Feel My Pain

Despite breaking my heart and quitting football, Younger had continued to take a weights class until last semester, when he simply could not fit one in his schedule. At the start of the new semester a few weeks ago, he was able to once again join the class, although he did so with much trepidation after missing several months of workouts.

And now when I ask him to perform simple tasks — feed the dogs and cats, throw his trash away, actually put his plate in the dishwasher — I hear, “But my muscles, Mom — they hurt.”

Apparently not satisfied with the level of sympathy he was receiving one day, he decided to elaborate. “Mom, I don’t think you understand just how much I pain I am in. I woke up in the middle of the night last night because I rolled over.”

Then this morning, as we prepared to leave the house, I asked, “You have everything you need for weights today?”

“Yeah,” he mumbled.  “Except for muscles, endurance, and a will to live.”

One class I know he doesn’t need — drama.

He’s already got that all figured out.

One Day

Younger has always wanted to be six foot tall and bullet proof. He has somewhat accepted he will never be bullet proof. He still has hope for the six foot tall.

While at the doctor’s office the other day, the nurse indicated for Younger to position himself against the measuring tape. And I grinned because that is the straightest I ever see that young man’s back.

The nurse went up on tiptoes and declared, “Five-eleven.”

And total frustration wrinkled Younger’s face.

I laughed.

But as I went to hug him last night, having to reach up to encircle his shoulders, I said, “I love you, my five-eleven son.”

Grinning, he hung his head a little. “Was I that obvious?”

“You did grow an inch, though,” I encouraged him.

He shrugged. “I think that was my hair.” He tugged at his no-longer-blond locks with his fingers. “It was pouf-y.” Then he frowned. “But she could have rounded up. How hard is that? Just round up, lady.”

One day, he will accept that his height is perfect for him, at whatever inch he stops growing.

And one day, I will accept that he is no longer measured in inches and does not fit in the crook of one arm.

One day.



Blow Me Over

My computer crashed.

And burned.

Elder managed to help us save a majority of the files.

But . . .

The older the files the less luck we had in retrieving them.

So . . .

All my old stories on the boys.


Except I had sent one of my files to a cousin. She sent me a copy.

So, I have a tragedy but not as tragic as I could have had. And in the midst of the tragedy, I had one moment of joy when I found an unremembered file containing stories on the boys just before and right after Younger started kindergarten and Elder third grade. And today I thought I would share my favorite . . .

My mom called our house the other day and, by chance, which means I didn’t get there quick enough, Younger answered the phone.  And in the course of the conversation, Mom asked him where Elder was.

“Well, blow me over,” Younger responded.  “I don’t know.”

Which was an answer that amused my mother endlessly.

Now, she and Younger have a game in which they argue over who loves me the most.  Younger has at times requested, “Can you call Grandma Songbird?  I have something I gotta tell her.”  So, I dial the numbers then Younger takes the phone and announces in response to Mom’s greeting, “I love my Mommy more than you do.”

And he just cackles.  And when Mom threatens to reach through the phone and pop him in the nose, he makes me hold the receiver and yells from a distance, “I love my Mommy more than you do.”  And he cackles some more.

So, the last time Mom called, she told me, “You tell Younger that I said, ‘Well, blow me over but I love you more than he does.”

So, later, I dutifully repeated, “Grandma Songbird says, ‘Blow her over, but she loves me more than you do.’ ”

“Well,” Younger said, puffing up.  “I can tell you, she is definitely mistaken.”  And then he added in a mutter, “And she can just blow her ownself over.”

Which was an answer that amused his mother endlessly.



Have Drunken

I may have mentioned that mornings are not Younger’s best part of the day.

However, the other day, as we drove along the highway snaking inevitably towards the school, he, uncharacteristically, attempted a conversation. “I drunk — ” he started then paused, glancing at me. “I drank . . . I drunk . . . drank?”

I grinned at him. “At least you didn’t say ‘have drunken.’ ”

“One time!” he objected, offended. “Just the one time.”

Yeah, but once is all it takes in this family.

Besides . . .

Have drunken.

Why would I let that go?



Back to School

No first day of school pictures on Facebook for me. No one wants to see a seventeen-year-old cry.

This summer, I encouraged Younger to attempt to enjoy his last two years of school, finishing my magnificent motivational speech (if I do say so myself, which I have to) with “You will never again spend all day with your friends.”

He grunted. “I wouldn’t say we’re so much “together” as suffering while sitting side by side.”

And I gave up.

Because no one wants to see a forty-four-year-old cry, either.

Deader than Dead

Elder decided to show his grandma the complexities of one of his video games, one built on the concept of the undead.

“Ah,” he interrupted his own stream of explanations to complain. “I died.”

“I thought you were already dead?” I questioned.

“Yeah,” he agreed.

“But they killed you.”


“So, you’re just still dead, right?”

“No, I came back to life.”

“So . . . you are alive.”

“No, I’m dead.”

“So, you were dead, they killed you, you died, but you came back to life, but you’re still dead.”


Younger, recognizing my increasing frustration at the Abbott and Costello routine, offered, “Don’t worry, Mom. It’s all canon.”

I love my boys.

I don’t understand them.

But I love them.


Elder finally has a Facebook page. Apparently, one of his friends decided he needed to emerge from the Dark Ages and created a page for him, for some reason unexplained to me or my husband giving Elder the status of widower.

When Younger heard me explaining the status to my sister, he corrected me, “Widow.”

I shook my head. “Widower. Widow is a woman, widower is a man.”

“No, no,” he said, shaking his head. Then he explained carefully, “The widower is the one doing the widowing.”

Yeah, not exactly.