“What’s a conundrum?” …..”ummmm, ask your sister“.
So my youngest turned 10 this past December. He’s in that ‘inbetween’ world. The one where fantasy begins to slowly slip away into reality. Mind you, there’s still plenty of fantasy….but not quite as much. I’d say around a 10% decrease in the past year. Functioning at a good 90% and still roaming the maze in ‘the Labyrinth’, along with Sting (yes…I’m that old), my son still clings to his childhood. And somewhere between legos and trading lols with his bff, there’s a tiny glimpse into his future…lurking…..
For quite some time, I’ve been quite aware of his ‘all boy’ psyche. Caution to the wind, shoes unlaced, to heck with the proper safety gear, ‘Mom, you’re paranoid!’, ‘this is gonna be AWESOME!’, ‘Mom…has anyone ever died skydiving with an umbrella?’, barreling full speed ahead, who really needs bones anyway? and then some…..this one…this last child, everything in him screams ‘Life is meant to be lived, not viewed from the bench’. His curiosity is contagious, his creativity has no boundaries, his ability to empathize…an anchor on the darkest day, with energy that could fuel a freight train and a heart to match….there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not truly thankful, for this one last ‘surprise’. And he hasn’t stopped surprising me yet.
When he was very small, he’d spent a good 3 years, in and out of intensive care. The worst of these admissions was a night…I will never forget. Life Flight Children’s Bus, a glass room, the child in the next room passing from a car accident earlier in the evening, her mother screaming, my son with blue fingers, pulse ox of 82, making a horrible grunting sound with every breath…me telling the nurse ‘he must be in pain, he’s crying’…her saying ‘no ma’am…he’s gasping for air’…being told to say our goodbyes…my husband and I each wanting to be the one holding him…if….then sometime after midnight… “He’s gonna make it!” And in the midst of hugging and crying….that blasted roller coaster finally slowed down enough to let us the hell off! And we knew…we KNEW, we had just dodged the biggest heartbreak anyone could possibly endure. The years of steroids that followed we HAPPILY excepted as the norm. (It is true: What doesn’t kill you…will make you stronger) And life moved on.
He has a best friend now, with energy to match. Just the other morning, they had breakfast together…7 am…over facetime….I was smiling inside as I walked by my son at the kitchen table. His iPad propped up in front of his cereal bowl and his friend at his home…also sitting in front of his own cereal bowl. And they were discussing ….’cereal bowl designs’….yup. In this new world of technology…their future….your best pal is only a click away. And at a moments notice, yes, you too can discuss cereal bowls! As I sat there, half typing…half listening….I realized...I mean it REALLY hit me hard..…Someday, I will absolutely…without a doubt…MISS THIS! I already do! Everyday it seems to grow closer….
“See you mom…I’m taking the car”…
“See you mom, don’t worry, my apartment’s not that far”…
“See you mom, I’ll be home at Christmas”….
“See you mom, we’ll call you when we get back from our honeymoon”….
“See you mom, we’ll bring the baby by sometime next week”….
“See you mom, I have to drive the boys to practice”
…..And the cycle repeats.
My brain gets stuck on overdrive and the years are fleeting away in seconds. Then there’s that brief pause..an intermission, when I snap back to reality….and it generally goes like this:
“NO! You may NOT put POP ROCKS in the LITTER BOX just because you saw it on Facebook!” .