Thursday, November 17, 2005

Worth the Wait?

In our hurly-burly lives how much can we actually say is worth waiting for? I mean after all, if we can’t get it right away, is it really worth having?

The concept of delayed gratification has been lost, somewhere back in those traditional value days I keep hearing about. Come to think about it I have a lot to say about that expression but that’s for another entry!

There have been several things I discovered were worth the wait:

More than several years ago Sheila and I flew up to Massachusetts to tell my in-laws Sheila was pregnant with Robert. Anne, my mother-in-law, cracked wise with me about being a new dad at my age. She said something like,

“Why, at your age, would you want to father a child?”

Since she’s only nine years older than me I tend not to take the grief she sends my way. After all, she was crying and hugging Sheila with the initial report of baby-in-the-oven news. Why couldn’t she afford me the same weepy reception?

Regardless, I came up with a retort that still scores points, even if it’s only in my own mind. I said,

“Because I’ve always given Sheila what she’s asked, and this is the first time she asked me for a child!”

Scoring on my mother-in-law was certainly worth the years of aggravation I took from her. And it was something that wasn’t even intended! Plus now I was the one getting tears and hugs from the two of them!

The other day I was raking leaves, one of my least favorite activities with my allergies and all (really bad knees and worse lower back). Regardless, there I was, trying to beat the rain and cold. Being a good dad and husband, I was bagging the red, yellow, and rust colored reminders of fall so Sheila and the kids wouldn’t have to when they got home from having whatever fun they were enjoying. Wet leaves are a major pain to collect and bag.

I was using Robert’s technique for getting the leaves up into the yard bags: turning the rake over and using it as a shovel so I wouldn’t have to bend over that much to use my hand with the rake. He was about four or five when he showed me that trick! There I was in my fifties learning from a kid.

It was worth the wait.

I was thirty-six when I met Sheila. Definitely worth the wait! Probably the better timing too as I was a complete idiot when it came to the women I had loved before then. I learned some damn good lessons and had my heart broken a time or two (to say nothing of the hearts I busted up!). When I met her I had just broken up with a woman who had been a great friend for a number of years before we became romantically involved. She and I moved in together and I honestly thought I found ‘the one’.

Well six months later it was clear I hadn’t. I was convinced that I was going to be single forever.

Then I met this young, feisty (well, she was then!), intelligent, beautiful woman who seemed to like me. Twenty-two years later she still seems to like me. (And every once in a while she still shows flashes of her feistiness!)

Worth the wait, huh? No doubt.

While there may still be things I want (that forty foot RV will remain close to the top of my wish list!) I am very content right now. There are aspects of desire I hope I never lose but I’ve learned that being really attached to those desires only causes pain and suffering. Living with the openness I’ve learned has taught me that. (I still covet a lot of toys that I will collect, only I’ve learned that I can wait to pay cash instead of putting them on my credit card!) I am something more than my possessions. Way more.

I am a father, a husband, a friend, a colleague, a team mate, and a kid from the projects of Philly who has made a good, no, make that a great life for himself and his family. Yeah, I am a kid from the projects in Philadelphia. I still root for the Philly teams here in the heart of Washington, DC!

With things going the way they are though, I don’t think I’ll wait any longer this year for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl!

When they finally do though it’ll be well worth the wait. Just like when the Red Sox won it all last year. I remember when someone in Sheila’s family (they are all from the Boston area) asked my why I was rooting for the Sox I said I had been ever since ’67.

They said I was such a newbie! After all some of them had been rooting for them since the last time the Sox won the Series.

Worth the wait?

I think so.

1 comment:

Lizz said...

I love your writing and the way you think, Chuck. I leave for Puerto RIco this evening, I WILL have a bottle of name with your name on it in my return luggage! Besos!