Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Miracle Year: How to Be a Mom

A sunny Sunday morning in Sioux Falls (a good song title?), my Saint Sandy gets a rare treat. Because I am in town, she and I get to visit her beautiful young daughter Kathleen, with whom she is estranged, and her beloved 3-year old grandson, Julian (Daddy is at work).

Kathleen is a lovely girl – and obviously a loving caring young mother. Julian, once he gets over his shyness, acts like the 3-year old he is. When his mother leaves the room for a moment, he lifts his leg, spreads his little butt cheeks…and farts, then gives a big laugh.

The visit is bittersweet, but afterwards it feels like at least one brick has been removed from the defensive wall. It’s a long story, a rupture in the family fabric that goes back years. In fact it’s true origin goes back to when Kathleen was five years old and her father left the family on Christmas Day, saying as he slammed the door, “I’m not the problem, all of you are.”

Anger, angst and abandonment; that’s the legacy of Sandy’s ex.

Although she doesn’t recognize it until I point it out, Sandy’s biggest legacy has been on display today. “Who do you think taught Kathleen how to be such a good mom?” I ask Sandy as we leave. "That may be the biggest gift a mother can bestow." Sandy finally smiles.

To be continued...

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