Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Wish I Could Turn Back Time

There is a lumbering 19-year-old boy, tossing and turning in his bed above the room in which I sit and write. As he begins the process of waking for the day that holds the driving off to college, it settles heavy on my heart that I won't sit here and be nudged by that creaking bed to be a little more quiet. That lumbering boy is like his mom, and his grandmother. He is an early riser and a light sleeper. I will miss that creaking bed, and I will miss that boy.

We ate dinner out last night. His pick. He's had a grand rodeo these last few months - eager parents proffering up any idealized moments, hoping to steal more of the borrowed time with their baby boy. As we sat at Pappasito's, I just watched him. And I listened to him. And I laughed at him. And it just hit me really hard. I am going to miss him. I am going to MISS him. 

I am going to miss him blowing through the door, with a bag of comic books in his hand. I am going to miss seeing his keys on the counter and his little gray Jetta in the drive. I am going to miss his witty comments, in every conversation we have, no matter the subject, time, or place. I am going to miss his competitive spirit and the joy of playing a game with him, win, lose, or draw. I am going to miss hearing him laugh. I am going to miss seeing him scowl. I am going to miss his stories.

Cher sings the song I Wish I Could Turn Back Time. The song is about a relationship gone wrong, and the verse lyrics don't apply at all...but I can hear her woeful singing of the refrain, and it echoes in the beating of my heart. No, I don't really wish I could turn back time. I know this is all normal. But, it sure seems to go by so very fast, and I wish I had more of our every day time together. 

This growing up phase is normal and natural, and kids get tall and teenager-y so we will recognize the need to slowly let them go and find their path. The fact that it is normal and natural, and that they are tall and teenager-y, do not make it any easier on a momma's heart.

Oh, yes. We will be able to turn up the music. Turn on the early morning news shows. No more jockeying in the driveway for space. No need to coordinate dinner plans or try desperately to find some groceries for our picky eater. No more messes on the counter. No going to work and coming home to the house looking different. Yes, yes, I get all of that.

And Thanksgiving will come soon enough. And for a few days we will rekindle our relationship and bask in the delight of our tall red-headed sons being home. And on the days in the middle, we will have our memories to help us connect. We will have our new lifestyle to give us hope. We will have new habits that hint at other, better, different days to come.

But, there will always be a part of me that remembers simple family celebrations like these, days that we were all together, days where life was golden, days where happy was a simple wish and a candle on a cake. I wish I could turn back time. If only in my mind.

Happy Birthday Andrew ~ Turning Sixteen ~ August 2011
Paper: Simple Stories

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