I really like my kids! I mean I really like them as people. After all the trials of the past few years they could have easily have turned angry, jealous, frustrated or depressed. Don't get me wrong, they are by no means perfect; just ask anyone who has seen my family in action! They fight like brothers and sisters everywhere. They say "fresh" things and get threatened with soap in their mouths. They get time outs and have shown their tempers in ways I am not always proud of. Then I get these glimmers of hope that maybe my parenting skills aren't so Joan Crawfordesque after all.
Tonight after dinner (while inhaling some freshly picked strawberries) the kids somehow got into a discussion about themselves ... of course ... their favorite topic. Julia was making a point about her birthday coming up and discussing how she celebrated her birthday the last few years, "...when I had leukemia. But now I'm normal!!!!" Big smile! Then Greg says, "You're not normal to me Julia. You will always be very special." "Thanks Greg, you're special too.":::: sniff sniff ::: Mom gets all choked up right until Thomas reaches over and says, "Yea, right. Ya done with those Julia? I'll eat 'em" and the battle began..... We get these little gifts that make us remember why we had children to begin with and now that my kids are too old to wear Feetie Pajamas, they need some kind of cute factor to use as a survival technique!
Speaking of cute factor, today was another Sunday spent at the little league baseball field watching Greg's Challenger League play. These kids have all sorts of challenges, be it physical or mental, but they show more emotion and sportsmanship than I have ever seen. It is not uncommon for a kid to hit the ball and run straight to 2nd base, or to run the bases, but pass the other team mates who are going too slow. They throw balls into the outfield when everyone is safe on base or they will just decide they have had enough of the sun and run right from 3rd into the dugout. Regardless, each and everyone of them gets up to the plate with excitement and a smile! It is always the best hour of the week for me.
What impresses me more than anything, is the spirit of the parents of these players. Not one of them expresses any thoughts or feelings of dread or sadness. Some of them so obviously have their hands full, but as the saying goes, their hearts are more so ... filled to overflowing. There is no pity or sadness; just pride and love. I am as proud to be among them as I am to be with the parents I have met in the cancer world. You know, you just never know where or when you are going to meet people that change your heart and touch your soul.