Living Happily Ever After


Big Stick

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
My youngest has the “big stick” aspect of achievement totally together; I guess we just have to work on the volume of his speech! Here’s why.
The other night he and a friend were playing in the backyard. Amazingly, and for once, they were content to actually stay in the yard; I was thrilled. (He is a busy boy. It’s my full-time job in the evenings, after working my full-time job during the day, to try to keep track of him.)
But then it dawned on me how odd it was that they were so content to play in our fenced yard. And suddenly, I realized how quiet it had become. (All mothers know that is NEVER a good sign!)
I went out to check on them and found them having a glorious battle with “sticks,” amid a cushion of  lush green leaves, laughing and having a delightful time! There was just one problem. For “sticks,” they were using my two two-year-old fruit trees they had whacked to death and pulled apart–clear out of the ground!
I was not happy.
I sent the friend home and had a discussion with my young son. “WE DO NOT EVER CHOP DOWN TREES! ESPECIALLY FRUIT TREES! IN THE YARD!”
However, I had questions. My biggest question was, “WHY on EARTH would you CHOP DOWN A TREE?”
He looked at me, like it made all the sense in the world, and replied, “But Mom! I NEEDED a big stick!”
What is it with boys…and sticks? And why, after 18 years of mothering boys, does their logic STILL not always make sense to me?
But then, sometimes sensibility is over rated.
“No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.” (W. H. Auden)
And you know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that’s how life is. We’re living life and then unexpectedly, something happens. It doesn’t always make sense. Many times we’re thrust into a situation that changes things and we’ve got to make due; even improvise; do the best with what we’re left with; use what we’ve got or what we can come up with; and carry on. Always looking with faith and hope to the future. Not dwelling on our losses.
Like a life once lived. “Things” once enjoyed. Money once in our possession…or anything else. Like fruit trees. Or peony bushes–but THAT’S another story, for another time. (Yet coincidentally, involving the same son!)
But you know what? Regardless of what happens, you can always sing.
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