by La Vonda R. Staples
I have two sons and two daughters.? Yet I spend almost every waking hour fretting, worrying, crying, and agonizing on one child.? Joslyn Lavonne is 29.? John Van II is 24.? Grant Worthington is 22.? And my Sarah Vaughn is 14.? Yet I concentrate over my one son and beg Allah the Merciful for him to find his respect, dignity, purpose and reason.
Joslyn is a beautiful college graduate who keeps her own house while attending graduate school.? My Sarah can have the world.? Grant is his own man and I rarely take the time to tell him I love him or compliment his progress.? His uniqueness. His presence in my life gives laughter, calm, and joy.? I am so wrong.? Running after one and turning my back on the other three.? Some mornings I can barely drag myself out of the house in a presentable fashion because I never closed my eyes until I saw the sun.
I ask my children to please forgive me as I have been completely wrong.? My heart is ruled by my need to see all set to right.? My granma told me many times, ?chile, you cain?t make a grown person do nothing.? They gots ta want to do right.?? I know this.? I am the proof of that statement.? Yet and still I do not give the other three what they deserve because I have allowed myself to become beaten and defeated over one.
Grant is my golden bear.? He is a physical specimen with a scant six percent body fat.? Everyone loves Grant and Grant has an innate need to discover new people, cultures, and languages.? He is a born protector and is always on hand to defend the helpless.? Yet he uses his great strength with caution.? He is also an ingenious young man who also knows how to use laughter as an alternative to his fists.
How many conversations have I had with my son about politics, religion, peace, and the coming zombie apocalypse?? So many.? I am blessed to be a parent who can sit down and talk to her children.? I don?t have to bark orders or make grand statements.? We, in our pleasant society limited by genetic connection, have the ability to talk like folks.? I wish every soul in the world the same thing.? I had this with my grandparents and it has paid off for my children.? But the one thing none of us can stand is superficial conversation.? We?ll just walk away and leave you in mid-sentence.? Therefore, we like to talk about things which are vital and full of life.? We are life.
When I think of Grant and his words to me over his brother.? Grant and Joslyn and Sarah too are growing weary of my inability to put consequences on John II.? They are right.? I am wrong.? But I just can?t help looking at John II and not seeing that beautiful nine pound little man.? He was so fat that we had to have someone leave the hospital and get him bigger clothes.? There.? I?m doing it again.? I?m supposed to be writing about one and I slipped into a narrative regarding the other.? I?m trying.? Please be patient with me.? I feel as if not going the distance with all four of you will mean that things are my fault.? I don?t want to fail you anymore.? I can?t stand to not have your love and presence in my life.? It seems, that this love is the only love which has any substantive and transformative powers over me.
Although you might not want to hear it now I do love you equally.? My heart has four chambers only so each one of you can have your own room.? Each one a ubiquitous epitome of the next generation of whatever gifts and curses I may possess.? And Grant, it?s not lost on me that when you shave we look just alike.? You?re my male twin.? I?m just a little taller than a tall woman.? And you, at six foot three or four are a tall man but not so tall that you look odd.? I love the sound of your voice and I love, even more, the presence of that slight Mississippi lilt to your words.? When you speak, my grandfather will never die.? He thought you were the cutest thing with the hair on the sides and not on the top.? He would say, ?That boy look like Eisenhower.? Come here Ike!?? And you would wobble over to him.? I think that had more to do with him always having Twinkies.
I have cried with you.? I have cried for you.? But your strength is more than I will ever possess.? If Noah?s flood made a re-appearance I would not be shocked to see you floating along on the back of a dolphin or being towed by a small whale.? All creatures feel your genuine heart and they bow to the presence of our Creator in you.? Only those possessed by that Other would ever be so mean to you.? Only those who have yet to discover themselves would do wrong to you.? You are a man among men and God made you so tall and strong as a reflection of what is placed inside of your body.? You are a golden soul.
So, the three of you.? Have pity on your mother.? She?s trying hard to get right.? I confess to my wrongs and I beseech you for your patience with me (and your brother). ?Ask yourself, when you?re mad at me, what if it was me?? I?m giving what I would give to any one of you.? But forgive me a little more when I tell you that I have never an opportunity to worry about the three of you.? You just don?t live your lives that way.? You three seem to have been born with control.? Oh, we?ve had some moments here and there.? But you always seem to balance your own scales.? Of this fact, I am so very proud.
If no one ever calls your names for an award or a title I will be pleased.? There is no need for the world to recognize you.? I do.? God does.? That?s all we will ever need.? Each other and God.? That?s how we got started and that is how we shall end.? Your mum loves you too well.? Please call more often, drink more water and eat more spinach, take your vitamins and don?t forget to take a good, long hot bath once a week.? Take long walks and be nice and respectful when meeting strangers.? Always keep a book to read.? And even when you don?t feel like praying get in a quiet corner and meditate on you.?? Find peace.? You may never find love.? But you must find peace.? Good night or good morning.? I love you infinity.? Feel me now, doing our secret headshake to all of you.? I place my forehead against yours.? I take my two hands and place them on either sides of your face.? And I breathe your air.? That is the way of ancient royalty.? And it is our way today.? That is all.