Monday, April 5, 2010

My boy who is becoming a man....

How did it happen?  A blink ago he was but a babe held in my arms so safe.  Looking into my eyes with such depth.   Holding onto my fingers so tightly with his small fist, his fingers grasping on as though I was his link to the whole wide world that he knew.  I can still remember him as I would hold him upright in my arms looking over my shoulder ...mouthing his thumb or smacking his lips, drooling on my shoulder, nuzzling my neck with his little head.  I could hear his sweet breath on me in my ear.  So close, so dear. 

Another blink...he is learning to walk on wobbly short legs holding on to our dog Jesse by the back as they went down our hallway.  Silly sounds he would make, falling down and picking himself up.  So happy.  Jesse and he the same age.  Family and friends thought I was crazy to get a puppy when I had a three month old baby.  To me it was perfectly normal and easy.  They were little buddies together.  

Blink....he is on his yellow tractor in the driveway.  Trying to scoop up dirt, wood or his outside toys with the front loader.  He could name me all the parts of a truck, could name me every type of truck and what they did.   We spent so much time outside where there were trees to climb, to help Daddy where he worked in the garage, help to feed our horses or bring them from the field.  Daddy would put him on our white mare Synmora as they would come to the barn.  Rocking on her back, holding onto her long silver white mane.  Our yard his park.  Daddy built a large sandbox where he would work with his toy trucks.  Endless job sites he would make and tear down to start all over again and again. 

Blink...tossing baseballs with Daddy back and forth.  I couldn't get the hang of using a mitt and he was throwing much stronger so it was a shift from me to Daddy.  Everything was Daddy.  I was in his world but not the way he needed.  Daddy built "our field of dreams" in the pasture where I would work the horses with my lunge line.  The Little League team played here with a game between the dad's and the boys.  The mommies watching above realizing our little boys were growing so fast and away from us.  It was then that we each opened up how those baby/child days were gone.  They had slipped past us with barely a chance to know what had happened.  Our men looking at their boys and they too at last seeing the boys they had only seen as "mama's boy's" now theirs.  Now they could dream of what they thought their son's would become.  They all thought their boy's were the best little baseball players and yet they were only 7.

Blink....we share a love for books.  Night after night reading stories at bedtime till the time came when he would want to read by himself.  I was happy that he found such pleasure in this but still missed crawling up on his bed, snuggled so close, he hanging on every word I would read to him.   Now I could see him through the curtains on the french doors to his room, propped up on his bed turning pages till he would hop down and turn off the light.    All by himself.  I wanted so much to be there reading with him but I knew this time was his.  

Blink....Did he just turn 9, 10, 11, 12....did those years just fly by without my having a say?  Could we not hold those days of walks by the duck pond, playing at the park, swim lessons, trips to get ice cream on a hot summer day?  What about the kid movies where we would get candy or popcorn or both along with a Slushie, because he is my last baby and I can't really say no.  All the trips to buy Pokemon cards at Target for his collection.  Going to see the SF Giants play in San Francisco and of course buying a hot dog and a soda.  What could be better on a sunny day or even a night game with the crowd cheering on our home team.  Looking at the stars on a dark night, listening out for the owl in the redwood tree by the barn.  Peewee golf, golfing with Daddy on a nine hole golf course.  

Blink.....he is fourteen.  His electric guitar he plays with such intensity.  I hear him everyday as he practices, trying out new riffs, recognizing Santana, Guns n Roses, Led Zeppelin from time to time and now new musicians I am not familiar with.  I am learning from him.  I am in awe of him and is devotion to his music.  

Sometimes I look at him when he does not see me.  I wonder what he is thinking, what is going through his mind.  What an awkward age from this last year of Middle School before High School.  He is such a good student and I understand his need for space without mom and dad.  I remember  that time for me when I too wanted to be alone in my room, the door shut not wanting to be with the rest of the household.  I respect that time for him yet I miss him so.  I know that in the next blink he will be heading out the door from us.  On to the next blink in his life...but it will be his life without us.  

I selfishly want to go back and do it all over, exactly the same, to try it all over again.  I want to feel him in my arms as he falls asleep, that moment when I would lay him down in his crib where he would roll to his side and his thumb would slide into his mouth, sucking so softly.  His cheeks rosy from nursing as he lay against his little lambie  he slept upon.  I could stand there and watch him endlessly.  I could have chosen not to put him in that crib but keep him between my Love and I.  So many times we would lay him between us,  marveling at him, touching his so soft skin, stroking his little fists.  He was so wanted.   He was a dream that happened after such a long time from his sisters.  Our little miracle.  

Each day though I know I must let him go.  It started really a long time ago.  Those days when he would scamper away from me at the park, looking back to see where I was but off he would go.  I know he will always be here in my heart if not in my line of sight.  I know I will still feel his hugs though now he looks down on me and his shoulders are beginning to broaden as he awkwardly puts his arms around me.  Soon it will be a girl friend he holds and I will be out of his thoughts, as it should be.  My man /child.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Megan Frasheski


Hero Megan Elizabeth Frasheski said...

too touched for words

Ms. Moon said...

And this is exactly why having a grandchild is such a miracle. I swear to you, it is.
This was beautiful and so is your son and he will always love you in ways you, even you, cannot imagine.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

This is so beautiful...everything happens in a blink, doesn't it?
There seems to be such an amazing a special bond between a mother and her son...

Dreamer said...

Dear Ellen, you have a way of touching my heart with your stories. He will always love you and as he gorws older you can have dates with him......I have a day or two a month when Marco takes me out to dinner.....just the two of us....I love it!

Bethany said...

Wow Ellen, this blew me out of the water. Ached my heart and I am not even a mother. Those blinks. Ugh. I don't think I could handle them. Handle the love you carry and have nurtured. The nostalgia and the forward. I am in awe of mothers/people like you.
His childhood sounds blissful. What a lucky boy.
What a tender tribute.
And how handsome he is.

And I love your header!

Elizabeth said...

Damn -- this has made me weep like a baby. And that photo is spectacular.

Stevie said...

Well done, Ellen! I really enjoyed this, and yes, like some of your other commenters, had a tear or two. Mothering my boys was like that too--such a wonderful time, gone so fast. We want them to grow up...and then feel almost shocked when they go and do it! A lovely story, thank you!

Ciara said...

Oh my heart...

What a beautiful post, Ellen. Our eldest will be turning fourteen in a few weeks and I can hardly believe it. Thank you for such sweet words, so full of poignant imagery.

And what a stunning picture is the last one. Capturing that final moment of boyhood. Beautiful.

Thanks so much for sharing. C x

Mel said...

Such a beautiful post. So quickly they change from baby to boy to man, and it is not easy for the mother in me to transition, and I admit to moments of weepy mourning for the little boy I'll never see again. I save myself by learning to love this fascinating, frustrating, unique manchild, and know that the essence of that little boy is in there, somewhere.
Your son is very handsome. I imagine girls will be an issue very soon, if not already.

Amy McDonald said...

Beautiful...time goes by too quickly!!!!

14 is a really special age. It is just so "in-between".

Its is really strange to have a child that age because I remember EVERY detail of when I was 14. Of course, I'm not silly enough to think I can relate to a current 14 year old. But still...:)


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