PoeticaL
cluttering the net since 2001

because of you I am everything better than I was before

Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2006
First and foremost let me share a conversation to the best of my recollection.

Ring ring

I look down and see my son’s glorious face on my cellphone.

Me: “Hello sweetie!”

Keith: “hi Mom, I know you said that you would call me but I had to call you because you would want to know this right away and you’ll be so excited and proud.”

Me: “What? What?”

Keith: “At school today they put me in some advanced courses”

Me: “What were they?”

Keith: (this is where he told me but I was so proud of him I think he said Language Arts and Science and something else with the word “Physical” in it….yes it sucks to get old)

Me: “Wow that’s great…I’m so proud of you. Did they put you in the advanced reading class called “I LOVE BOOKS SO MUCH I COULD DIE”? (this is a joke I have going with him because me the lover of all things books gave birth to a child that does not like books or reading)

Keith: “ha ha real funny…no they didn’t”


The conversation went on and we talked about how he now has homeroom EVERY day. This is a big thing at that age. Listening to him I was reminded of my own first days at school and how I recall my mother never really speaking to me about school. If she did it was a curt “how was school?” as she walked away to go light a cigarette and get herself another Pepsi in that blasted same cup she used all day every day.

I love my kid beyond anything I can even fathom. I want to know how his days are and who his friends are and what he wore and how he feels and who he knows and what he thinks. But I will say that as he enters teenager years full force I have found myself on the other end of the phone desperately searching for things to talk to him about. My life is so boring it’s not as if I can share a great deal of fun exciting stuff. I forget to tell him that I got a new shirt and how it matches my old shoes. (because he would listen to me say anything…he really would….he’s so cool in my world like that…) We stumble sometimes searching for something to share…..because we want to talk but there’s nothing to say. I’ve sat and listened to his breathing just because that means that he’s there.

It’s so hard to ever tell your kids exactly what they mean to you once hugging and kissing and making goo goo gah gah faces don’t elicit giggles and grins. It’s so different after that stage.

After I got this news I told everyone. I told my co-workers about “my kid!” “my kid!” The thing that most touched me is that he wanted to tell me. He wanted me to be proud. He needs me to recognize him and put cement to the notion and concrete idea that he is perfect and good. All kids want to be loved and accepted by their parents. I am so glad that he needs me and that I somehow managed despite my own messed up childhood to love him, to really love him with all that I am backwards and forwards.

I have loved lots of people in my lifetime. I sought my mother’s smiles and acceptance to no avail and to no reward. I don’t know if I ever adequately tell that child just how much my heart swells when I look at his photo on my desk and recall every wonderful moment of knowing him. I am grateful for how much he has changed me and how much he has stuck by me as being the greatest Mom even when I felt like the worlds biggest failure. He has always said, “No you’re not Mom, you’re the best Mom.” and he does so vehemently as though he’s the lawyer getting paid millions of dollars for defending his client. How I love him for doing that for me without any thought or wish for payback.

No matter what has happened or will ever happen I know as I’ve known for nearly 14 years that I have done one thing right. Maybe not perfect because as a Mother we never feel that we’ve done enough, said enough, loved enough because there is no measure at which we reach for love capacity whereby we say, “That’s it…I’ve met my quota and he is loved.” There will never be enough time to love him enough. There is not enough love in this world to shower it upon him as he deserves it to be, endlessly and constantly.

I recently read a website dedicated to a mother from his son. His mother has passed away and he is remembering her. He is missing her. I cried while reading that site and out of respect I can’t type that URL here, though he may never know. I just know that while reading it I realize that that mother had done something so very right.

My son was proud of his accomplishments on last years FCAT testing that allowed him to be placed in higher level courses on the college course. Perhaps not entirely because he was proud of himself but because he knew…he knew that if he called Mom, told Mom she would be ecstatic. When do children not care what their parents wish and want and hope for them? Does this happen if we don’t insist or ask or hope for the best for them? I can’t say, I just ponder and wonder.

I hope that day never comes for him. I hope that he is showered by my love and acceptance and desire for the best for him forever…..for now…for tomorrow and for every day of his future life and world when I will perhaps not be on this earth. I used to think “I can’t wait until he can crawl, walk, giggle, talk…” Now I want to stop time. I want to have a young man for a son forever. Oh I want him to grow up and be a happy well adjusted adult who never questions his parents love for him. I still thank the powers that be for giving my son two parents that love him endlessly even if we have different thoughts and ideas and could not live together. We both love him. I called his father immediately to tell him just how proud of “our” son that I am. I will probably never stop doing that. No matter how many people I tell “My son is so amazingly great and perfect…etc etc etc.” His father is the only one that can ever look back and remember a little boy with cotton ball eyes lying under the blue light in the hospital shortly after his birth, the little boy that crawled into the swimming pool with his sleeper on stating “me ‘wimming more!” Some things can’t transcend time and emotional space and a child’s life is one of those things. I’m grateful to this day that I have that someone to call because it means that my son has that someone else who loves him with the same abundant swelling overpowering love that I do, his father. Oh there’s no way he’d believe the capacity and strength for which I am grateful that my son never must know the lack of love from any parent. He doesn’t know because he has two parents who are still very present in his life. They say you go to your deathbed with at least one regret no matter what you do with your life. My one regret will forever be that I could not give my son a family the way I had hoped. But sometimes I count what I did do right by at least picking a man to have a child with who would love that child even if he never loved me. I’d give up having a great husband to give my child a good father any day. Any day. I will never think about your father and forget that because of him I have you. It’s impossible to deny or forget, no matter what.

Recently my 15 year old nephew decided to drop out of high school. I really feel this is a reflection on the parents as parents. I think that if a child is allowed to make their own choices about whether or not they will or will not go to school, this is a mistake. My brother in law’s girl friends son recently dropped out too. He’s 16. She bought him a car and after that he decides to drop out? I’d take my car back thank you very much. I’d say “no school no car….no way I’m paying to keep you unless you attend school”. This is unacceptable to me as a parent. It’s so much harder to raise a teenager, but I would not fix life’s hardest problems for my child if he or she wasn’t doing the best they could for themselves.

Oh my son is not perfect, he’s made some mistakes, one recent mistake for sure. But his parents care enough about him to put the “smack down” on his butt and say, “not good enough…this is not good enough because you deserve better from yourself!” Not because I will ever not love you or want to help you but because someday I know I will not be here and you might be writing a website about how much you miss me and in those hours I hope you will have enough of your own mind and willfulness to do the right things for yourself as I will not be there to do it for you anymore.

I love my son, and because of that love I will not stand idly by and let him fall on his face. I will not stand there and ever think that’s all he should have. I will love him no matter what he does. Just as Jeffrey Dahlmer’s mother stood in the courtroom because as she said, “Nothing changes the fact that I am his mother and he is my son and I love him. I hate him for what he did and I don’t understand but I am his mother.”

Keith if you’re reading this, I love you. I love you more than any other single person that I have known in my life before you or since you. When I look at you it is as though I am looking through a kaleidoscope and seeing you in new and amazing ways every single time. But you remain the single most beautiful aspect of life I have ever had the pleasure to know. I love you and I always will. Before people have children they often wonder what their own children might be like...I could not have ever imagined a chid as wonderful as what my reality has been having you in my world.

I’m so proud of you today….just as much as I was the first time you said “MaMa”.

9:28 p.m. ::
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