Where has the time gone?

My son had a birthday this past weekend.

As I sat across from him at the breakfast table, I couldn’t believe that this child of mine was already twenty.

I sat mesmerized as I looked at his handsome face.

Dark, curly hair, beautiful chocolate brown eyes and eyelashes so long, they make women cry.

Where had the time gone?

It seemed like only yesterday we were trading Pokemon cards and now, a leisurely conversation was composed of discussing the theories of Freud and Carl Jung.

As he looked up from his plate, I heard him say, “What’s wrong, Mom?” and I replied, “Oh nothing, just admiring how handsome you are.”

Little did he know that in the time he had been sitting eating his pancakes, a hundred slides had flashed before my eyes.

His first day of kindergarten, the first time he made a basket, the day he learned to ride a bike, the day he learned to write his name, the time he won first prize in the science fair, the day he scored his first touchdown, his first solo flight, the day he graduated, the art contest where his sculpture won third prize.

Like frames in a film, episodes of his life flashed before my eyes.

My heart swelled with pride as I remembered the day he walked into the living room and announced, “I’m a big boy, Mommy. Tonight, I sleep in my bed.” He was two.

Or the night he came into my room and asked, “Mommy, do you want me to check if there are monsters in your closet?” He was four.

Or the time he said, “Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a doctor.” He was six.

The time he announced, “Mom, I changed my mind. I want to be a ninja.” He was eight.

And who could forget the time I picked him up from school and he shouted, “You’re late and the ugly girl in my class has been chasing me so she can kiss me!” He was ten.

I thought of the day he said, “I don’t care if I’m short. I want to try out for the basketball team.” He was 12.

Yes, time has surely flown.

And now this young man was twenty.

Soon he would graduate from the university, find a job, and move out.

The thought of him leaving broke my heart.

I was not ready to deal with the empty nest syndrome.

I was not ready to admit that my services as a mom would no longer be required.

I wasn’t ready for him to have grown up so fast.

And yet he had.

I smiled as I said, “Are you my best boy?”

My smile grew wider as I heard him say, “Mom, I’m your only boy.”

Yes, he had turned twenty, but in my heart, he would always be my baby boy.

The Son's idea of posing for a photograph

The view from my window

Today I’m linking up with Heidi’s Black and White Wednesday.

Black and White Wednesday

Are you ready to soar like an eagle?


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by comecloser

I looked at my only son today as he sat across from me at the breakfast table and thought, what a guy!

Such a handsome fellow. Such beautiful eyes. Such gorgeous, curly hair.

My mother’s heart beamed with pride.

Just an hour earlier, we had learned that this semester he’d again made the Dean’s list, with straight A’s, and a semester grade point average of 4.0.

Were all mothers to be so lucky.

Yes, I had done well.

The bright, handsome young man sitting in front of me was indeed worth every hour, minute and second of the 32 hours I had spent in labor.

Soon he would start his junior year of college, and one or two years later, he would graduate.

With a BA under his arm, he would be ready to face the future.

I sighed as I remembered the little boy he used to be.

A little boy who, much like a little chick, had depended on his mother for sustenance.

He’d depended on her guidance, her nurturing, and her loving care.

And when the time came for him to walk on his own little legs, he’d done that too; with mother hen encouraging him to keep moving forward.

He had ventured out into the world, confident in his abilities to overcome obstacles, yet always knowing mama was close by should he ever need help.

Little by little, I had allowed him to take control of his life; of his destiny.

I had encouraged him to learn from his mistakes, and to turn every defeat into an opportunity for growth and experience.

He had grown and matured.

Much like an eagle, he had spread his wings wide and soared high into the sky.

I looked sadly at the young man who would soon leave the nest to find his own way.

“Mom! Mom, did you hear me?”

His deep voice interrupted my reverie.

I looked at him tenderly and suddenly, a gob of mayo hit me in the face.

“Whoops! My bad!” he said as he smeared mayo on a slice of bread and wiped his mustard smeared mouth with the back of his hand.

Unfazed, he slurped his drink loudly, pausing only long enough to say, “Some of the guys are coming over. Can you bake some of those brownies I like and put some Coke in the fridge? And can you make me another turkey sandwich? I’m chatting with a girl on Facebook and it’s really important.”

Burp!

Oh, the joy of motherhood.

Were we all to be this lucky.

Will we have to surgically remove your iPod earbuds?


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dano

I’m at the end of my rope.

For someone who is as verbose as I am, and who values the art of communication as much as I do, I can’t understand why I’m struggling to communicate with the Son .

Between you and me, I think those earbuds, which I’m certain will have to be surgically removed, have something to do with it.

Never in a million years, did I foresee how an iPod would cause such a communication barrier between the male heir to my debt and I.

But it has, and as a result, I’m angry.

Angry? What am I saying? I’m pissed.

I want to hire the lawyers who got OJ Simpson off the first time and sue the makers of Apple, whoever they are.

They have caused a barrier between my little boy and I that gets wider as time wears on.

Or I should say, as he continues to add tunes to his iTunes library?

Yet the fact remains that life as we knew it, ceased to exist with the purchase of the little freak.

Breakfast stopped being the best part of our day as I tried to compete with the tiny noise maker while it played at decibels more piercing than a dog whistle.

As time progressed, I learned the art of hand gestures and wondered if my child had gone deaf given he responded to them without so much as removing his earbuds.

I worried that when the cilia in his ears met their demise, it would be necessary for him to wear a hearing aid, years before I had to wear one.

I had countless monologues conversations with him about the fact that it didn’t matter how handsome he was, he was destined to have a harder time getting girls if he couldn’t hear.

(We ladies know how much we value a man who listens, now don’t we?)

His response? He’d learn to lip read.

Lip read my ass.

He couldn’t even take his dishes to the sink, what made him think he was going to invest time in a lip-reading course?

As time went on, I became savvy at making signs which I diligently held up when I needed to notify him of important matters.

Countless number of hours were spent writing the phrases, “What do you want for dinner?” “What time are you coming home?” and my favorite, “WHY’D YOU LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT UP???”

My cue cards were met by grunts, nods, and short, scribbled replies.

In the meantime, Mr. iPod continued to mock me, laugh at me, and snicker behind my back.

He reigned triumphantly, playing his little tunes, louder and louder, and for longer periods of time.

I tried hiding him, draining his battery, smothering him with a pillow, but like a cat, he kept coming back to life.

Fast forward four years, and my verbal conversation with the Son continues to take place only when Mr. iPod is charging.

I take advantage of that time to prompt meaningful conversation.

I talk about subjects conducive to round table discussions.

I mention current events that might spark conversation.

I enumerate goals which every young person should aspire to, and compliment him for any completed chore.

On this fine morning, I was given another opportunity while the little monster regained strength.

This time, I opted to talk about the future.

After all, my baby was entering his junior year of college in the fall and I thought the “future talk” was long overdue.

I delicately introduced the subject saying, “When I was a little girl…”

The look on his face told me this wasn’t going to end well.

So I sped up and said, “Son, there comes a time in a man’s life …”

Again, the eye rolling and the exasperated sigh told me I had two more minutes before he zoned out.

So I decided to make a short two-minute speech that would impress him; that would create awareness about the importance of planning for the future.

I defined the significance of a two, five, and ten-year plan.

I spoke of drive, ambition, courage, and perseverance.

I mentioned the importance of having dreams, following our hearts, and staying on the path of fulfillment.

I emphasized that the journey counts more than the destination, and that while we may seek counsel from time to time, we have to make our own choices and hold ourselves accountable for our actions.

I stated that this process was vital to him reaching goals, keeping his eye on the prize, and fulfilling his destiny.

I wrapped things up saying, “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a ballerina but when I reached adulthood, I realized how impractical it was and went on to major in foreign languages. I did this because I understood how crucial communication is and how vital it is to communicate in more than one language. Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were little?”

And he said, “Yep. I wanted to be a ninja.”

“Silly boy. I remember that! And now that you’re going to be a junior in college, have you thought about what you want to do?”

His response: “Mom, I still want to be a Ninja. Great! My iPod’s charged. Lets talk later.”

Apple, I hate you.

I’m convinced the communication breakdown you’ve caused has prevented the Son from reaching his milestones, and because of you, he’s still rooted in the Ninja stage.

I only hope that one day, when I acquire the Ninja skills vital to establish communication with my child, that I will use them to karate chop you to death.

This isn’t over.
Do you hear me?

Of course you don’t.

What prevents you from communicating effectively with your loved ones?