Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Three Word Wednesday - Glimmer, Passion, Wish - 12/31/08

I haven't played Three Word Wednesday for a long time. The words haven't inspired me. They didn't this time either, but I thought I should write something before the year ends tonight. I have been very lazy, which is my homeostatic condition, but have been encouraged by others to write. This is for you. You know who you are.

I am spending the holidays caring for my 4 year-old grandson, Carson. His school is closed and my daughter, Carly, has to work. I don’t care how demanding or difficult you think your job is, it is a piece of cake compared to that of a single mother.

I don’t mean a single mom that has grandma next door to provide assistance or an extended family of aunts and uncles nearby. I am talking about a single mother who’s support system (what little there is) is located several interstates away.

If I had a wish, it would be for Carly to have an easier life, but that is not the case. So, even though I am not much of a nurturer, I volunteered for a couple of weeks of childcare. If I had to submit a resume for this position, I would not have had a glimmer of hope for an interview. But Carly was desperate, so Skooter and I loaded up and drove the 200 miles to spend a couple of weeks with Carson.

Most kids have more than one set of grandparents, so that they have to develop names to distinguish each: gramps, grampy, granddad, pawpaw, etc. This is particularly true, here, in the south. I have a friend that’s husband is called “Big” by his grandsons. I am glad not to have that moniker. That is very “Cat On a Hot Tin Roofy”. That is not the case with Carson. I am the only one he has. His sperm-donor (biological father) and his family are not in the picture. He elected absence over multiple ass-kickings administered by the three Wainright men. This prick is another story altogether.
Carson and I are somewhat similar. We are both only children, which results in developing a great imagination, independence, and self-reliance, but very little social skills and cooperation. We are both loose cannons. Carson attends a special school that tries to funnel his bright mind into activities that do not endanger others. He has been labeled as having behavioral issues. Had there been such a school when I was four, I am certain I would have been valedictorian. He is a carbon copy of his uncle Josh, who owns his own very successful company, is happily married, and drives a BMW. Had this type of diagnosis been available when he was four, he would have been sedated for much of his youth.

I mention that Carson and I are alike to illustrate that we probably butted heads during our confinement together. We are both very stubborn. I have kept him before, but it was summer in Myrtle Beach. There were so many activities to keep us occupied that there was little downtime for us to actually have to communicate and co-exist in a normal environment. However, this time it is winter in Clemmons, North Carolina. You have not heard of it. There is a reason. So, we had no beach, no amusement park, and no boats to watch. It was just him and me, sometimes him or me.
This visit contained the obligatory trip to Chuckee Freaking Cheese. There we met up with my son Rick and my beautiful granddaughter Maris. Luckily Maris is afraid of Chuckee (as am I) and we didn't stay very long.

Carson behaves pretty well when it is just the two of us. He harbors a bit of fear of grandpa, which is not a bad thing. While his mother is new age: time out, time away, and such. She tends to give in, while, as I mentioned, grandpa is a match for Carson at being stubborn. Grandpa is old school. Grandpa will spank your butt if it needs it. To Carson, Grandpa is a huge man with a baritone voice. (Carson once told a classmate that his grandpa is a giant) All he normally hears is his mother’s alto. When grandpa bellows, Carson takes notice. Carson is also not totally certain that someday grandpa won’t totally lose it and put him in a wood chipper. Grandpa might have let it slip that he once did hard time in Wyoming for just such a thing. A little fear is a good thing.

But, because Carson and grandpa are so much alike, they have a common passion for music and movies. Carson loves to listen to classic rock. He is a big fan of AC/DC and Joan Jett. I am sure that the counselors at his school would not approve. So we go for rides and listen to grandpa’s music. I respect Carly’s wishes that Carson not be allowed to watch anything on television or movies that contain bad language or any adult situation. As a result, I have viewed more children’s programming than any other man since Fred Rogers. I know most of the songs from Barney, Scooby-Doo, and the Wiggles. I fear that some of it is stuck in my head forever.

As you can see by some of the photos, Carson is a bit of a daredevil. That is where we differ significantly. The most dangerous thing I do these days is fry bacon without a shirt on.

Carson is also very fond of Skooter. Skooter does not totally share that affection, or at least not admit to it. Skooter is a gentle soul except where Carson is concerned. Carson flits around a bit too fast for Skooter's taste. Then when I tell him to move slower, he goes into creepy, zombie, slow, which drives Skooter even more insane. Skooter is very comfortable with Carson when he is asleep (as we all are).

But when awake and active, Skooter loves to chase Carson throughout the apartment, barking and snarling at him, much as he does a squirrel or rabbit. Of course, Carson loves the attention and constantly antagonizes Skooter. As a result, my day is filled with the bay of an energized Beagle and the maniacal laughter of a child. I will miss that when we go home tomorrow.


Linda Jacobs said...

Damn, that brought a lump to my throat! Your affection for him shines through.

Happy New year!

Tumblewords: said...

A truly extraordinary post. Carson and his Grandpa (& Scooter) are bigger than life. Wonderful, wonderful!

forgetfulone said...

I've been wondering why I hadn't seen a post from you in a while.

I imagine you're having a huge impact on Carson, much as he is having an impact on you. Wonderful post.

And yes, being a single mom, especially with little, if any, support system, is difficult. She must have your spirit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Grandchildren are very special!!!! I am glad you are enjoying yours. Raising children is a daunting task regardless of who you are.... Best Wishes to Carly and all the other struggling parents out there, my heart and understanding go out to them. Have a Happy New Year Mr. Ramblings and same to all the little Ramblers too!!!co

paisley said...

happy new years my friend,, and thank you for introducing me to your adorable grand son......

Eaton Bennett said...

Looks like you scrubbed up for the job just fine...and had fun too.
Happy New Year! :)

mgirl said...

Thank you for such an inspirational post. It sounds like you made some very special memories for both you and Carson while visiting. Your last picture sums it all up, and brought a little tear to my eye. Happy New Year and best wishes to you and your family.

Redheels said...

Just as I thought, you are a good man!
Grandchildren are wonderful, but sometimes I just enjoy the silence when they have gone home. :)
Loved this last picture the most.

Happy New year!

Awareness said...

Happy New Year MBR. :)

Great post....I loved reading your thoughts here and seeing the great photos. What I was thinking as I read about the bond you have growing with your sparky little grandson is how wonderful it feels when one can gaze over at the children in our lives with a lump in the throat realization that they carry our legacies inside the shared personality quirks and mannerisms. This is the glimmer part I guess.

ps. I like this prompt....I had never heard of it before.

Regina said...

I love the photo of Carson lying on Skooter's bed! My granddaughter does that with my beagle all the time. Although I fear my dog's bed isn't nearly as clean as Skooter's.
Very sweet. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time together!

linda may said...

Ah so hurricane Carson has been keeping you busy. Lovely post Rick. What a beautiful boy he is.
I had a hurricane Michael and a hurricane David but they grew up. Maybe, if I am lucky I will get a hurricane grandchild like you have one day. I can hope anyway.

inlandempiregirl said...

I loved seeing this whole series of pictures with Carson. What a great kid. Yes... Chucky Cheese gives me the creeps also... or maybe it is the noise level of that place. I am glad the nieces have outgrown that place.