“I like kids, but I don’t think I can eat a whole one.” Deborah Ross, The Non-Domestic Goddess
Happy Valentine’s Day to the loves of my life: Older Charming (and Also Handsome) Son and Tall Handsome Son. I have so much to say to you…
My Beloved, Older Charming (and Also Handsome) Son,
You were the first true love of my life. I feel like you are my soul-mate. Not in the gushy-mushy way that people usually speak of soul-mates: as in, So-and-So is soooo wonderful. I love him and can’t imagine life without him, he is my soul-mate. Yuck! No, that would be super-weird. You’re my kid. You are my soul-mate in the sense that the experiences that you and I have had together have fostered a lifelong education and personal growth within me, as a human being on planet earth living this cosmic experience. Our life together has refined my perception of what it means to be a woman and a mother.
>>> I remember the first pair of dress shoes we ever got for you on picture day in kindergarten. You loved the click-clack sound on the school hallway floors. >>> I’m sorry that I didn’t allow you to play with guns as a child, but as a man, I hope you now understand that a gun in a black child’s hand is not a toy. >>> At times, it seemed like we spent more years apart than together but, at long last, I believe we have finally broken even. >>> I tried to understand football, wrestling, track. But the best I could do was to show up and scream your name louder than any of the other moms. >>> Action and movement have always characterized you. You ran before you walked at 8 months old. You traveled alone, cross-country, at age 6. You were, and are, an athlete. You’ve lived in six states in the last six years.
I love the spirit, the essence of who you are. I am so lucky that you chose me to come through. You have no doubt, seen, heard and been through it all with a mom like me. But through it all: I got you, Boo. And I know, you got me (still waiting on that money, though). I love you. You will always be my baby.
My Darling, Tall Handsome Son,
To me, you are a Buddha. Honestly, I don’t know where you came from. You are wise beyond your years. I appreciate your compassion and patience with me as I try to catch up.
You are truly unique and have been doing things your own way from Day One. You decided on the day that you would enter this world and to hell with those doctors, their charts and calendars. You chose how to show up. Mostly you have been my mirror. Silent. Watchful. Reflective. True. I can always gauge where I am in my own human development and where I need to be by you. You show me exactly what I need to see. You definitely made me work for this. And I love and appreciate you for it.
I remember a few years ago, complaining about not being youthful anymore. You reminded me of a trip we took to see the great Redwood trees in California. You said: “Those Redwoods are some of the oldest living things on earth. Also some of the most beautiful.” Your next words have stayed with me, and I repeat them to myself when I need strength: “Be the Redwood, Mom. Be the Redwood.” I will, My Precious Love. There is beauty and grace in the passage of time. I love you.