The coming of fall always makes me wax nostalgic for bygone moments which are usually focused on my children’s momentous school events. With only one left in any organized form of academic rigor, and that one has not needed her mom to accompany her to the hallowed halls for many years now, my thoughts turn still to a child but in this case the momentous event will be his wedding.
If you’ve noticed my little addition of a count-down ticker over there to the right you can see that the big day has appeared suddenly to be upon us. I swear it was just last week that they had announced their engagement and now October 12 is right around the corner.
Of course my memories are drawn to the first moments of Jeff’s life. Having a son was a little bit daunting and I can admit that now. I didn’t know what to do with a boy.
I’m pausing for a moment, shaking my head at my own naivety and amazed with myself that I fell under that spell of gender construction that proclaimed BOYS ARE SO DIFFERENT FROM GIRLS. He was a baby for gods sake. Anatomy aside I can’t imagine what I thought he was going to do differently than any other baby. I am thankful that time and maturity have rendered my views on this inane thought process as unfounded.
I suppose I could make this post a sentimental journey through his accomplishments and near perfection, but I won’t because I don’t think he would like that. We know where he excels. He is learning as we all did in our 20’s what aspects may still need some attention and fine-tuning.
I could talk about who he is, who we are, but honestly I think he is still inventing himself and as to the “we” meaning mom and son, I suspect that we may still be learning just how we fit as well. In that regard, and of course I can only judge my own situation, I think there might be something to a notion of difference rather it be gendered and formed by society, or rather it be innate. My relationship with Jeff is different from that which I have with his sisters. When I think about it my relationships with all three of my children are very different, so I’m not sure if judging on the basis of maleness should really apply.
Suffice to say that from the time he ventured out on his own during college the inevitable movement away from any hold I may have had has grown stronger. This is as it should be. He is a man who our social order declares must separate and make a life and home of his own, a life and home that he will share with his own family.
We don’t have the right to hold on to any of our children. In fact we must often force them to move on, but we can hold dear the memories and create new bonds.
So Jeff I will hold tight to moments in time…little snippets that revealed to me your personality, your hopes, your ambitions, your talents, your attitudes, your intellect…all those moments that add up to define the man you have become.
That word: man-that is the hardest word to write. While it fills me with joy it is bittersweet because I will always hold the moments of your childhood and those images of you to the forefront. Know that as you stand with Meredith in one month and say your vows of commitment to her surrounding you will be the innocent baby who peed on me just hours after birth, the little boy who made shorts year round attire, the young man who spoke through his music, the young adult who learned to share and laugh and love with a woman from Ordal.
You are an amazing man. One who has brought me great joy and pride and even though we don’t often say it to each other, I love you my son.