On September 11, 2001, I sat with my oldest son, who was two years old at that time, in shock as to what was happening to our country. Like many of us, I had never experienced anything of this gravity in my lifetime. I was deeply saddened for those lives lost, our country and my son’s future.
I debated during that time whether or not I would have the second child I had always wanted; to bring a life into our world full of fear. I can still remember the uncomfortable feeling a few days later when, while pushing Chris on our swing set, I heard the first plane fly over after airports reopened.
But, as it tends to do, life went on. Three and a half years later, his little brother was born. I still consider him the best gift I could have given my older son – a companion and best friend.
As we all know, children grow up too fast. Babies become toddlers, tweens, and sooner rather than later, grown men. I realized I could only guarantee their safety while they resided in my home and would have to hope for the best as they ventured out into the world. (And, it doesn’t matter whether or not I raised them to be responsible men, there are just going to be events out of anyone’s control that they will have to experience, learn from and live through.)
My oldest son has been away at college for the past three years. We have settled into a routine of holiday visits. My youngest, a junior in high school, works on deciding where his future will lead him as well. It appears my nest will soon be empty.
And then, COVID-19 spread across the world like some sort of viral wildfire. I will be honest. When it was in other countries I paid little attention to it. I couldn’t see how if would affect my little world. Clearly, I had no concept of the seriousness or ferocity of it.
Over the past few months COVID has hit the United States like a monstrous tidal wave. And again, I have cause to worry about my boys and what the future holds. I temper our conversations – trying to make sure they are educated but not terrified and are compassionate for those afflicted. And they educate me. They are intelligent and aware.
My oldest son has moved back home (continuing his courses on-line) and my youngest is now receiving his education through Google Classroom. And I am deeply proud of both of them for the maturity they have utilized during this time. I remind myself of this when these two gigantic “man children” wrestle, chase each other through our home, call each other names or ask for take-out for lunch (again). And, I am grateful to have them back home, where I can guarantee their safety again.
And I hope you are proud of your man children as well. I hope they are adjusting to the drastic changes in their world and I hope you are too.
Contributed by Susan Gosselin. Susan is a quick-witted humorist wrapped inside a loving, beautiful woman. She is an office manager at a crisis clinic, a part-time student, and single mom to two "very tall testosterone transporters."