The Gift

Today, Younger turns nineteen. One of his friends brought his gift to the front office of the college, so he sent me this text:

“She just said you need to take it when you leave, and then refused to explain.”

A little concerned, I replied,”It better not be a puppy.”

He texted back, “She said she’d burnt it, so I’m hoping no.”

Yeah, well, we all are.

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Little Boys, Grown Men

Today, I have been a mother for twenty-two years.

I’ve learned so much.

And still know so little.

But Elder has been a patient son. For the most part.

He doesn’t let me count little fingers and toes anymore, but he still hugs me when he sees me and when he leaves me. He doesn’t hold my hand when we cross a parking lot anymore, but he still tells me when he makes it to a destination safely.

He doesn’t think I can solve all of life’s problems anymore, but he still thinks I can fix many of them.

Sometimes, I miss my little boy.

But then I hear my grown man laugh.

And I know my little boy is still with me.

He’s just taller.

A lot, lot taller.

Fear of Commitment

Today, I thought I would share a story from 2001 when Elder would have been just five years old . . .

The other night, Elder asked, “Mom, do I have to get married when I grow up?”

“No, Elder, but being married is nice.”  And because he has had objections to sleeping alone lately, I added, “You won’t have to sleep alone then.”

“But I don’t want to get married!”

“Okay, Elder.”

“Mom, when I grow up, will you tell everyone that I don’t have to get married?”

. . . So, here I am, with a grown up, almost twenty-two-year-old man, and I am dutifully informing everyone

Elder doesn’t have to get married.

Just so you know.

 

Everything Is Good . . .

The other day, Younger forgot his wallet at his desk, which he did not realize until he was leaving for work the next day. Well, in his wallet is his ID, which is necessary to gain entry onto the installation and into the office in which he works. Fortunately, a very kind coworker met him at the gate with the wallet and ID.

So, being an occasional helicopter parent, I asked him to inform me when he made it to his office. And this is what I got:

Isaiah Text Message

Younger, my own personal comedian.

Which means everything is good.

Cept, you know, that Middle East thing.

Chances . . .

My boys always figured chances were never ending. Elder once even reminded me, “But Mo-om, God even gave Jonah a second chance.”

Yeah, argue that one.

Or with this one, from Younger, when he was three years old . . .

Younger enjoys bouncing on the sofa, despite my immediate protests. He usually takes a chance every week or so, just to check if I’ve changed my mind. And when I warn him with a simple and weary, “Younger,” he immediately follows with another attempt, just to check if I’m serious.

So, today, after the first admonishment and second bounce, I told him, “Younger, you do it again, and you’re in trouble.”

“Four more chances,” he bargained.

“No, you’ve got one more chance. You do it again, and you’re in trouble.”

“Four more chances,” he repeated, a clear threat to wail in his voice.

But I remained firm. “No.”

“But I want to do it four more times,” he cried.

And honesty is supposed to be an admirable trait.

Home Is . . .

When we took Younger to Rolla to register for classes, he had to participate in math placement testing and parents had to be entertained in the interim. So, current students performed skits for the waiting parents, one of which suggested we not make any big changes in the house the first semester or so. The students still needed the safety and security of home being the same when they returned.

Which had me thinking back on a recent conversation with Elder . . .

“Since you will be staying in Columbia this summer,” I approached my oldest child carefully, “I think we may move Younger into the bathroom upstairs. You would have to share it on the weekends you are home.”

And Elder, who only visited once every three weeks or so the last two semesters, looked at me and sincerely pledged, “I plan to be home a lot this summer, Mom.”

Yeah, don’t make any significant changes the first semester.

Or the first year.

Or second or third . . .