Mad Mother Part 2

16 Oct

Spent entire day driving to pick up sulky child from his college about half an hour a way to go to his doctor about 40 minutes away from there, then to another appointment  about a half hour in a different direction, and also stopped to shop for snacks in another place, drive child back to college (where he suddenly sees fit to give me a big gushy hug in front of all his friends).

This boy has me completely rattled. First, although it was very important to look like respectable young man for appt. #2,he was dressed like Rambo. He had on a tank top and had scrawled an ink tattoo on his arm that said “Mom” in a heart. He was wearing a scarf around his head that made his now bright purple hair stick up even more. . But how could I say he forgot to decorate himself? He got his ears AND his lip pierced, just for the occasion. Shoot. Me. Now. So then we had a full day of me “Why don’t you answer your cell phone?”  and him, “Why are you so embarrassing and say things like ‘junky treats’ and take up all my time and talk so sloooooowwwly on the phone because I have THINGS TO DO.” In the driving rain.  I got to hear one of my top five sentences (and I still have slots for three more) that I never want to hear as a parent. As child picked up bottle of Sponge Bob Square Pants  mouthwash, I said, “Is that to impress the ladies?” to which he answered, “I don’t CARE about the flippin’ ladies, I just have to keep my lip piercing clean.” Okay, top that. Or, tell me it will be funny. Someday.

So, I have to remember something sweeeeeet about my beautiful, impossible boy. Because as much as he rattled my head and made me want to kill him today, I still felt insanely in love with him. He was just such a miserable creature to me all day, and yet all I could think of is that kernel inside him that doesn’t want to be like that, that fights for good, that hates prejudice in every form, who struggles so hard for a good life. How he’s the one that everyone in my big cranky family on both sides can stand when they can’t stand anyone else because he’s just got this quality of smoothing things over and making people comfortable. How, even when he was mad at me and we were in NYC one day, he put his hand out and held onto the handle of my backpack because he didn’t want me to be a jaywalking fool and didn’t trust my zig-zagging, jay-walking, law-breaking NY ways.We walked from Port Authority at 42nd and 8th to his doctor on 87th and third. So that’s like, mmm, four or five miles of absolute silence and dozens and dozens of blocks? He was glaring at me that day, and he wouldn’t talk to me, but if I tried to cross at a red light, he’d have me firmly by the backpack and no nonsense about it. I know that part of the reason he’s such a little bastard to me is because he loves me, too, even if it’s in spite of himself.  So, I will bring myself back in time to his baby days . . ..

June 27, 1996

J. loked so cute this morning in a sleeveless T shirt and diaper. When I woke him up—when he flopped over, he stood up, and stuck his arms up into Y. I changed his diaper and he pointed at my nose and said, “Mama.” I tried to make him say “Stellaaaaaaa” as in Marlon Brando, but he wouldn’t. At breakfast yesterday, he did not want to get into his sassy seat, but we refused to give him cereal until he did. Finally, he stopped shrieking, but glared at us, clenching the spoon for a long time. He was FROZEN, as if he couldn’t bear to give us the satisfaction of watching him eat.

Writing Spark: Precious moments! What makes your child (or other person in your life) impossadorable?

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