Monday, November 28, 2011

My children made me cry

And in this post, I am counting all four of them as my kids (no disrespect intended to the mothers of Jen and Sophie).

We exchanged gifts with Ben, Jen and the kids and Jordan and Sophie on Saturday. The puppets were a huge hit with both children, which really made me happy. I have some great memories of playing puppets first with my little sisters and then later with Jordan and Ben. Seeing Alison and Eliot love the puppets like that brought all those good feelings back.

But I have to say I think that I got the most amazing gift of all. My kids completely surprised me and more than that, they got me something that just overwhelmed my heart. To understand why, I need to give you some back story.

I’ve written here before that as divorces go, mine was pretty civilized. Yes, a marriage ended and yes, dreams we’d both held of beating the odds and living happily ever after also ended, but for the most part, neither of us got nasty or vindictive. One of the few sticking points for me—and let me hasten to say that this wasn’t Rick being nasty or vindictive, I think he was just sort of oblivious—was that I got pretty much no photographs of our 16 years together. That also meant I had almost no pictures of my children as they grew up.

I’ve always felt this loss keenly. The boys loved it when I’d sit down with them and go through all the photo albums and tell them stories about what they were doing in each picture. Our albums weren’t scrapbooks, just the old-fashioned, probably ruin your pictures kind of albums but they held the pictures and we looked through them frequently.

Even this summer, when Rick was in Boston and took us both out to dinner, I mentioned that I had no pictures. He was shocked and promised to get me digital copies. I didn’t hold my breath.

Maybe you can see where this is going. Last year or the year before, Ben and Jen put together a picture book, bound and everything, that contained pictures of us with them and their children. That was a fantastic gift, so Saturday when I felt the texture of the book, I knew what it was.

But I was wrong. They’d gotten their childhood pictures, scanned them all, and had them printed into a book for me. They also burned the pictures onto a disk. It was a complete group effort by all four of them—I cracked up at the account of how Sophie just walked in to Rick’s house and took the pictures (yeah!).

I’m getting teary again just thinking about how much this book means to me. I haven’t looked at the disk yet. I am saving those pictures when maybe I’m having a sad or lonely day, or feel not so great about myself. I know for a fact those pictures will give me a wonderful boost.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I have something in my eye.

Ben is on the left, Jordan is on the right. Cute lil stinkers, huh.


FreshHell said...

Aw, what a wonderful gift! What great kids (and d-i-ls) you have!

Joybells said...

Amazing. Between the stories of collecting the photos, and then having the photos collected, what a fantastic gift for all of you!

Diane Russell said...

You have awesome children, and daughters-in-law! However, that has something to do with what kind of parents you and Kent are to them. :)

Harriet said...

What a magnificent present!

Jeanne said...

That is downright heart-warming. So glad they did that for you.

Judith said...

I have something in my eye as well - I know how much you missed having those pictures. Mom

kd said...