He found them. My stash of Mad Magazines--ones that I have saved and saved from when I had a subscription. He is excited and tells me some of the jokes, and I remember them well. He likes Don Martin. His father shows him the CD versions that he bought me one holiday...I prefer the feel of the magazines myself, but I do appreciate that we have all of them (up to 1999) on CD... Sometimes I can see myself in my son. This is one of those times. For his upcoming birthday, I am getting him a subscription to Mad.
It is getting time to go to bed and its time to read to her. He has been at a Babysitter's Introduction Class most of the day. So, he volunteers to read to her. And then he proceeds to multi-task...he needs to finish his Einstein biography (so that they can do the report this week). So, we all cuddle up to my almost eleven year old reading about Albert Einstein going to school. She listens intently for a while. Then she starts poking him in the face. And then she hugs him and kisses him. I have no idea how she realized this--but she showed her brother such affection at such the right moment...
It is a half an hour later. We are sitting down to some adult time television viewing. We hear some rustling up stairs, but figure they are settling down. We think he is going to the bathroom; we think she is talking to herself in her crib. And then, they are at the top of the stairs. He says that she was so cute, that they just wanted to cuddle in his bed for a while. And then he promised her they could come down and visit...we acknowledge them reluctantly, but with full hearts--Bed Time Take 2...
I don't do as much socializing outside my comfort zone--usually my husband, a few mutual friends. Sometimes that can be isolating. So, one part of my Plan this year--try to reach out to others and find my social life again. Yesterday, I was going to a Meet Up for Ruby Feathers (see sidebar badge). As I was leaving, my husband and she were sleeping on the couch. My son--he was acting dejected. He knew he needed to do some homework, but did not want to...and suddenly--he was clingy. I told him if he wanted me to, I would stay. I told him that nothing is more important to me than him. But, he said I could go. I left him my cell phone number, I told him to call if he wanted me to come home. LATER, when I got home, my husband and I were expecting company--and I expressly ignored them (with their permission) to go watch "Monsters, Inc." with my son next to me in my arms.
The ADHD medication messes with his sleep patterns. Sometimes, he just can't sleep. We tell him to try to read in bed or at least rest. Tonight I hear him move around in his room. I can tell he is up. I go upstairs and he is sitting in his chair playing with Star Wars figurines--he is almost 11 years old...how much longer do I get to see him do this? I say "You can't sleep?" "nah"; I ask him if he wants to make our annual holiday peanut butter fudge recipe (my Grammie's recipe). He perks up--and we go down and make fudge. He spills vanilla extract all over the floor; he eats more peanut butter than he puts into the skillet; he almost burns himself stirring the hot sugar mixture. And I wouldn't have missed a second of it. Afterwards he goes to bed, hopefully for the night.
Just getting up this morning. I see a child in green or is it blue? Is that my daughter at the hall window, looking out? She has not learned how to get out of her crib yet, but...is that her? Blurriness leaves me and I realize that no--that is my son, kneeling down at the window in the hall. Looking out at the sun. And then I notice, yes, he is wearing his blue pj top. And his new green iguana (just acquired yesterday) on his shoulder. He is showing Pepi II his new world.
Walking around outside yesterday in an historical park. We were talking about walking the same path as the Revolutionaries. And my son presented me with his theory on reincarnation and how he thinks it could transcend time and space. Of course, as soon as I said that is what he said—he was onto another topic. But, for a brief moment, I saw his inner mind struggling with one of life’s mysteries. And then it was onto the latest video game he is tackling.
Around 9:30 p.m. that night, my son climbs into bed with me. He is having trouble falling asleep. At this point, so am I. We play shadow figures on the ceiling and I am happy to spend this quiet time with just him.
After picking him up from his first day of school, I knew I wanted to do something special for him—perhaps his favorite ice cream stand near our house? Unclear whether that will be a treat he would want, I start to suggest doing something special. He says “Can we go to [the ice cream place]?” We go and he gets his favorite, Mint Oreo, in the warm autumn air.
He always gets to pick out which bed is his when we get to a hotel room. And since he is small and we are large, the double beds are not big enough for the both my husband and I in one bed. So, I get the luxury to sleep in the same bed as my ten year old. Having an excuse to cuddle him is one of those moments I will miss as he gets older. During the second night away, I woke up with a start, not knowing where I was. The thick furry legs of my partner were not there. Instead they were the lanky, stick like legs of my son poking into my stomach. And all was right with the world again.
Michael is in the "SpotLight" this month at school. I guess each month they pick a child in his class who brings in some photos and they post it on a bulletin board in his classroom. So, last night, Michael and I looked through the many scrapbook pages I have of him. I haven't scrapbooked in about a year (I have done a little of Willow's book, but hardly anything since she has been born). I had forgotten how many books I had done of Michael. And all those books are his when he grows up. And it was wonderful to go through those books with him, remembering him at various ages. The first time on a beach, his various obsessions over dinosaurs and superheroes. And he enjoyed looking at them. I think, I hope, that he sees the love and tenderness that went into them. It also reminded me why I love scrapbooking.
Just me and my son. Getting our hair cut. Finished, getting ready to go home. “Do you want to pick up something for lunch, or just…” “Well, mom…there is the Wendy’s right over there…” I am thinking of just going through the drive-thru. I want to get home, I want to see my husband and daughter. My son wants to go inside to eat (where my temptation to have some very fattening food awaits). I relent. We go inside, I eat my good-but-not-good-for-me food. And we play the games suggested by the kids meal bag…a matching game, an eye spy game. I enjoy this small moment between me and my son.
Son, thank you for these precious moments and so many more I have not put down here. You are a gift that keeps on giving to the world. To my world.
You are witty and funny and kind. You can be frustrating, bossy and spoiled sometimes. You are smart, energetic and inquisitive. You are an enigma sometimes to me. And sometimes you are as clear to me as my reflection. You are my first born, my one and only for so long. You hold a place in my heart no other can.
You are becoming a wonderful big brother to your sister. It impresses me to see what tenderness and care you have for her. I hope that in the coming years, your bond with her will only get stronger and that you will find her to be one of your staunchest friends and ally (she already adores you).
You are on the edge of one of the hardest stages of your life and I hope to be there when you need me. But I know I cannot always break your fall. I have seen glimpses lately of the young man you will become and I know that everything will be alright.
So, for your birthday this year, I just wanted to say that I totally, unconditionally love you with all my being. And that as much as I love you now, I will love you even more throughout this coming year and the many years to come.
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