Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Neighbors Upstairs……………….

Over 35 years ago, my family and I lived in an apartment of a 4 unit building that my father owned.   Dr. and Mrs. Gupta (not their real names) and their 4 children lived in one of the other 2 bedroom, one bath apartments upstairs.  Dr. Gupta was studying for his American medical credentials while Mrs. Gupta worked. 
Over the years, the Guptas and my parents became friends and so did the kids.  My brother and I went to the Guptas apartment to play and the Gupta children came to ours often as well.   As time went by,  though, there was one issue that was straining  the relationship.   As would be expected  with  4 young children and busy parents  who had limited time to clean, the apartment was often filthy.   Cockroaches infested the unit and soon were invading the other apartments.  The other tenants started complaining.  At some point, my father had no choice but to ask the Guptas to vacate the apartment.   And so ended a relationship. 
Time went by and a couple of years later my parents ran into the Guptas while shopping at Sears.  They exchanged pleasantries, caught up on the kids and my father invited them over for dinner.  And  so began  a renewed friendship, one that has lasted to this day.  The Guptas have been to my wedding and those of my siblings.  My parents have also  had the privilege of seeing all the Gupta children married and even attending  some baby showers.      
I’ve always believed that there is something wonderful about the older generations.  Tom Brokaw wrote about the men and women who lived through the Great Depression and the 2 World Wars.  He coined the  phrase “The Greatest Generation.”   My parents generation  also saw turbulent times and social unrest  during  the 1960’s and ‘70’s.   Maybe that’s what made them great.  Having seen uncertainty, turmoil, violence, death and destruction, I believe, taught them  integrity and  helped them value human life and  relationships.
Today we live in a fast paced, ever changing, transient  world  where people sometimes don’t know the person in the house next door.  Our homes just got  bigger with fewer family members people living in them. We thrive on change and get bored with things easily.  Fashions and fads come and go.  The neighbors we didn’t know move on to other places.  Could we be as forgiving and embracing? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some Day………………….

My older son just celebrated another  birthday.  Time truly does fly by. The kids grow up so fast and soon leave the house before we realize it.  I still remember that day in October when I gave birth to a baby boy too eager to arrive into this world, presenting himself  8 weeks early.  Who knew that that shriveled up little being,  hooked up to all the contraption in the hospital incubator  would be asking me today, “Mom, Really….?!!” 
From the moment they come into our lives, they become the center of our existence it seems.  We find ourselves recording every babble, blurb, word and mischief.  Some days we can’t stop hugging them and some days we just wish we could beat the nonsense out of them!  Some days we marvel at how they learn so readily and some days we wonder where they picked that up. 
Last year when my younger son turned 4, I wrote a poem that I wanted to share for my older son’s birthday.   Whether it’s the older child or the younger one, whether they are 4 or 14, the feelings remain the same.  My son keeps reminding me that he’s not a baby anymore.  My answer is still the same, “You are not a baby anymore…. but to me you are still ‘my’ baby!”   

Some day……….

Some day,
he might be a pilot
…..Soaring high above the clouds
Holding 200 lives in his hands.
But for now…..
He needs me to hold his hand…
As he traces his name,

Some day,
he might be a great writer
Taking readers to an imaginary world
But for now……
He can’t fall asleep
Until I read him
Dora’s next adventure.

Maybe one day,
…..he’ll be a rock star
With screaming fans and paparazzi
But for now…….
He insists I sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
….for the 100th time.

Some day,
he may be a celebrity chef
And open his own restaurant.
But for now ……..
He needs me to make
my “special” Mac N Cheese
Because I make it…
“the bestest ever!”

Maybe some day,
….he’ll be a surgeon
With many others looking up to him
But for now……
He looks up at me for praise
For going to the potty
“like a big boy.”

Some day…..
he’ll be all grown up
Some day…..
…….he’ll be a man
Some day…..
he won’t need me any more.
But for now
……..he does.

And though some days I wish…
he could put on his own clothes
And tie his own shoes
I wish…
I could slow down time.
So that the SOME DAY would come
……. just a little more later.

Happy Birthday, Love!!