Well it has happened. The biggies are ALL twentysomethings! Fall birthdays have turned my beauties 20, 22, and 24.
We survived. In fact, we might claim that we triumphed. Yes, we have.
I know, I know, the respite will be short-lived. With our dear R arriving home at 8 years old, and sweet Blueberry cresting 5 years old — we’ll do it again — and sooner than Mr. SillyPants and I believe. But for now, no teens in the house!
Songbird and Twinkletoes were both here for dinner on Saturday night (we miss you Waffles!). They giggled, saying, “No more teenagers! Waffles is 20!” I replied, “You know, the teen years weren’t so bad. They were pretty darn easy. You know what the hardest part was? All the driving.”
3 kids making their way in 3 unique ways. I spent those years as a single, working mom. My work schedule meant the driving during the week days was pretty much all on me. And so I drove. And I listened. And we talked. And I waited. Sometimes I was late. Sometimes they were late. Most of the time we stayed happy and kind. We showed up. We lived it up. We loved and we laughed and when we shouted we remembered to apologize. We smiled.
Present tense — we SMILE!
We did it. You biggies are the light of my life. Here’s to my TWENTYSOMETHINGS!
On a kibbutz! Somewhere in the Arava Valley in southern Israel. He has a semester abroad sponsored by UMass Amherst – Peace Justice and Environment University Semester program. He’s studying building, composting, gardening, and Hebrew, to name a few. He’s in the desert. It’s hot. He’s happy. And I bet he has a helluva sandal tan.
He learned how to make sturdy bricks out of mud.
And if I know him, he’s happiest in a hammock. Who isn’t?
Waffles is enriching his life by seeking out extraordinary experiences to enrich his perspective and hone his skills. I heard a piece on NPR today about education and the importance of having a curriculum that values building character (and not just test scores). I think our beloved Waffles totally gets this; he is a lovely and amazing young man. And since when did his dimples become so darn carved into his kissable cheeks, huh? (Yes, moms can say that about their 19 year old kids!)
“#truestory #trayvonmartin #unionsquare #millionhoodies”
I dont’ know how to credit twitter pics – but this was on my feed tonight.
This guy could be my biggie boy, Waffles. (OK, Waffles is only 19 – but have y’all seen Waffles lately? In a word, scruffy. Sorry pal, I know you’ll read this. And I love ya like crazy. You know I’m proud of the man you are, in every way.
Even if I wanna cut your hair and give you a razor
And yet, I don’t fret for Waffles safety. I don’t NEED to advise him to walk with his hands visible, with his eyes alert and ahead of himself, with his head uncovered and his senses at calm attention. I don’t feel compelled to remind him to always give off the air of being a ‘prospect, not a suspec
t.’ It’s ok if he runs across the neighborhood lawns or he and his pals ride bikes at 3 a.m. in the neighborhood because they are crazy boys trying to stay up for 48 hours. I don’t advise him about how to handle a traffic stop in his rusted out beast of a vehicle. I give him regular mom advice. (And plenty of it, rest assured) Let me restate: I give him regular WHITE MOM
advice for her WHITE SON
. This is our shared privilege. We haven’t earned this privilege, it is ours because we are white.
But this boy of mine, the little one, the one I call Blueberry, will need a different kind of regular ‘ol Mom advice. It will be infused with details I am still learning to provide — and with which I will need some help from those who live in skin like his.
He’ll need to know so much more. The “Kissing Hand” his big brother gave him as he departed back to college from spring break won’t be enough to protect and inform my sweet youngest. Niether of us have that kissing magic. We both wish we did. Our whole family wishes we did.
These are my sons. I love them. They are my heart. And I won’t be quiet about it.
Please, if you are not parenting children of color, read these and put an end to racial profiling, ingorance, and claims of colorblindness. If you are parenting children of color, read this to build your strategies and your resolve.
Help me change the world for my sons. Help me change the world for BOTH of them. Help me raise my voice for justice.
I have no more words, and mine pale in the company of those who know so much more than I do – – but I have love – – and that love is fierce for my sons. I will not be silent.
… to continue his adventure in becoming. I love this kid like crazycakes and I already miss him. He’s my 3rd kid. My first “baby.” He’s the smiler. The jokester. The dreamer. He has held my hand for what seems like forever, and hugged me in big, sweet embraces for as long as I can remember. He has grown and changed, but kept the sweetness of his core present and shining. I remember a zillion stories about Waffles, many of which demonstrate both his compassion and his sweet attitude for living his life with plenty of laughter and adventure. He is this … all of this and more.
The missing goes for Blueberry too. Waffles left yesterday; packed up his Dad’s truck, loaded up his bike and his snowboard, a futon, his fancy pants college laptop, a whole bunch of tunes, and a great attitude. He’s ready.
Today Blueberry asked, “Momma, where is Waffles?” (pause) I was glad his fabulous friends hosted a get together the night before – it helped frame the reality that Waffles was leaving – and we had a chance to hang out with the posse (aka ‘plague of locust’) and bid him goodbye (and with a unicorn pinata, no less!).
“Oh, I remember, he’s at college now. Do you remember how he took his board to ski there? And his big red bike? He had so many boxes! Do you remember I gave him my pink fire car? And he gave me his hat?”
I remember, Blue.
Good luck Waffles. You’re going to rock Ft. Collins. Natural Resources, Ecology, Biology – never going to be the same again. I can’t wait to hear all about it! Our missing is big, but your adventure is bigger!
The biggie boy and his posse are fixtures in our home space. I fondly call them the ‘plague of locust’ when they visit. These are good guys. I love ’em for many reasons. Today they get points for mowing our large yard – taking turns – between rain drops, and for playing a few hours of ‘cars’ with little boy Blueberry. These guys know how to have fun. And they are prone to healthy rascally fun. Speaking of rascally fun – today a couple pairs of “Flash” briefs showed up on the living room table after a Target run – a pair of red and a pair of black. I eyeballed them curiously – but I know Waffles is a BIG Flash fan.
We welcomed the longest day of summer with a fabulous Ethiopian dinner. Waffles sweet foodie friend helped me cook – she was AWESOME to cook with!
More on that in a later blog post….back to the plague of locust. It was a mere hour after dinner and”the briefs” showed up for a raiding of the cupboards. A huge bag of blue corn chips, a jar of nutella, a box of graham crackers, a jar of salsa, a gallon bin of fish crackers, popcorn, and I think a box of Annies Bunnies headed down the stairs to accompany a video. I have nothing more to say. Except the cupboards are bare and the boys are nearly ….