Friday, December 10, 2010
Tick-tock, tick-tock, so goes the Grandmother Clock on the landing of our stairway. Where I usually just walk past it every morning on my way to coffee, this morning I stopped to look at it. There are great memories in that clock.
My mom and dad gave it to us as a house warming gift when we moved in our first home forty seven years ago March. It sat on the landing there too--in the same kitty-corner position it is in this place. I loved it. I was very proud of it. It was the first really nice piece of furniture we had. The living room was empty--the family room had the apartment stuff in it. It was very special.
A month later, my second son, big blue eyes and not a hair on his head, arrived. Angelic looking, he was all boy. Determined, stubborn, opinionated. Took ownership of the room he shared with his brother. He's the one for whom the clock is now named. He's the child who taught me, then just in my twenties and still a pretty green mom, a very valuable lesson about stuff.
Michael was three when he streaked around the banister and up the stairs and the clock fell face first into the newel post from his thunder. I heard the crash from the kitchen and came running to find the clock speared straight through and a little boy huddled on the stairs sobbing, his arms wrapped around his shaking body. He looked so scared. My heart broke as I wondered how I had made him that way? Without a word, I climbed over the clock, sat down beside him and took him in my arms and just held him. Then I said, "Would you look at that,the clock tried to get you, but you were too fast for it. It missed! I'm so glad you're safe. I love you more than anything else in the whole world." He relaxed.
Together we untangled the mess and leaned what was left back against the wall. We called the Clock Doctor who repaired the thing to nearly good as new and anchored it to a stud. Back in place, the Michael clock became a real heirloom. It had history I wouldn't have missed. Changed my attitude with a bang then and with every chime since reminding me repeatedly that stuff is just stuff. Kids are to cherish.