One of the best times of the day for me is when I pick my son up at school. Usually we make up a small convoy of one, two sometimes three parent-child pairs. The kids run along the sidewalks, and roll on the grassy stretches of the island, with the parents in tow carrying knapsacks and school bags, like weary porters following intrepid young explorers. I usually watch from afar never forgetting to bless the day my son was born, and thanking providence for allowing me to have him and enjoy his company.
Another pleasure is buying him the things that he really wants. The toys or things that make his eyes sparkle. Last week was the auction for his school PTA. The only thing he wanted was a toy tram, and I made sure to make the winning bid for it, which was more than double its retail price. Robert’s joy with it though was many times worth it, and I shared with his pleasure and again thanked and blessed providence for allowing me to buy him things he wanted.
I cannot help but think back to my childhood, and now I appreciate how much my own parents saved and how hard they worked to give us kids the things we wanted. A colour television for example, or a swing set. My dad worked and saved for these things and my mom used her ingenuity and creativity to save in the household. She fixed things we broke so we got to use them longer. She reused old items in new ways and redesigned out of fashion dresses into home decor items or into new clothing items. She still breathes new life into things in that way and it gives her a lot of pleasure. For me however the memory that I have of my childhood is that of caring parents who made sure the children had the best of everything while negotiating the constraints of middle class life. I will be very proud if my son would look back at me in the same way, knowing that I gave everything I could within the constraints of living as a single working parent.