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They leave

In the first Jurassic Park movie when the two kids are stranded in the electric car with that older man and the T-rex trying to get to them, the man runs out of the car and into what looks like an outhouse, and that is where the T-rex finds him. Shortly after the man runs out of the car the young girl screams “he left us, he left us, he left us!” That is what our kids do, they leave us, their parents, and from then on we’re left wondering when the T-rex will eat them alive!

Moms and dads can only hope and pray that what they’ve done as parents will be good enough to help protect their offspring from the tyrannosauruses they’ll surely encounter during their stay on this little Blue Dot. We can’t expect that they won’t get nipped by one a time or two, and if we’ve accomplished our jobs as moms and dads when they do get bit they’ll be able to bandage themselves without too much help from us.

I have four that are out there now building their defenses against Tyrannosauruses. So far they’ve not had to endure too many nips and bites. Yes, all four probably have a scar or two that I don’t know about, and I think that’s okay because scars tell us that we heal, eventually. Knowing that our kids have the necessary adulting skills to heal themselves when we can’t quite be there to help should give us comfort. I’m also extremely proud of my children, and if your kids are anything like mine, you should be proud of yours too.

I didn’t have the upbringing that I gave my kids, due to alcoholism my father lost touch with what it meant to be a good dad. We left home and dealt with tyrannosauruses at an age when we should’ve been dealing with first dates and high school proms. It wasn’t until after all 7 of his children left that I think my father finally came to realize how devastating his disease had become.

We leave our parents to encounter many things in life. Some of those encounters leave us enriched and excited to be out on our own. With a little luck, good bearings, and a steady course, our kids can take a left hook from T-rex and counter it with a right cross! That may leave them with a black eye but it will heal, eventually.

This blog post is dedicated to Benjamin Conner, Whitney Conner, Andrew Conner, and Meghan Conner. May they continue punching and turning away tyrannosauruses!

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I let them go

I very rarely shed a tear, but I hear that a good cry every now and then is healthy for the soul. I’m not sure I know what a “good” cry is as opposed to a bad one. Is there a difference? If so, how can I tell that the cry I’m feeling will be a good one or a bad one? It must be based on the emotion that brought on the feeling to cry. Sadness is most often associated with crying, I think. But I know there’re joyful occasions of crying too.

When the feeling to cry presents itself it usually arrives with a song I’m listening to. Sometimes the feeling to cry is instagated by a melody I strike up on my guitar, no words, just a melody. I have several of them saved on my iPhone, waiting for words. Melodies always show up for me first, and most often with the cry feeling attached. I wish words would come as easy, but alas, they don’t.

I listen to a lot of folk and Americana music and sometimes the words I hear with the melodies cause a feeling to cry. But I don’t cry, or maybe I can’t for some reason. Perhaps the cry area of my brain doesn’t function normally. Whatever the reason, tears rarely form, but I know they are there, hiding, I can feel them burning the back of my eyes. And there’s that odd feeling in my throat, like tears are trying to come out from there too.

Death is surely one of the top reasons folks cry. But even at that, my tears stay hidden. I remember my maternal grandmother’s funeral, lots of crying, not me. When my dear mother and father passed, my eyes weren’t wet with tears like those of my siblings. Sad stories of friends and family members passing don’t stir me to tears. I feel sad yes, but I don’t cry. I wish I had a normal cry function. I worry though, that if I started crying, I wouldn’t stop. Perhaps oceans of tears are stored somewhere in me, and they’re waiting, waiting for the perfect moment in time when flood gates are no longer needed. Only then will I let them go.