27 June 2011

Woven History

One's graduation party was a success, due in no small part to the heroic efforts of Erin and the Captain. M.I.L and F.I.L were pressed into shopping service, which ran the gamut from food to tacky decorations for the all-season tree, and flowers for my planters.

I had managed to get a little done before the surgery, but we were working up until the first guests arrived. At one point on Friday, while Erin and M.I.L. were at Costco, my house contained the plumbers, the window cleaners, and the electrician. We ended up with two working toilets, although I forgot to buy a seat for one of them, so that bathroom was reserved for "boys only." I always said we'd be better served just installing urinals, so I got my wish.

One had a personal aide throughout his high school career, a lovely soft-spoken woman named Toni, who accompanied him during his day to help if necessary. Each year, at our annual review, she would tell us how he was maturing, and all the wonderful progress he was making in school. In actuality, she spent more waking hours with him in a day than we did. But we weren't jealous, just relieved, knowing that a kind-hearted soul was guiding him in our stead.

We invited Toni and her husband, Glen, to the party, and One waited up at the top of the driveway for them to arrive. Then he gathered his brothers one by one to introduce them to her, so she could place faces to the names she'd heard all these years. Four gave her a hug, because he's snugly like that.

Toni and Glen stayed for the whole party, and One visited with them almost the whole time. It was very sweet to see him so attentive, interested in gathering together the important people in his life. As One opened his gifts, I looked around the room at all the people who have influenced my life: my mother and step-father, my aunt and cousins, my siblings, the Captain and his family. Although our visits are sporadic, the ties that bind us defy time and distance. Ours is a shared history, generations of light and dark moments, triumphs and failures, more joy than tears.

After dessert, the next generation of the family ran outside to catch fireflies. The sound of their laughter and excited calls to one another carried across the warm breeze. It intermingled with the conversations inside the house, braiding new memories with the old. Someday they will sit together, and weave this night into their own chapter of our history.


  1. SO cool!

    Also, those personal aides? They are NOT paid enough. Seriously. There are several students at my school who merit that level of support and these women (it's an elementary school so this group is all chicks) LOVE and understand these kiddos so profoundly and are very protective of them. Their patience and dedication leave me continually in awe.

    Glad One had a fantastic party. You are a tough cookie to take that on after surgery!

  2. What a wonderful party! How lucky you all are t have this multi-generational family to share with and remember with, including children to enjoy.

    I'm so glad that One had a great party, and a great graduation. What is next for him? Whatever it is, I'm sure that will all the backup and support he has, it will be wonderful.

  3. So happy One had such a wonderful party. (And that you had working toilets!) Your family sounds terrific. Congratulations, One!

  4. Despite all the chaos your son will remember a wonderful celebration of his big day. That's priceless.
    Your family rocks and you rule!

  5. It sounds like you had a successful party and that One felt celebrated and loved. Your family sounds incredible! The ending made me get a little teary. Nice job. :)

  6. Anonymous28.6.11

    Yipee! (And beautifully written as well.) I'm mostly glad about the toilets too.
    (Are you resting again now? Because you SHOULD be, said in a Mom voice.)

  7. london betty28.6.11

    What a beautiful memory - and beautifully written, I had tears in my eyes reading it. You must be so proud of your fabulous family.

  8. those rite-of-passage moments always get me teary and nostalgic. What a beautiful moment for One. I'm with Julie-- I hope you're resting now!

  9. It was a crazy, busy week and I was so happy to be a part of it! It was a wonderful party for an amazing guy. Your description of it made me smile and tear up simultaneously.

  10. Natasha30.6.11

    So I learned from your mother in law that you have a blog and are writing a novel. Kudos to you!! Just so you know I'm an avid romance reader so I'll definitely be looking for your book and since you're unbelieveably talented at everything you do I already know it'll be great. On another note, I'm so happy to hear about One he's a great kid Megan, all your boys are!
    So tonight after I fed Five dinner he wanted dessert. I pointed out the cookies above the pantry and was told they were oatmeal not chocolate chip in a tone that told me he wouldn't eat them and dare I say he looked a little exasperated that I didn't already know this. Luckily, there were brownies in the tin per Erin's instructions and wouldn't you know there were exactly five left!! Good thing too because we spent a couple of minutes searching for desserts he would eat before I remembered her note. I just had to share that story because I saw your comment on how you failed five and I can picture the scene in my head. Anyway, I'm so excited for you. :D

  11. Felt so lucky to sit with you, if even for a moment, alone on the deck. Yes, the initial topic was all about me- but it was being with you that made a memory for me!
    So glad to be there to celebrate One- and his parents!
    Cuz B


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