Sunday, March 22, 2009

MY Boy

Years and years ago, in what seemed another lifetime, I had a little boy. He was sweet and sucked his thumb a lot. He went through a series of accidents where he kept breaking his wrist on one arm or the other or the other... ok he broke one of them more than once, and he broke a bone in his foot once.

He has always been his mother's child. A big Mama's boy. In fact, I used to growl at him in a deep manly voice, "What are you, some kinda MAMA's BOY?!!" And he would reply by hugging his mother close and defiantly saying "Yes I am!"

Now he is 14 years old. His voice has changed, he has hair growing all over him. He is the tallest person in our house. It is becoming harder and harder to recognize the little boy who would run so enthusiastically through the house wearing a bath towel around his neck as a cape... and often little else! One of my favorite pictures of him is curled up in his bed for an afternoon's nap. A prerequisite in our house for the under age 5 set. Only he was in bed with his best buddy of day, a big old Basset hound we had saved from the pound. The dog was bigger than he was, up in his bed crashed just as hard as an over active little boy. And there was Jr, dead to the world, a thumb in his mouth and his butt sticking up in the air.

So I look at the young man that is in my house today and I realize those days of sweet innocence are gone forever. Now our long talks about Spiderman and Harry Potter will be replaced by forced issue like safe sex, responsibility, how to respect a date, and cultivating the proper image. Everyday, my baby grows a little bit father away from me.

But today I found him asleep following church. In an unmade bed, surrounded by the hangers tossed out of the closet as we got ready for church. Curled up to his best buddy the cat. And for just a moment, right up until the flash of the camera woke him up, he was still my little boy. Then he got up, straightened his church shirt and said he would put the rented DVD in the player for me, since he knew I had trouble seeing the controls. "Besides," he reminded me, "it's due in the morning and we don't want late fees."

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