Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My Family Part 10


When the alarm clock went off for my husband to get up for work is when I felt my first contraction. I was about to have my second baby.

I was hoping for a girl and I think my husband was too. I had a little boy and it just seemed right to have a girl next.

My husband drove me to the hospital. As always happened with me it did not take long for things to progress. By the time my doctor arrived I knew the time for delivery was close.

The doctor insisted I have a saddle block. That is when the anesthetic is injected through a needle inserted into your back and affects only the lower portion of your body. You sit on the edge of the bed and bend over while this procedure takes place. Rather barbaric if you ask me.

Then the doctor announced that he was going to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee! I told him the baby was coming now. He said; "Nonsense. It takes at least twenty minutes for the anesthesia to go to work." He left.

The nurses were bustling about. There was an intern getting ready to assist. He was slipping into his scrubs as I said; "The baby is here." He turned around and caught the baby just before he hit the table and said, "So it is.'"

From that first second my son was as beautiful as any baby you have ever seen. He had a pretty little round face. His complexion was fair with rosy cheeks. He had pretty blue eyes. He was perfect.

My baby would not wake up to eat for the first two days of his life. When he finally did want to nurse he was hungry all the time. A nurse would come looking for me. When she would find me in another mother's room it was always, "There you are Emma. Your baby is starving." He went from not eating at all to eating all the time.

My husband and I had not been able to agree on a name for this baby. My father came with my husband to visit me that first night at the hospital. He had suggested a name to my husband. My husband wanted to know what I thought of it. It was one of the names I wanted in the first place. So we had a first name.

I asked what we should do for a middle name. My father thought for a moment then suggested one. It was perfect. Daddy named my little boy.

I had not tried to explain much about a new baby to my first son. He was too little to grasp what that really meant. When we went home my brother was carrying the baby and my son ran to sit on my lap. He had missed me and I missed him.

I said, "Look what Mommy brought you." He looked up and tried to catch his breath. Finally he said; "It's a baby." He liked it.

My second son was quiet. Not shy, just quiet. He played and did normal little kid stiff but he did not yell and scream the way a lot of children do. But he had a temper. And such a big loving heart.

We moved to another state when my son was about four years old. In the house next door lived a little boy who was almost exactly the same age as my son. Their birthdays were weeks apart. They were about the same size with that blonde, blonde hair. Some people would call them tow-heads which is a nickname for blonde boys.

The little boy was at our house constantly which was fine by me. His grandmother lived at the end of the street and she took care of him while his mother worked. Several times she would come to our house when it was time for her grandson to get ready for bed. She would just pop her head in the door, grab him by the arm, and take him home. I do not know how many times she grabbed the wrong child and would be half-way down the street before she realized she had my son instead.

One time the two boys disappeared. I could not find my son and the grandmother could not find her grandson. We combed the neighborhood. Thankfully it was a short street but they were nowhere to be found. At the end of the street was a highway. No one had seen them up that way. We were about to call the police for assistance.

My oldest son tried to get my attention and was finally successful. He wanted to know if we had checked the house next door where the boy and his mother lived. Of course not because the mother was at work. The grandmother checked anyway.

There they were. They had gone in for a drink of water and could not get back out.

Money was tight for my husband and me. It was a real tough stretch right then. We were trying to make a go of a business and it was not going well. My son was about 10 years old.

My husband and I were leaving the house to take care of some financial things. My son jumped up and asked us to wait a second. He ran to his room and came back with something in his hand. He held it out to us and said, "Here. You need this more than I do." It was twenty dollars that someone had given him as a gift. Of course we refused it but what a generous act. That is my son.

After my husband and I separated and eventually divorced my children did not see as much of their father as they should have. I encouraged all of them (ex-husband included) to spend more time together but it just did not happen.

My second son sensed that his father needed some of his family close to him so he spent a lot of time at his father's house. There was the added bonus of there not being as much discipline as there was with me.

One time his father brought him home and told me that my son, his step-brother, and another boy had gotten into the liquor. He said' "Here's your son. You can have him. He's half drunk."

My son staggered and looked at his father and said, " I'm not half drunk old man. I'm all the way drunk." I sent him to bed and dealt with him in the morning. Then I grounded my ex-husband for not taking better care of our child.

Then there was the time I went to pick up my son from his father's house. He had been there for a couple of days and it was time to come home. He was not there.

As a matter of fact his father thought he might have gone with some older friends. He thought they might be out of state. I was furious.

The good thing was that if you would talk to my son and explain the logic to what you are saying, he is receptive. I told him how much it worried me that he had gone so far away and not only did not tell me but that I had no way of contacting him. He nodded his head in a thoughtful way. Then he told me he would not do anything like that again. Of course he kept his promise. My son never lied to me, not ever.

This son is the one who always seemed to be in trouble. Not all of it was his fault. When he was in first grade I was called to the school. He had wet his pants. He had not done that since he was potty trained.

I took a dry set of clothes with me and went to his classroom. His teacher was indignant. She had told the students to reach as high as they could and try to touch the ceiling. My son knew he would be closer to the ceiling if he was on his desk so he climbed up and reached high.

The teacher became angry and punished him by having him stand in the corner.  She did not say how long he was in that corner. What she did say was that he had raised his hand and told her that he needed to go to the bathroom. She refused to let him go. "He wet his pants just to spite me!" I took him home then made a "friendly" visit to the principal.

One night I realized my son who was in the second grade could not read. I marched up to the school the next day. His teacher said she was very happy to see me. I asked her why she had not contacted me about his inability to read. She said that a lot of the parents do not want to be bothered. I said. "Bother me. I cannot help with a problem I am not aware of."

Then she explained that when she would tell the class to take out their workbooks my son would cross his arms and glare at her. He scared her.

I said, "He's seven years old! Tell him to take out the workbook!"

I offered to help with his reading. If she could give me a copy of their reader I would work with him at home. Done.

Within a week I also had copies of all the other textbooks from his class. If I had wanted to be a teacher, I would have been. Off I went to visit the principal again.

The principal listened to my complaints and sympathized. He was good at that. Then he explained that I needed to allow the teacher a little time. She was going through a nasty divorce and it was affecting her teaching. Well, excuse me. If she is having personal problems she has no business taking them to school with her. In a factory a worker is not allowed the luxury of an unhappy home situation affecting production. Then I found out that her divorce happened 10 years earlier. Instant smoke from my ears.

We reached an agreement. I was not happy with it because I did not get my way for the whole thing but it was better. And I continued to work with my son at home. The thing is that all of my children are extremely intelligent. My second son is the quickest of all of them. All the school needed to do was try. He now can read very well thanks to me.

My son got into a fight at school. I have no idea who started it and do not care. The principal called me at work. He informed me that my son had been in the fight and refused to accept his punishment.... a paddling. The principal asked him why he could not paddle my son and my son said, "Because my mom said so."

Now the principal knew that he was not to touch my children. Every year at the beginning of the year I would talk to him and make that point clear. I believe in discipline. I will back a teacher if she needs to punish my child in order to maintain order. But no one, and I do mean no one, is ever under any circumstances to hit my children. Then they would have to deal with Angry Mom.

So my son was suspended from school for several days. I took him home where he was promptly put to work. Hard labor.

In junior high school my sons were there at the same time. It was a public school that only the most intelligent children were allowed to apply. They were accepted.

Studies had been done that showed the most unproductive time at school was the last two hours on Friday.The children were just passing time before the weekend started. The school instituted what they called "flex" classes. For the last two hours on Friday the students would do something a little more interesting. They would sign on for a semester then change to a different "flex" class the next semester.

Both my boys had chosen a class where they would build model cars. They usually sat at the same table across from each other. One Friday they were sitting at the table with their papers in front of them waiting for the teacher to come.

My son was known for having a hot temper. It was easy to pick fight with him because he saw no need to control himself. This particular day some boys sent the smallest of their group in to make my son angry.

The boy walked up and made a remark to my son then pushed his paper off the table.

My oldest son saw what was happening. He knew what was going to happen. He jumped up to grab my second son. He reached across the table but my son was gone! He grabbed the other boy by the front of his shirt and raised him up against the blackboard. The boy's friends had disappeared. My other son managed to stop the rest of it before the teacher came in. He may have saved that boy's life. (That is a joke.)

The children were standing in line waiting to have lunch. My son's locker was right there. Another boy opened it and started rifling through it. The assistant principal was there and did not stop him. Suddenly the boy cried out that there was a gun in my son's jacket.

The principal went to take a look. There was no gun of course. But there was a knife. My son's jacket was one of those that had zippered pockets everywhere and the knife was in one of those.

I was summoned to the school. When they told me on the phone what the problem was I said, "That's where it is. (Meaning the knife) He uses that to cut the hoses for the car radiators when he is helping his dad. He has been looking all over for it."

When I got to the school the police were already there. The principal was reasonable. He told me that my son had also told him that he used the knife when he worked with his father and that he had been unable to find it. As a matter of fact the assistant principal had placed it back into the same pocket to show the police and he could not find it again.

They had no choice but to suspend him from school. They would not press criminal charges so the police left after giving him a good talking to. I was told that the school was under no obligation to allow him to return and they would discuss what they wanted to do during the suspension.

I asked them how they felt about letting him return. The principal softened a bit and told me that because my son was a good student and never caused any problems(?) he would be in favor of a return.

My son grew up and became involved with a woman who was older than he was. She had three children. Each one had a different father. Eventually they married.

Now she came from a strange family but I always said she was the sanest of the bunch. She treated me with the utmost respect. And if I ever needed a favor I did not even have to ask. She would break her neck trying to help me. I liked her.

The problem was that she and my son were not good for each other. I am not saying not right for each other. They were not good for each other. My son was as much at fault as she was.

Her children were very dear to me and still are. They are all grown now and they are parents themselves.

My son and his wife divorced after several years of marriage. I still hear from her. She seems to be doing well.

From other relationships my son has a step-daughter that he is very close to. She is special to me also. She is a lovely young woman, very pretty with a good head on her shoulders. She seems headed toward something in the medical field. She graduates from college this year. Now she is talking of becoming a polive officer. She will be successful at whatever she does.

He has a daughter that is 15 years old. She is like her father. Sometimes they are both too smart for their own good. She lives wirh her father She is in high school. There are times when I see features in her that look like me.

And he has a 13 year old son. What a precious guy he is. So smart and so shy. He looks like his father and he will be tall like his dad. My son is several inches over six feet tall. He is already bigger than his baseball coaches. He keeps assuring me that he is doing well in school.

My son looked so much like his father when he was little. The strange thing is that the older he gets, the more he looks like my father.

And he continues being a kind-hearted person. A few years ago he dated a young woman whose younger sister was rather a loner. The younger sister was not as attractive or outgoing as her sister. Her family did not treat her very well and belittled her. My son liked her so they remained friends after he stopped seeing the sister.

The girl's grandfather died. Her mother told her that if she could not manage to look respectable she should not bother attending the funeral. She looked to my son for solace. He decided to help her.

My son sent the girl with his newest girlfriend to shop and buy her a nice outfit. Then he had the girlfriend help her get dressed and all made up. They did her hair. She felt beautiful.

As she was getting ready to leave for the funeral, my son handed her the keys to his sports car. He told her to tell her family that she had won the lottery and had a lot of money now.

When she came back after the funeral she was so happy. She said it was the only time her family had been nice to her. My son was just glad that they had not treated her bad. That is the kind of person he is.

14 comments:

  1. Great chapter in your story. Thanks!

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  2. Fascinating as always, Emma. I have never been able to be that candid about my family in my blogposts. I love each of them to pieces, but openness with strangers (not you or my regular readers, I mean other people out there) just does not seem to be in me. It must be the way I was raised or it's in the family genes or something. Your love for your family is very evident in your writing.

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    1. My children are what has made my life worth living. My grandchildren and great-grandchildren are magnificent bonuses.

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  3. Dear Emma i read this post almost half until your son was suspended from school ,i will read rest after break as light is about to go!
    i am sorry for your divorce but i am proud of you that you brought up your children in a very impressive way

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  4. Loved this. Your children are very soulful.

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    1. That is a compliment and I agree with you. Thank you.

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  5. Sounds to me as if you have done a good job of bringing up your children and mostly it seems on your own. Well doen Diane

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  6. Dear Emma you should publish your life story which i am sure can inspire so many souls !

    it was happy to read that your boys were excepted in public school which proved that they were brilliant kids!

    i observed in all my life that a person with good ,pure innocent heart can be a short tempered because he is much clean and pure and unconsciously expect same behavior from others and when it goes against his will he drops his patience

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    1. All four of my children went to that school. And all four of them have short tempers. And all four of them tend to hold a grudge. It can be a tough combination at times.

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  7. How sweet of your son to be such kind to that poor girl ,i truly respect his kindness

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    1. That is only one example of his generosity. He is a caring person.

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