I Used to Know Everything

Here is an old story from 2006. Elder would have been nine years old, Younger six…

After a tug of war with Younger over my husband’s baseball glove, which Elder has stolen as his own and Younger thought he could borrow for a few minutes to retrieve a small tube of chap stick from the car’s back floorboard, Elder, the victor, settled happily back in his seat, clutching the filched glove.  “Hey, Mom,” he said.

“Yeah?”

“Oh, never mind.  You wouldn’t know.”

Immediately appalled and offended, I, in a squeaky voice, repeated, “I wouldn’t know?”

“Well, all right,” Elder said, doubtfully.  “What size is my glove?”

After a long, long hesitation, during which I considered lying, I finally muttered, “I don’t know.”

“See?  I knew you wouldn’t.”

I think the hardest part about your kids believing you don’t know everything is…they’re right.

Don’t Tell

The other day, my husband dropped Younger off with his friend of the poppy seed muffin fame. (Secret Family Recipe)

He came home with two jars of homemade jam.

Eyeing my husband and the jars suspiciously, I asked, “What secrets did you give up now?”

“No secrets. Just your birthday.”

Well, my birthday isn’t a secret, I guess. I don’t exactly advertise the age, but I’m not afraid of a little number.

The big numbers, now those are terrifying.

Maybe a little homemade jam on a biscuit will blunt the fear.

Or a lot of homemade jam.

Straight from the jar.

You know, either way.

Not Ready

Last week, between a doctor’s appointment in one town and weight training in another, Younger and I stopped at a convenience store where he bought a sports drink. Back in the truck, he twisted unsuccessfully at the lid, shrugged, then shoved the drink into a cup holder.

I glanced at him, raising an eyebrow. “Don’t you want the drink before weights?”

He flashed a palm, grinning sheepishly. “The lid hurt my hand.”

“Want me to open it?”

He shook his head. “That would hurt my pride.”

Ahhh, well, he’s honest, I guess. Although at one time, not all that long ago I feel, I was allowed to open bottles. And straighten mussed hair at church and hold his hand as we crossed a parking lot and kiss him on the head in public.

On Sunday, he will be sixteen.

In the midst of senior year and then graduation and then college preparation for Elder, I just shelved the reality of my baby becoming a young man.

And all those compartmentalized boxes are now falling around me.

Those really hurt when they hit you upside the head.

I’m not ready.

I’m just…

Not ready.

Never Grow Up

The other day, I asked Elder about his plans for his birthday, reminding him that I needed some notice before he invited a bunch of friends to our house.

“Hey, Mom,” he said, grinning at me. “Let’s rent a bounce house.”

He’s over six feet tall.

Not to mention, days from being nineteen.

He’s a young man. His friends are young men.

And he wants to rent a bounce house.

But, I’ll tell you, I’m actually considering it.

Because those pictures would be worth more than gold.

And everyone needs a retirement plan.

The Strange One

Last night, with Elder at a friend’s birthday party, I sat on the sofa between my husband and Younger, rolling my eyes as they laughed themselves silly as they bested each other with movie quotes.

“At least you entertain each other,” I commented, drily.

“Hey, Mom,” Younger responded. “When it’s just the three of us in a room, you’re the strange one.”

Elder is leaving next month for college.

I will be left alone with these two.

I might as well start crying now.