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Saturday, June 28, 2014

I am turning into Mama Boucher

When my first son Parker was born I vividly remember wishing for time to pass. I felt that his next step would make me feel less paranoid.  I thought, when he rolls over, then I won't worry so much that he will die of suffocation.  Then when he could roll over I thought, when he sits up we won't have to worry if his head is going to be flat.  The list goes on and on with each milestone.
I was stupid.

I haven't stopped worrying.  My brother who is in his 40's recently broke his finger golfing.  I don't understand it either. In fact, I even made fun of him making reference to Lucy Li.  Anyway, he has to have surgery next week.  My mom is physically sick about it.  It's his left hand for God's sake.

 But,  I have to say I kind of understand how she feels.

 I kind of wish I would have spent more time in each step than skipping to the next one.

Now that Parker is 11, I have discovered something about myself that I could have never anticipated.  He is extremely social.  Given the fact that both Don and I are very social, that isn't the surprising part.    He would rather spend time with his friends than with his family… well, mostly me.  The surprising part is how this makes me feel.

I feel sad, rejected, lonely.  Like he is choosing his friends over me.  And honestly, he really is.  I feel that a part of our set is gone.  The Beatles couldn't have sung Yellow Submarine without Ringo, it would have sucked.   I look forward to when he will walk in the door. Our  family harmony is restored.   I think it is more about not being needed.  Granted I have 3 additional boys who need me desperately, but he is the one who used to fight to sit next to me at the table.  Now he doesn't care where he sits as long as he eats enough.

Wasn't this the step I was looking forward to? After all, we have tried to raise him to be self sufficient.  To problem solve. To confidently walk out the door and know his way home.  I should be proud of him, but I'm reluctant to say I'm a little hurt.

When you rush up the stairs, sometimes you skip steps and trip and fall on your face. The point of running up the stairs fast was pointless because you are on your face and now it has taken you longer than if you would have just taken one step at a time.

 And this is one of those times for me. I'm already envisioning him going off to college, meeting someone and never coming back.

Writing that was hard because even I know how morainic and psycho and somewhat mommy-dearest that sounds. I'm worried that I will find myself like Kathy Bates in Misery, except I won't smash his ankles, I will just spoil him to death in an effort to keep him home. Or worse, Kathy Bates in Waterboy,

"You don't have what they call "the social skills." That's why you never have any friends, 'cept fo' yo' mama."

Ok I'm starting to sound even more f'ed up than I thought, but I write to figure things out. So lucky for you, you get a front row seat in the Crazy Show.

The most important thing I can do is not let him know any of this.  I have found myself saying no to him when he wants to go outside to play with friends. When he asks me why, I have absolutely no reason.  He has done his chores, he has cleaned up his mess, there is nothing left to say.  I have given him lame excuses like, you have to wake up early tomorrow.  To which he responds "But Mom, its only 5:15."

These feelings are shocking to me because I always thought my mom was happy when I left to spend the night at a friends.  Maybe she was, or maybe she just kept her thoughts to herself. I prefer the latter.

My husband is out of town for the summer.  Parker has stepped it up a notch.  He mows the lawn, he herds his brothers when we are in public, he runs through the house turning off lights.   He is 11 after all, but it's difficult for me to consider that "old" when half of my wardrobe was purchased in 2001, 2 years before his birth.

He is just growing up. Now I just need to step out of the way and let him. One step at a time.

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