Friday, September 09, 2016

First born

You think I'd be good at this for all the saying goodbye and letting go I've had to do. But I read this and was reduced to sappy sentimental tears.
 
I miss my son. My living, breathing, 14-year-old, full of opinions, addicted to video games, first born who used to share everything with me. The Wiggles. Thomas the Tank Engine. Pokémon. Hating reading. School. Loving reading. His love of comfort over fashion. His inherited tendency to expect too much from everyone and everything. Ways to cope with his perceived shortcomings. His unshakeable faith in me. His growing belief that he knows everything.
 
Adolescence has now taken hold and he has become much less inclined to share. Given enough time, asking the right questions, I can usually wheedle information out of him. Tell me one thing you learned today. Tell me one thing interesting that happened today. How are your friends doing? What did you have for lunch? What happened in band today? Is there anything you need for school?
 
He's in high school now. With high school classes and high school friends and high school activities...and I never see him. There's just no time to persuade him to share with his old mom. He's always working on something or going somewhere or too tired to talk to me.
 
Today is Friday which means marching band at the football game. I'll see him for the ten minutes it takes to drive to the stadium...and then after the game I'll cart his exhausted body home where he will promptly brush his teeth and fall into bed. And I'll stand in his doorway and watch him sleep and wonder how to deal with this letting go. It's not the same as the permanent goodbyes that fate has forced me to experience. It's a slow goodbye that is supposed to happen.
 
I know this.
I do.
I'm working on it.