Among my fondest memories were the years I watched our three boys grow. I was able to work from home or work part-time outside of the house for most of their early school years so I was there when the school bus stopped at the end of the driveway, and on sick days, snow days, and school vacations. We may not have had much but I treasure the memories of those days. When we lamented not having any spending money a dear friend admonished us that with our children, we were millionaires. He was right.
For a few years we lived in a big house that was built on a former cornfield. The ground was very sandy, which provided an excellent medium for boys with shovels, buckets, and toy trucks. I can still envision them on a mound of dirt in the sunny backyard, fully engaged in the excavation of their latest design. They spent a great deal of time outdoors, sometimes in sneakers but probably more often in their black muck boots. When these were cast off in our sunroom I would line them up, to be ready for chores or playing in the puddles.
They participated in several sports, along with scouts and 4H. They exhibited rabbits and horses in agricultural fairs. It seemed we were always on the go. But as I remember, they were never bored or got into trouble.
I cooked most meals and desserts at home so they would have wholesome, nourishing food, and in the summer I always made sure there was a huge container of “real” iced tea in the fridge. Our boys would help with special projects in the kitchen, like making cookies. One year they even helped make homemade pasta for Christmas Eve. We made a videotape that year with them delivering cookies in the snow to our neighbors. I laugh and cry when I watch it.
Perhaps my favorite memory is of weekend mornings, when they would all pile on our bed to catch the last few restful minutes before we started our busy day. That’s when I really felt like a millionaire!
Each one grew from the helpless child to the young boy on the riding lawnmower to the teen turning out of the driveway in his own car. Now they have very busy lives. The oldest runs his own business and has a wonderful wife and four beautiful children. The middle son is a chef in NYC who enjoys city life. And the youngest is a student at university, with the world before him. His long-time girlfriend is a sweet gal who we all consider to be a part of our family.
They are good men. Now when we get together I sit back and admire them. Isn't that just like a mom?