Sunday, August 21, 2016
Yesterday, our whole family joined my son's gf's whole family in New Jersey for the day. Her brother and sister-in-law's brand new baby was there, such a good-natured peaceful little Buddha, and we all held him, and when at one point he started to fuss, my husband took him, and he quieted right down, perhaps never having seen the world from such a height, and he rested his head on my man's shoulder and my husband patted his back gently, the way he did with his own children when they were babies, and the little one went right to sleep. "You still have the touch, Dad," my daughter said, because that shoulder of my husband's is widely known to put babies right to sleep. And that sweet little boy just slept on that big man's shoulder until his mother arrived a half hour later. As soon as she walked through the door, her baby's head popped up, even before he heard her voice. We all went to dinner together then, ten of us, and it was lovely.
Today we're heading back over to New Jersey, this time to my elderly aunt's house, where there is a birthday party for my cousin who is turning 50. The relatives from all over are driving in to be there, and it will be a mini reunion as my aunt, who is ailing, was not able to make it to Jamaica this summer, though my cousins Facetimed her in several times that week.
My son got 96 percent on his final exam this week. He said, "I wish I had done this in college." And then he added, "But to be real, no one has ever asked me for my college grades since graduating. So who cares." I know he's doing so well now because he's truly interested. I read once in a book about raising boys that our job as parents is to get our sons through school with their self-esteem intact, no matter how hard they struggle academically, because then they will grow up and find the thing they are passionate about, and at that, they will excel. But only if they have not been made to feel like failures in a school system that asks them to be experts in everything. My boy has found the work he loves, and he's thriving. The book was called Raising Cain, and I hung on to that particular promise for dear life some years. And now look.