Thursday, January 16, 2014

and i'm not a crier

Since the moment my eldest son was born he has been trying to get away from me. Not that I was an ogre of a mother although I did hide in the closet a few times when those kids became overwhelming. I figured if I scared them enough they would cease their irritating behaviors. It worked a total of two times, smart little buggers.

I have a picture on my bureau, a twenty-something me in flowered hippie clothing and a waist-length pony tail.  I am holding Jason, all of eighteen months. He is wiggling on my lap, a tiny ball clasped in his baby fist. Over the years so many people have told me what an adorable picture, this little flower child mother and her boy.  I'm the only one who knows that he was trying to get off my lap and play with that ball.

He was always older than his years, more like a seasoned Buddhist monk than a Sesame Street-taught brat, too burdened and inwardly directed if you ask me. In third grade his assignment was to write an autobiography.

Seriously? What could eight-year-olds possibly have to report. In his essay Jason included the comment,"my mother says I should get a sense of humor." I can't get away with anything.

As a teen he was the rebel with a cause which was to punish his confused divorced parents in new and interesting ways. I could tell the depth of his hormone-fueled angst by how large the hoop was in his pierced ear. He hung with some of the wealthier kids in his class who lived in the super-sized houses on the outskirts of town. I could fit my downtown apartment in half of their garages. I drove him to a party at one of those houses and he asked me to park my sad old Chevette with the hole in the floor a couple of blocks from the residence. Up went my hand fast and furious making contact with his cheek. "I'm not your fucking servant!" I screamed. The first and last time I cursed at him. He called me an hour later wanting to come home from that party, not feeling well.

I still feel guilty about that. My daughter would say, don't go there Mom, in that Generation X tone, part irritation, part geniune concern. There are large stretches of time between our visits due to the choices he makes in home bases. Today he is in Yonezawa, Japan teaching English to Japanese people like every other American in that country. It is odd to me this obsession Japanese culture has with my native tongue because they make it damn difficult for any American to live within their borders. I guess that Hiroshima thing makes it difficult to forgive and forget.

Jason and I see each other yearly and our conversation starts up pretty much where it left off, that's how comfortable it is. Two old souls, this mother and son. You can't ask for much more than that. I laid my head on his shoulder and wept when he left today.

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Beautiful. And I could so see he was trying to get off your lap. I too have made contact with my child's cheek on one occasion. I don't regret it. She was hysterical at the time. She said sorry later and asked me if I was going to say sorry too. Nope. Not that time kid.