Monday, May 09, 2011

A better man than I

Mothers' Day ended and I hadn't handed Mama or her mother, who's visiting us, a single gift.

It's not that I hadn't gotten 53 emails every day in the week prior from See's Candies,, PajamaGram and so forth. Nor was it that we didn't have art supplies at home for the kids to make something for Mama and Grammy.

It was a decision I made, when Mama was talking about her Mom's visit and what they might do. They've made a little tradition of going to see a show when Grammy comes to visit, and so I told Mama to book a night out the night before Mothers' Day so they wouldn't be fighting the bouquet, balloons and box of chocolates crowd. I told her to book dinner and a show and a night of painting the town red--or just staying up until 10.30, whichever comes first--and I would take care of the kids.

It all went according to plan and they had a wonderful time: two moms out together. It made me all the more happy to take care of the kids to know that Mama and Grammy were out enjoying an evening together.

It probably took some of the glow off their evening when they got home and heard about how I had dressed down 3B in the middle of the street while they were out enjoying a relaxing meal and a show that was, according to Mama, "a romp."

We had been packing up to go home after an hour and a half playing on the street when 3B rode away from me on his scooter, out of sight, down the middle of the street through a parking lot--after I had just told him not to.

I know about the lack of impulse control--his and mine. I know about the failure to hear, comprehend and follow instructions--his and mine. And I know about the need for speed--his and mine.

But good lord was I scared.

And good lord, did I tell him so. I hate myself when I scare him like that, but I had to get him back to where I was and then had to impress upon him the gravity of what he did. I'm sure that there was a better way to do it, and I'll keep searching for it.

He and I have talked about it several times since then--about how scary it was for both of us and about how we both need to listen to each other more and do what the other asks. I can only hope that both of us have learned our lessons from that.

It was nice to hear Grammy say that sometimes you just need to get their attention, however you can. I sighed heavily, "Sometimes it sucks being the parent."

"Yes," she said.

But I was glad to know that while I was struggling as a parent, she was out on the town with her daughter, enjoying a night of good food and hearty laughter. I watched them return refreshed and happy, and can only hope that someday Mama and I will be able to enjoy days like that with our children.

And that when I ride my electric scooter off down the street in the nursing home parking lot, out of 3B's sight, he won't yell at me for too long, no matter how scared he is, because I hope he'll be a better man than I am.

If he keeps hanging out with Mama and Grammy, he's got a pretty good shot at that. Although, if he wants to learn how to make pizza that melts his mom's heart on Mothers' Day like I did to cap off the weekend, he'd better watch how I do it, because this is how it's done, son.

Papa Bradstein will try not to yell at anybody as he rides 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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