My oldest son had just turned 9 years old and entered fourth grade when I started this blog in 2006 (aka - Back When I'd Write Three - Count 'Em THREE - Blog Posts A Week)(Hahahahahahahaa. Three times a week! I mean, who the hell did I think I was? Shakespeare?!). Last week, this same little boy celebrated his 15th birthday and started his sophomore year in high school.
While I don't profess to understanding the amazing nuances of time and space, one day I woke up the mother of a small child and ended the day with a stranger skulking about the place. The reality of my new role hit me, really, last month when, while working in my kitchen, prepping a dinner 3 out of 4 household members wouldn't approve of, I heard a strange man's voice coming from my children's rooms. I wondered who had sneaked into my sacred home, and what might he be invoking upon my babies.
That's when I realized the sound was coming from my oldest baby. His voice is deep and cavernous and so unlike that of a child any longer, and each time he speaks, THAT'S when I'm hit my the astounding reality of time. Space slams into me as I try to catch myself after tripping over his Goliath-sized 12 Air Jordans, desired footwear so cherished I often find them discarded in the middle of every room I walk through, as if my son has vanished in mid-stride. Gone are the days of Legos and wooden blocks littering my floors. Now, in addition to giant shoes, it's prized electronic equipment and odd smelling clothes.
This is the first year he's not responded with a guttural death rattle when, at the start of the school year, I ask if this will be the one in which he obtains a girlfriend. "Maybe," he responded last week.
Well, maybe, if he does, I hope he finds one who's nice to others, kind to him, and not afraid to meet me. That she'll be someone he'll talk with. Really talk with. Mostly, I hope she'll be one who makes him remember all the talks he and I've had about strong, healthy, timely relationships, and who can respect those topics, too. I want him to remember that his voice and his body may be those of a man on the brink, but that he's not yet that man.
I'm lucky to have such a good kid. I really am. I could be a fantastic mother and sugarcoat his personality completely, but that would be a lie, for there are days scattered here and there that make me want to rush upstairs, throw open his closet door, and unchain the real him that this tyrant teenager has stuffed away in the dark corner, cowering among the artifacts of his childhood neither of us is completely ready to get rid of just yet.
I've already sort of forgotten the sound of his little boy voice. It's definitely not there when I overhear him laughing with his friends, talking about something that happened at school or the 'guy stuff' he won't elaborate about when I ask him just what exactly that might be. "Just guy stuff," he says with his guy voice. Mysterious, laden with testosterone, possibly enhanced by belches guy stuff. The kind of stuff I'll never be able to figure out, despite all my years of trying.
Perhaps I'll get that strange man who lives upstairs in our house, the one with the crackly voice and giant feet, to let me in on it one of these days. And maybe, if I ask nicely, he'll slow down and not hit me with his 16th birthday so damn fast.
Labels: facebook's a whole other matter, though