Timothy is not yet walking, but loves to climb up the stairs to his sisters’ room. He used to lumber slowly up the stairs and pause and look around, but now he motors up with workmanlike precision. One of us always trails him up the stairs as a safety net, and the only thing that slows him down is when he sees something sitting on the stairs (which, truth be told, happens all the time). At that point, he turns into Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive” and grabs any shoe or notebook or t shirt on the stairs and hurls it back downstairs in an attempt to block his pursuer. Once he gets to the top of the steps and realizes that a loved one is still on his tail, his final act of escape is to find a soccer ball on the landing and roll it down so that it rains down on the well meaning family member.
Although he’s not yet walking on his own, Timothy has been doing a lot of walking with the aid of a little cart that Joan (from the school district) brought him. He stands up, grabs the handle and walks behind it like he’s pushing a shopping cart. It gives me hope that even though he’s walking a little later than I expected, he’ll still be able to mow the lawn this summer.
One of the great lessons of having Timothy in our lives has been realizing that we sometimes need to ask for help. This is a real gift, but sometimes we ignore this lesson and try to do it all on our own. When all five members of the Lee family took a walk one evening to downtown Edina, I strolled into one of our favorite ice cream places holding Timothy. He was squirming a lot, which made it tough to hang onto him. And by the time I was holding a waffle cone in my right hand, with Timo in my left arm and me now needing to reach for my wallet, I could tell that I might need to ask for help. Luckily, Timothy could tell that I was in a vulnerable state and he decided to strike. He tore off a big chunk of the top of waffle cone, which led to me accidentally squeeze too hard and crush the foundation of the delicate cone. With everything now off balance and the cashier still waiting for my credit card, it looked like something might get dropped. Fortunately, like the Grinch, I suddenly found the strength of ten TRBLs (plus two) and managed to lift up both boy and cone and pay the cashier. Which is good, because I didn’t want to have to choose whether to save Little Red or the dessert. I mean, I love Timothy, but he was up against a double scoop of chocolate malt ice cream…
Finally, thank you to the mothers on this Mother’s Day. It’s far too easy to get through our days without pausing to recognize the contribution of our mothers to our lives. Let’s not make that mistake. I am fortunate to have spent my life connected to some amazing women.
Thank you to my mom for being a tremendous person in my life, past and present. I see every day how fortunate I was to grow up with such great parents and how I benefitted from the lessons and love of my mom.
Thank you to Laura’s mom, to my three sisters-in-law, and to both of my grandmothers.
And especially, as much as she may try to delete this paragraph from the blog, thank you so much to the person who is more responsible than anyone for the loving home and family enjoyed by Elisabeth, Catherine, Timothy and me – their mom and my wife, Laura. We celebrated 21 years of marriage this week, and it was almost that long ago that she asked a simple question that changed our lives (‘what if we try living without a TV?’). She’s the person who has driven all over this country and many parts of the world with this silly family. The person who loves my parents and siblings like her own, and who reminds me of the need for the two of us to stay on the same page (‘one team one dream’). And one of the neatest outcomes of adding Timothy to our roster has been getting to see how easily Laura stepped into a new challenge and has run with it and loved and supported the redhead so beautifully. She’s a great person and a wonderful mom, and we are all very grateful for her.
Happy Mother’s Day!