Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gender Confusion

I was in Gracie's bedroom the other day, and she wanted to show me something she had drawn on her chalkboard.  There were two words written there, one in blue (boys) and one in pink (girls).  She told me that the sign was meant to show who could come in her room.  I laughed and said that she was giving permission for everyone to come in if both boys and girls were listed.

Gracie looked at me like I was crazy and told me no.  I tried to explain that everyone is either a boy or a girl which meant that everyone could come in her room.  If she was old enough to understand the art of eye rolling and deep sighs I would have gotten both from her.  She said very patiently, as though I was  slightly mentally inpaired:

"Not Grandpa, because he's a grandpa and not Daddy because he's a Daddy."
 I guess that makes sense because until just recently she thought that the term human meant adults and that children weren't included in that group.  As in, "They weren't humans Mommy, they were kids!"  What will she think of next?

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Talk

So Nathan is almost nine years old now, and Trevor and I felt like it was time to sit him down and give him the "talk".  He's had books for several years now showing the male and female reproductive systems in full color detail, and he's known for a long time that he and Grace don't have the same anatomy.  In the past, he's never made the connection that the sperm had to get to the egg, he just knew that it happened and that's how a baby was made.

But he's recently asked the definition of some words that he's heard on the bus, and mentioned a few things in passing that made us feel like it was time to explain things a little further.  I was in third grade when Mama sat me down with the color plates in the Encyclopedia Britannica and revealed the mysteries of reproduction.  Well, she revealed and I promptly forgot most of the details.

Anyway, Trevor sat him down today with his science book and the Bible and explained it all.  Nathan finally made the connection between the egg and the sperm, and with a confused look asked, "But how does this get to this?"  When Trevor told him, his only response was "gross".  Trevor said that he went slowly and gave as much information as he thought Nathan could handle, and no more.  He said that Nathan was clearly not ready to discuss temptation and the pleasure associated with sex, but made sure that Nathan knew he could always talk to him if he had any questions.  They also read a few passages in scripture to reinforce the sanctity of marriage and the importance of waiting for that covenant relationship.

I think that Nathan has plenty to think about (with strict instructions to not discuss any of this with his friends at school), and that Trevor has paved the way to an open and lasting dialogue with our son regarding a subject that is all too often taboo between parents and children.  Our hope is that by allowing him to openly ask questions without embarrassment and establishing our authority in this area, that he will be less apt to give in to temptation when he gets older.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas Revisted

I am typing this post on my brand new Christmas present from Trevor. I have to give him kudos this year, because we are notorious for not saving our gifts for Christmas morning. As soon as they come in the mail or make it into the house, we open them. Clearly we don't stand on ceremony when it comes to exchanging gifts with one another. Half the time we just decide on a price limit and then purchase our own gifts.

So needless to say, Christmas is not usually a surprise for either of us and we are perfectly happy with our system. We get our thrills from watching the kids open their gifts. So imagine my surprise when all of the Christmas paper was strewn about the living room floor and things were settling down, and Trevor put a gift in my lap. I ripped it open and discovered computer software. Trevor said in a disappointed voice, "What is that???" (We had most of our gifts shipped to my mom to avoid having to pack them for the trip down, and she wrapped them for us) It was software for a Mac, and we have PCs. He said, "This was supposed to be photo editing software for you! I guess they sent the wrong thing."

I immediately started thinking about how we could send it back to Amazon for an exchange, when he put another box in my lap and said, "I'll guess we'll just have to load it on this!"

That's sweet husband bought me a MacBook Pro! Ever since I got my iPhone, I've been convinced of Apple's complete and total superiority and have wanted to get a Mac. They were pretty much out of our price range, so I would just gaze wistfully at them when we went to Best Buy and satisfy myself with that. I guess Trevor saw how much I wanted one, and made it happen for me. As Trevor predicted, I ignored the family for the rest of the day as I played on my new computer!

Although it's been a little difficult to navigate after using a PC for 20 years I am catching on and finally learning how to use it more effectively. Bar none the best Christmas present I've ever received from Trevor. I guess I have some big shoes to fill next Christmas!

It Never Really Goes Away

I dreamed of Gramps the other night. It's been a long time since I've felt the unexpected grief that surfaces at odd moments, catching me by surprise by it's intensity. He's been gone for over 3 years now, and I still miss him. In my dream, I was a child again and we were visiting Granny and Gramps. We were all sitting around the kitchen visiting and having a good time with Granny, when Gramps suddenly walked into the room as though he had never been gone even one day, and I ran into his arms for a hug. I could smell his familiar scent in my dream and feel his strong arms around me once again.

That was all there was to the dream, but the pain upon waking was momentarily as fresh as the day we buried him. It was as if I had gotten him back for a moment, and then he was snatched away in the blink of an eye.

Later, I realized that although waking from the dream had been difficult, I had him in the forefront of my mind all day. Memories of his voice booming out across the house or the yard, laughing as he counted my ribs, and more adult memories of theological discussions and listening to gospel music. I think that's how grief is supposed to work. It never goes away, and is always lurking just below the surface but it makes us remember. It gives us a little push every once in a while to recall all the things we loved about the person we lost. It mellows as time goes on, but I think it's a good thing that we never quite lose it.

I want to remember, and more importantly I want to look forward to the day that I will see him again.