Wednesday, October 26, 2011

7 Years of Mischief

This past weekend as we celebrated Mischief's birthday (at the corn maze, with all his pals, for the third year in a row!) I did what all parents do on their kids' birthdays, I thought back to the infant, baby, toddler and little dude he was and looked at the wee man he is now. I also thought about the grown up man he will become. I thought about all he is and all he brings to my life and I asked myself, what did I do to deserve him?

Supposedly, if you break a mirror it means you'll have seven years of bad luck. I've had seven years of Mischief, what did I do to deserve that?

What did I do to deserve seven years of squishy hugs, bed time cuddles and mooshy kisses? What did I do to deserve seven years of corny jokes, heart stopping stunts and long winding stories? What did I do to deserve seven years of contagious laughter, smiles that can simultaneously melt your heart and brighten your day and random words of childhood wisdom? What ever did I do to deserve all this?

Mischief and I have been at odds a lot lately and more than once I have thought about a poem by Shel Silverstein that I enjoyed as a kid. As a mom I want to keep him safe, whole and relatively clean but as a kid he wants to learn, explore and experience everything he can. These opposing goals pit us against each other sometimes and I tend to think that he is wrong and that he needs to just listen and obey. Often times he does need to do that, but sometimes I need to let him be the person he is destined to be. I need to let go, buy some more band aids and a stronger laundry detergent and let him explore and experience.

Here's the poem ...
 Ma and God

God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Use your fork.”
God gave us voices–Ma says, “Don’t scream.”
Ma says eat broccoli, cereal and carrots.
But God gave us tasteys for maple ice cream.

God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Use your hanky.”
God gave us puddles–Ma says, “Don’t splash.”
Ma says, “Be quiet, your father is sleeping.”
But God gave us garbage can covers to crash.

God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Put your gloves on.”
God gave us raindrops–Ma says, “Don’t get wet.”
Ma says be careful, and don’t get too near to
Those strange lovely dogs that God gave us to pet.

God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Go wash ‘em.”
But God gave us coal bins and nice dirty bodies.
And I ain’t too smart, but there’s one thing for certain–
Either Ma’s wrong or else God is.

Maybe Ma is wrong ... just a little.

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