Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sometimes men stink, and children grow up really fast.

My beautiful daughter made it home. She called to tell us. She's thoughtful that way, and she knows that if she doesn't, I'll be sitting here with my head in my hands picturing her bleeding in an upside-down-car in the middle of the night on the side of the road. But she's home, and safe, and no doubt grooving over her candle that smells like a MAN'S AFTERSHAVE.

After thinking it over, and reading the comments on my previous post, I had to conclude that a candle that smelled like a man might not be such a good idea after all. Men, awesome as they may be and usually are, occasionally smell like old sweat, dirty socks, and farts. And if I want to smell farts all over the house, I'll buy fart spray at the joke store. Or open the bathroom door while Hub is in there "reading." Both alternatives way cheaper than a Yankee Candle.

That second choice up there is a lot longer-lasting, too. And renewable for free.

I'll pass.

However, a candle that smells like really good aftershave would be awesome. Really good aftershave connotes clean studly man who likes to run his fingers through my hair in the car.

The front seat. Sheesh.

We don't make out in the back seat any more. The back seat is usually too junky for any kind of action other than toting a visiting kid or a MIL or a cat-to-the-vet.

Besides, as big as we are now, my mind's eye goes blind whenever I picture it.

However, back in the day. . . . . Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes.

Whenever I visit someone's blog, I always click on all the Google ads. Hey, we've gotta help each other out, don't we?

We took our son back to his town tonight. Before we dropped him off, though, we fed him. And tonight, I tried to observe him as if I did not know him.

Usually when I'm visiting with my son, I perceive him as the little boy he once was. When we drop him off at his apartment, I'm amazed that he isn't going back home with us. Tonight, I tried to see him as the adult he actually is now.

I was able to see a VERY tall, very red-headed, very good-looking, very cool, very intelligent, very funny, very grown-up man who held his own in the conversations, ate his own weight in pizza and stromboli sandwiches, and made us all laugh.

But adult? Sorry. All those things in the previous paragraph, plus 'my little boy.'

He'll never escape from my far-seeing eyes; and by 'far-seeing' I mean far-seeing-into-the-past.

Oh, ok. He knows how to pay his bills, cook, manage his time, and wipe his own ass.

But I will always remember when he didn't.

He might be 24 years old, but in my heart he'll never be much older than five.

I remember every detail of his little baby-boy body. I remember all kinds of first-times with him. First step. First tooth. First words. First visit to the emergency room.

I remember all the little rituals. The picture-books at night. The story-books at night. The to-be-continued novels at night. The afternoon nap routine. His first real haircut. All the little things in his room that were sacred to him. First this, first that.

What I can't remember are the last times.

When was the last time I ran a soapy washcloth down his tiny back? When was the last time we sat on the fluffy blue rug by his bed and read? When was the last time I took him to the barbershop? When was the last time he sat on Santa's lap at K-Mart? When was the last time I actually saw that little baby-boy body? When?

I remember almost every first time. I can't remember any last times.

Do mothers deliberately erase the last times from their minds? What's the deal?

Perhaps it's because the first times are recorded for all eternity, in our hearts and in little blue baby books.

Whereas the last times come upon us covertly; the last times come, and we never know. So often the last time comes, and we don't know.

This is probably a good thing. Our children grow up so terribly fast, and until a certain age, there are 'first times' for so many things. Those 'firsts' become routine, and we don't even notice when they are done. And then, they are not done any more, and we don't even know it till we force ourselves to think about it. And it's too painful to think about, so we try not to.

If we knew that any gesture, word, deed, or ritual would be the last time, our hearts could not bear it.

That is probably why we don't know.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:05 PM | |


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