Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The last of the first days.

I am preparing for tomorrow, the first of the last "first day of school" at our two son's respective schools.  One,  finishes his senior year of high school, the other the last of middle school. With minor doubts of either continuing on to further schooling, I see this as a beginning to an end.  The end of fussing over first day outfits, haircuts and preparation.  Of preparing them to be focused, to pay attention to play by the rules necessary to negotiate public school. 

Our oldest believes that turning eighteen in a couple of months will bring on miraculous changes enhanced by his graduation in nine months.  He seems to see it as the time when the universe will unleash its supreme generosity upon him and all will be delightful.  We have explained, pointed out, alliterated and still, even though he says he "gets it" he doesn't.  He doesn't believe like I didn't believe.  Like generations upon generations did not believe. Because it is our duty as arrogant teenagers to be firm in our convictions we know better simply because we are part of a newer age. But he doesn't and he proves this by continuing to make astoundingly, frustratingly sophomoric decisions.

Our youngest, having had his body occupied by that of a forty-something-year-old since the age of five, believes with no uncertainty that we are wrong about everything and that we have set out to ruin his life.  No matter how many times we have explained that we have consistently, his father and I, been working on the skills he will need to get the hell out of our space as quickly and efficiently as possible while still maintaining a healthy relationship with us, he believes we do it all for our mirth at his expense.

I love my sons.  I love that one is kind and seemingly without malice and capable of going on right on loving no matter how ticked off he gets.  I love that the other is headstrong and focused when he sets his sights on something, despite his arrogance.  I hope that I have given them enough that has sunk in that when needed, they have the information to navigate the situation. And even though one will still have four years to go after this year, the feeling that they are untying the strings from us while we are loosening up the apron string from the other end, it is bittersweet. 

There will still be firsts.  We will be be older then.  We will have less if any of a say in the matter.  Perhaps, despite our love they will leave us behind never looking back.  I will be okay with that, as long as they know we will still be here, worrying about them, caring about their future. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Last night my oldest boy, soon to be 18, came home after a football jamboree with a friend of his with some news.

He had had his first kiss.

She had kissed him.

He admitted that it had roused unknown feelings in him.

I am grateful that my son can confide in us.  I would not have wanted to find out about this first milestone years from now.  I hugged him, seeing him now as having walked through a door that could never again be closed.  A little part of me shuddered.

I had been watching videos of the band Journey and their resurgence after finding a remarkable replacement for their original lead singer for about 40 minutes before he had come home.  Listening to the music had brought me back to my early teens.  To memories of boys, my first real crush, cars, drinking before the age of consent and of first kisses.  

I am realizing a part of parenthood I had only ever heard about.  A strange waffling feeling between ones own mortality, their child's right of passage and future challenges, and their transition from innocence to maturity.

- -

I am loathe to accept my oldest son is so close to his eighteenth birthday.  I look at his tall, trim body and marvel that the puffy cheeked baby abandoned by his biological "mother" is now nearing his adult age.  How can it be?

He is jovial and light, this tall gangly young man who once loved piggy back rides and being read bedtime stories now most definately goes to bed with girls on his mind.

I love this boy.  He is my son.  I have been there through nightmares and potty training accidents and Lyme disease, homework and school projects, cross country meets, tennis matches and baseball, missteps and poor choices.  I have read to him, sang to him, listened to his awful jokes until they eventually developed into well timed comedy rants, and all the while marveled that this little boy, born from my heart if not my body, is my son.  An offshoot of myself, of my teachings and guidance.  

He now travels on a path all his own.