My son makes Lego figures to represent each Greek god.
I like how Hermes looks just like Luke Skywalker.
Tuesdays are lunches at home. I wait for my son.
Moments before the bell rings, the yard is silent. His portable waits to empty of children.
He used to race out to the car, a big smile on his face. Now that he brings a friend home, he and the friend walk slowly, discuss things (wallball? a recent test? girls? SpongeBob?) as they find their way slowly to my car.
I have this dream where my son isn’t 9 anymore, he’s 16 and he’s tall. I notice that he has his ears pierced. They aren’t regular pierced, they are those discs that flatten out the lobe of your ear. I ask him:
“When did you get that done?”
He ignores me. I ask again. He scoffs at me. I ask again. He shoots me a look, a smile and an ‘I don’t have to tell you anything, old lady’ look. Except he has morphed during this scene and he now looks like Jack Osborne. I’m upset and I follow him out of the room and he continues with the sneer/smile, ignoring me, dismissing me. I picture what he looked like when he was 9 and I start to cry and I wake myself from this dream, balling like a little girl.
I cry for a minute as I lie there in the dark but the heaving slows down as I realize that my son is still 9 and his ears are’t pierced – yet – and he doesn’t ignore me – yet.
This is a favourite of mine. We four sit around the kitchen table and we laugh but we bicker too. Kids get sullen or teary if they lose their job or get sued for $100,000. Parents tell them to deal with it and roll or don’t bother playing.
I wonder as we sit by the open back door, if neighbours think: Are they having a good time? Because yes, we are arguing. We are also having a wonderful time.
My daughter manages all right. The towel is hung with care. Though my son insists he too tries to fold neatly, the evidence hangs awkwardly, messily from the rack after every bath.
We’ve gone over it: towel under chin, fold one side then the other.
He blames his fingers, the towel, the time of night, me, his chin, his sister, his age.
A day at the fair with my son’s class breaks grey and rainy. He dons shorts and I okay them, thinking it is June, it will at least be warm.
But it is also cold and windy.
We trudge through mud in boots, umbrellas pointed into the forceful gales and one nine year old boy asks me: “Why did you let your son wear shorts?”
I frown into the wind.
There are good moments. My son’s teacher could not find her boots earlier. Part way into the morning, her husband appears with those boots and a pair of socks. It is a look of pure love on that teacher’s face when she spots her husband.
The tiny piglets. The beautiful cows. The goat that needed milking bad.
The gift of tea at lunch time. Laughs in moments when no one is complaining.
My son and I draw this picture together as we are waiting for the bus. I forgot my camera and I wanted to remember his outfit.
Reward comes as an early dismissal from school for my son and a hot bath for me.Print