As my youngest rolls into his third decade on this planet, I can’t help but wonder where the time went. It seems like just yesterday that you were doing laps across the front yard in your pull ups pushing your Fisher-Price Bubble Mower. Now look at you working proudly as an auto technician living at home paying your rent and keeping your mother good company
The boyhood years were wonderful, watching you play in our country yard, solo or with your big sister. There weren’t very many neighborhood children, so you had to be content with those imagination fueled joyful destinations like your custom-made tree house or the immense hole that you dug in the faraway parts of our backyard; perfect for contemplation. You spent all day long there in the summertime and in the winter would come and place your chapped red cheeks in my hands to warm them up while you cried after being out for too long until your little hands were frozen. This became routine in the colder weather.
The hardest times were after the divorce combined with the bullying and cruel years of high school. Those moments when I questioned your behavior…was it normal teen, depressed, bipolar? There were pressures from all sides, including inside. Take him to the counselor because of his anger, his lashing out, his verbal abuse his violent actions. Come to find out you were merely speaking a different language because you didn’t know how to say, “I’m hurting, I’m angry, I’m sad,” and I was so busy trying to overanalyze that I wasn’t able to hear, wasn’t listening. Until that night in the garage when you yelled profoundly, finally getting through, pleaded with me to understand, and slowing down, I did. The night that I finally stood still long enough to see what the world was like through your eyes and we both cried. I remember that being your breaking point into the threshold to adulthood and mine as a parent.
There’s been a lot of learning for both of us. And even at your worse moments when you were throwing chairs into walls and calling me a f__king b__tch I have loved you. I’m sorry we had to endure those moments. But now come the rewards. Knowing how to communicate your true feelings, facing your trauma and processing your anger have all been steps in you finding yourself. I’m proud of the man you’ve become and not even because you hug me Good Night now and tell me that you love me. But because you have experienced the pain that life can produce and keep moving forward anyway.
I’m not sure how this Mother and Son thing is supposed to work. I fell in love with my very first sight of you and never let go. Even when I couldn’t help or even understand you I never gave up on you. And I’m grateful you never gave up on me. To every mother who is blessed with a son I wish the same.