Time and Again

Well, Younger is officially a senior.

When my children were younger, other parents warned, “Enjoy them now. They’ll be grown before you know.”

Then when I agreed to enjoy the boys while they were young, other parents would give me that smile — a smile that was not quite condescending, perhaps a little nostalgic, maybe even regretful, always knowing. And I know when the boys were little, some days seemed longer than forever and bedtime was really the only goal of the day.

But anyone finding a five-year-old where a toddler used to stand a blink ago cannot remain blissfully ignorant of the passage of time.

So, I always knew my boys would only be little for a very short time. I would close my eyes and try to imprint into my heart the feel of their arms around my neck, the softness of their breath in my ear, the absolute trust in the relaxing of their bodies against mine.

I wrote their stories so I wouldn’t forget those everyday little moments that get lost in the past.

A long time ago, not so long ago, Younger and I used to snuggle on the sofa and watch Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer. When we lived in an apartment, I took him with me to the laundromat, and we did puzzles while our clothes spun in a washing machine.  Every week, we would do our grocery shopping, and we settled at Applebee’s for lunch where he got macaroni and cheese and a balloon.

Every year before school started, I would take him back to Applebee’s for his “last supper” and spoil him with dessert.

We have one more last supper, I guess.

I always understood that time was slipping by me too quickly. I just never figured out any possible maneuver that slowed it down — wishing, arguing, throwing tantrums, begging. Time can ignore all attempts at manipulation.

Even greedy fingers can’t grasp the sand in an hourglass.

So, Younger is a senior.

And, somehow, still my baby.

Advertisements

Moments

Elder had spring break last week.

So, I was able to check on him every morning. I knew where he was every day. And every night, he appeared at my bedside, lowering his head so I could kiss his blond curls.

And sometimes he would wander about halfway across the bedroom to leave then return to lower his head for another kiss.

He has almost finished his sophomore year of college and will be twenty-one in July. So, a little part of me always wonders if the current break is the last break he will spend at home.

Saturday night, as I was putting dinner away, he hollered, “Mom, come watch M*A*S*H with us.”

And so I tucked the last plate into the dishwasher and wandered into the living room to plop onto the sofa. He promptly sprawled across my lap, sending our border collie into spasms as she had to witness him receiving snuggles she believes belong only to her.

Then, Sunday, he piled his laundry and books back in his car, and he left.

Because he has a life he has to live. A life full of joy and sorrows and beautiful moments.

Because little boys grow into young men.

And moms have to let them.

 

 

As Bad as Daddy

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

The other day, I wasn’t feeling particularly well. So, I camped out on the sofa with a blanket, a book and the TV remote. Now, I never watch real television. Usually, I concede to the boys when they want to watch cartoons or to my husband when he wants to channel surf. So, even as ill as I was, I had to stamp out the little insurrection that erupted when I turned the channel to Law and Order, otherwise titled “Mommy’s Show.”

I overruled Elder and Scooby Doo with relative ease. Then Steve sank onto the sofa beside me and mentioned with a woebegone look, “I wanted to watch S-I-M-P-S-O-N-S.”

My mouth tightening with frustration, I told him, “You’re as bad as Elder.”

Elder, who had been sitting between us, heard our exchange, his head popping up. “I am not either as bad as my Daddy.”

After a moment’s thought, I conceded the point to Elder. After all, it had been quite an insult to my five-year-old.