something dangerous, "You could including die!" And we still sometimes say, "You're better'n dat!" Which was his version of, "You know better than that!"

But that was a sad moment for Allie and me, sitting in the kitchen, hearing Josh correct himself. "Can we get some Nim&Ms? Um, I mean, can we get some M&Ms?" We both looked at each other with that same feeling. That was his last "baby word" and no one had to correct him. In fact, we had avoided correcting him, and had even told Evan (9) not to correct him when he said Nim&Ms. He figured it out for himself.

I guess it's time, he's five after all. And, I guess it's for the best, as I don't want a teenager who says Nim&Ms. And it isn't that I don't want my boys growing up because I also look forward to that part of their lives. Part of the sadness is that I know they don't know all the evils that are out there yet, they are so innocent. I love that about children. They don't know about the atrocities of Hitler, about how Andrea Yates drowned her five children, how men are killed, women are raped, and children are abused. We try to warn them of the coming knowledge they will need to survive in such a place, but it is difficult to prepare your children for hard, sorrowful times. I want to protect them from bad things forever, but I know I can't. I know there is no understanding of good if you don't have evil to compare it to. I know learning where the bad things live, where they like to hide, will help them to be prepared when they meet them, or in many cases, to avoid them altogether.

I also think about the times when they will rush out to meet danger, basking in the exhilaration of a thrilling moment. I have a lot of those memories, some of my most vivid and treasured. As a youth, I was unconvinced of my mortality, as we all are, I think. I wish I could say I weighed every action, thought them out carefully, and exercised caution to minimize the risks involved. I didn't. One of my friends and I used to joke that we "killed a couple of guardian angels on that one." I've always been a speed freak, so you can imagine how I drove as a teenager if given half the chance, or when I had a motorcycle in my 20s. I was never one to pass up an opportunity to burn some adrenaline. I will carry this knowledge about myself when I send my sons out, unprotected, hoping they will choose to use some form of good judgment. I can only hope they get it from their mother.

And hope is a very important word. Hope is probably THE most important word when it comes to our own lives and those of the people we love. It is something that can't be taken from you, unless you give it up. It is something you can carry everywhere and hold up any time. It is with us in our worst moments, like a beacon. It pleads with us to keep moving and not to give up, even when we can see no reason to believe. Hope lets us drive our car to work on the same interstate where there were 4 fatalities just yesterday; fearlessly. It lets us walk past a homeless person, ranting and raving to themselves, believing we will be safe. It allows us to roll our window down when a smiling stranger asks directions, even though he might be another Ted Bundy, because the odds are millions to one that he just needs help and we can provide it.

I've come to realize that hope is also what will allow me to let my children go, and grow. I will always hope they make the right decisions, though I know they won't, and that they can recover from the wrong ones. I will hope they drive safely, and don't do drugs, and don't get drunk, and don't, don't, don't. See, it's so easy to see the negative stuff, isn't it? Well, I have a lot of hope for the positive things as well. I hope they walk safely away from the risks they choose to take. I hope they learn from their mistakes and grow in wisdom. I hope they take advice well. I hope they choose the right women to spend time with, maybe to marry and have children with. I hope they choose women! I hope they continue to love me and my wife as much as they do now. I hope they will always know our home is and was a safe place. I could go on hoping like this till they were grown, getting ever more redundant in my hopes, but you and I both get it by now I'm sure. I hope someday my sons will know the feeling of pride that I have whenever I think of them, so powerful it tries to close my throat and sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Most of all, I hope they always know that I love them.

Above all else, I hope.
11 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
From: elricsgirl Date: October 8th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
HI! I'm April. This is a great post. I was talking to my mom the other day about the same type of stuff. My kids always said "pannacakes" instead of pancakes and my daughter's thing was "thether" instead of feather. A few days ago my son (11 years old) said "can we have pancakes for breakfast?" I just looked at him stunned! He's 11 for cripes sake, I need to get over it! Anyhoo, he looked at me and said "you know, the golden soft fluffy cakes of goodness?" I burst into tears and he said "Lordy momma, PANNACAKES!"
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: October 8th, 2004 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi April! I'm assuming from your friends list that you found me through Jim (aka thunderslug). I'll add you back. Thanks for the comment.
From: elricsgirl Date: October 8th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes..you are correct. I seem to find all of my friends through my...well, friends!

I'm not a stalker Dr. Jim...I swear!
thunderslug From: thunderslug Date: October 8th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still say hipptopomatus, although I've given up on sketti and eitsweitdown.

Of course, you should have corrected it to "May I...", but that just makes it harder.

There are a lot of other thoughts, related to kids and such, but they'll have to wait.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: October 8th, 2004 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
We often say basgetti like my sister did when she was little, and there are a few other "family words" all of us have kept through the years. I'm going to assume you were meaning "upside down" with that German sounding word.

"May I" would have been incorrect under the circumstances. We didn't have any M&Ms in the house and he was asking if we could buy some more when he said, "Can we get..."

There are a lot of other thoughts, related to kids and such, but they'll have to wait.

Okay, how long should I expect to sit here, waiting?
thunderslug From: thunderslug Date: October 8th, 2004 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least a day; gotta wrap up all the pre- stuff for L, then I'm out for the evening.
schmimi From: schmimi Date: October 8th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love familyisms. It's still not uncommon to hear me or my sister or my mom say "Do you have any lips I can borrow?", because that's what my sister called chapstick when she was little.

And a kitchen timer is a "dinger" and kitchen tongs, are, for reasons no one can explain, "honkers".
mygyzmom From: mygyzmom Date: October 14th, 2004 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I never read your journal that I don't come away with SOMETHING~a good laugh, a new appreciation for the job you do, a different view on an issue, or just a "warm fuzzy." I am so glad that you open up the way you do in this journal, allowing both the good and bad to come out when you write. Life isn't always positive, and you do a great job of showing ALL sides of it. Thanks for letting me in...
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: October 14th, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are very welcome. To show your appreciation, I ask that you never call me "such a chick" again! You can't have it both ways. ;-)

Your overly sensitive, yet hetero-manly, husband
brknconfidents From: brknconfidents Date: October 19th, 2004 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent post...s'bout all I can find to say.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: October 22nd, 2004 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Nice to see you here. It's been a long time. In keeping with the sentiment of this post, I hope things are going better for you now.
11 aspirations -{}- aspire with me