Saturday, April 25, 2009

Math In A Mausoleum And Other Silly Moments Of This Day

Yes, friends, I'm back with yet another post of my graveside adventures. And no shock, it is a story brought to life by my six year-old son, Benjamin.

After that peaceful walk I took at 8:30 this morning, described in full in my previous post, I arrived home to find Ben waiting at the door for "his turn" to walk with me. Thinking perhaps that he was looking to stroll up to the Uptown Coffee shop, I agreed, though my feet were sore and blistered from the preceding five miles. Alas, no, Benjamin fully intended to greet the dead himself, so I walked alongside of him, then trailed behind him, the mile to the entrance. At first he insisted we get a move-on up the "biggest hill" as he calls it, but then he became sidetracked by the mysterious building on the right ("mommy- is this a hotel?" "uh,no, Benjamin, it is something called a mausoleum where they put bodies in the walls instead of in the ground outside.") So for the next twenty minutes, I traipsed through the narrow hallways as my son began a math excursion of sorts, figuring out who of the dead inscribed on the walls, had died first, and how many years later did the man on the other wall die and who died in between them. I could easily have been a little troubled by this exploration, but how can you argue with the ever-intrigued mind of such an amazing little boy. And I felt happy that I'd allowed myself, along with him, to be in that place. Parenting Benjamin is a moment-by-moment commitment, and, frankly, I welcomed the intensity with which he was greeting this experience, because he held himself with such dignity- not a trace of his usual overly-boisterous personality. I am learning to treasure such time with him, even as I pore through books on how to survive his explosiveness and sometimes unwelcome spirited behavior.

So I ended up making two treks through the graves today, the second time around with a more expedited pace (Ben insisted we jog). We did eventually make it to that coffee shop and he ordered his favorite orange soda and I took some deep breaths and consumed enough water to satisfy a dromedary in the desert.

I proceeded back and forth down the main drag of my town several more times today- all with Benjamin in tow. And tonight, after splurging on ice cream for he and his baby brother, we played a rousing game of wiffle ball in the front yard with our friends and I smiled at having had such a crazy, wonderful day.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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