By Tyann Sheldon Rouw
More than ten years ago, I worked with Clark, a man at the University of Northern Iowa who was nearing retirement age. I was pregnant with twins at the time, and many of my colleagues had children of their own. Once in a while, Clark would sit with us in our cubicles late on a Friday afternoon after a long week of work and shoot the breeze. One day he shared that when he thought about his life and how it unfolded, there were certain moments he would never forget. He listed them: getting married while being surrounded by family and friends, becoming a father when his first son was born, and becoming the father of two boys when his youngest son entered the world. Then he told the story of putting pajamas on his two young boys after dinner, loading them into the car with his wife, and taking them out for ice cream. He said it became a fun family tradition.
I’ve never forgotten those words.
At the time I didn’t know if he was just talking to talk, but now I think he had a more important message for us young people: Don’t lose sight of your relationships and your roles. Remember who is important. And have fun.
This week my twin sons turn thirteen years old. Teenagers. We celebrated last Easter weekend with my in-laws at their home. We stayed at a hotel because Isaac is hard to buy for, but he loves experiences. Hotels are at the top of his list. What’s not to love? Elevators, a swimming pool, a breakfast buffet . . . it doesn’t get much better for him.
I’ve been thinking about the moments from the last week I won’t soon forget:
I stood in the kitchen one morning and asked the boys if they wanted to dye eggs after school. Isaac,who was sitting in the living room, shouted, “Yes!” (He was in another room and answered me. Wowza!) Last year he put two eggs in different cups of dye and retreated to the basement. Not this year. Every boy had an equal number of eggs to color, but I’m pretty sure Isaac colored more than his fair share. He even stuck around to wash all of the cups…
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