Monday, June 22, 2009

Flash From the Past... Connecting to the Present

Yesterday I began one of those conversations that would change my relationship with my son. He continues to be incredulous that there was no such thing as a home computer when I was his age. No computer, no cell phone, heck, no ATM.

He is forever trying to tell me about his latest adventures on any of a number of Zelda games. He starts his soliloquies with the phrase, "Mom, do you want me to tell you about....". No pause for breath, no pause for a response from me. I have learned that means " Mom, please listen to me, I've got a lot to tell you about....."

And then he begins. He may as well been speaking to me in a foreign language for as much as I understand.

But this day, for some reason, I said: "You know, Jacob, there was this game that I ** REALLY ** loved when I was younger". Silence. "Uhm, I thought you said there weren't computers when you were a girl." "There weren't. I was in college."

And it's true. I spent more hours playing the game that I should admit to. When I told him there were no graphics, again, silence. "Uhm, no *graphics*?" I may as well have told him there wasn't any oxygen on Earth when I was a girl. Both are apparently equally incomprehensible.

I began to describe in as much detail as I could recall over a couple of decades the game Rogue. On a whim, I Google-searched it. Voila! Rogue, in all it's antiquated glory! "Can I try?" he asked? "Sure". And there I sat, watching my son play a game I hadn't thought about in 20 years.

A little later that night, my daughter asked me to pull out the Chronicles of Narnia books that I thought I had. Turns out they were the Hobbit series. But, I also found my Little House books. The pages have yellowed with age, but the pages are intact. We open the front cover of one of them. We both smile as we see, written in my young girl handwriting "Linda Lorantos" followed by my street address and phone number. Below that was a picture of a girl, very similar to the ones my daughter draws these days.

The look on her face and in her eyes was one that showed that a brick in the wall of "My-mom-was-NEVER-a-girl-like-me" had been removed.

As she snuggled in my bed, reading about little Laura Ingals -who happens to be the same age in the story as Amelia is now- she said the sweetest thing. "Mom, all of the nights that I'm sleeping ad you're sleeping, and the whole world is sleeping, and all the days that I'm alive and the nights that I'm alive, I'm thanking you so, SO much for finding these books for me". Wow.

I have been feeling the need to connect with my children in more meaningful ways. I know that the relationship bonds we create now are the ones that will get us through their teen years and beyond. They need to be solid. Our life together must encourage and support strong, faith-based ties.

Thank you God for providing two wonderful opportunities.

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