Sunday, May 9, 2010

Let’s just play in the dirt again

As I peeked into the quiet room, I gazed upon the sleeping boy. The slight snore from the persistent allergies signaled that deep sleep – the kind of sleep where dreams of animals talking and people visiting from other worlds comes.
How I wanted to curl him up into my arms and snuggle one more time in the rocking chair, tucking my nose into that place on his neck where the sweet smell of boyhood lingers.
Except that boy is now a man.
“Turning twenty kind of sucks,” he told me earlier this week. “It sounds old and yet you are still too young to legally drink away your sorrows.”
I didn’t focus on his use of that word “legally.” He is, after all, an independent college student who is “legally” of age to die for his county.
How can it be that twenty years has passed since his grand entrance into the world? It seems like just the other day he was clamoring for a bottle, climbing onto furniture, begging to play outside, sneaking into the bed in the middle of the night.
The hardest part about becoming a mother is being needed so much.
Ironically, the hardest part about watching your child turn into an adult is not being needed.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Happy! The past twenty years have been the best twenty years of my life.

34 comments:

texasholly said...

They grow too fast...so sweet.

only a movie said...

Oh that one is making me a little teary. It goes by so fast. How can it be?

Happy Mother's Day, Beth. xo

rxBambi said...

The hardest part about becoming a mother is being needed so much.

Ironically, the hardest part about watching your child turn into an adult is not being needed.

Oh my gosh... you put that so eloquently.. Exactly right.
Happy b-day to the man and happy moms day to you. xoxo

blueviolet said...

You said it, Beth. Funny though, my daughter emailed me earlier this week to tell me how much she missed the good old days of childhood and that growing up stinks. She was homesick, and craving some mommy attention.

Happy MOther's Day!

ArtSnark said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Brenda Susan said...

Yes the years do go by so quickly don't they? I can still recall that lovely little neck spot on my little boys necks also. So sweet even when sweaty!

This was a wonderful post, it brought back a very sweet memory, thank you.

carma said...

Isn't it amazing that when kids are sleeping it is almost like you can see the child they once were. The whole growing up thing is a bummer, but I bet he still needs you - more than you realize. I hope you had a delightful Mother's Day.

Brian Miller said...

happy birthday...
and happy mothers day to you...
it does go way too quickly...we are a few years behind you but...

sherri said...

so it is true that I really can't freeze my boys in time, auuuuuugh!
happy bday to your son, and mama's day to you!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Happy Birthday to your boy and a happy Mom's Day to you! I just talked to my son who is now 35 and he called me mommy....cause today is my day. Love that boy!!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Happy Birthday to your boy and a happy Mom's Day to you! I just talked to my son who is now 35 and he called me mommy....cause today is my day. Love that boy!!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Happy Birthday to your boy and a happy Mom's Day to you! I just talked to my son who is now 35 and he called me mommy....cause today is my day. Love that boy!!

ChiTown Girl said...

aw....happy birthday to your "baby."

And, happy Mother's Day to you!

Herding Cats said...

Happy Mother's Day! And tell your son not to worry, 20 is a fabulous age and enjoy it!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Thank you for this today; it was lovely and so well put.
My boy is 22; how did this happen?
Happy birthday to you both!

bernthis said...

I was lying down with my almost 7 year old and I couldn't believe how much time had passed. I kept picturing herin all the different stages of her life. I will not believe it when she is 20 ah!!!

mo.stoneskin said...

I imagine when my daughter becomes an adult I'll turn into a wreck and have to go buy myself a sports car.

Of course, he could always move here to enjoy a pint legally...

TechnoBabe said...

Hope your son's twentieth birthday is special for him and for you. Twenty-one will get here soon enough. I can picture you peeking in and the poignant memories of the little boy. It does take awhile to adjust to not being needed. Then you begin the phase of doing the things you want to do now that the kids don't need you any more. That takes getting used to also. More change. Enjoy the ride.

K13 said...

Awww...this post made me tear up a bit. I'll probably be crying on your shoulder in 18 (short) years, right?

Happy Birthday to him!!

My name is PJ. said...

Very well written and you are so right!

Happy Birthday to your son!

Cristin said...

yep. whizzes by way to fast. though i do get weary of being needed constantly.

happy mommy's day to you.

Jan said...

Oh, you ain't kiddin'. Of course, there's the possibility they'll need you longer than they should, too. *sigh*

Happy Birthday, Mr. Happy!

Mrsbear said...

Happy Birthday to your boy.

I'm struggling with constantly being needed right now, but the possibility at the opposite end of the spectrum is making me panic just a little. :(

Joanna Jenkins said...

Happy 20th Birthday!
Someone once told me that having a baby meant the longest days but the shortest years of your life.
xo

The mad woman behind the blog said...

That just made me cry a little...and my only just turned two!

Beautiful!

Kulio said...

I have a 17yo! It's coming!!! I know the feeling :-(

H.K. said...

Happy bday to your 20 year old boy. I'm going through the same thing, my son turned 18 years old and though I can't wait for him to fly the nest- I miss being needed by him.

Weeping Sore said...

I'm in the same place you are. My only child is a a new soldier. This wasn't the plan, but we all have to grow up. I love her more than ever.

Matty said...

All three of my children are grown. Time really flies. It does bother me sometimes when I don't hear from them so much, but I know they have their own lives to live.

JennyMac said...

Happy Bday to your son!

Chief said...

Happy Birthday Mom and Son too

pilgrimchick said...

Wow--congrats on 20 years. Parenting roles and needs must change over the years as kids grow up, but I think the key thing is realizing that he is entering adulthood and supporting him through that process.

A Free Man said...

Happy birthday to your boy. Man.

Like your new header image.

Shenry said...

Wow, you have a way w/words!!! You captured how I feel about my youngest graduating from high school and leaving. Time goes too fast - wish I could start all over again but keep this knowledge that I have gained...I guess that's called grandparenthood? I'm new to this blogging stuff but thanks to the National Writing Project (NWP), I have learned how to blog and not do my homework for NWP but rather reading amazing blogs! I teach middle school in Northeastern Wa-far from Georgia but we still have kids, books, and funny little dogs. Have yet to see a Kindle, though, and that may be a good thing!!! Happy summer -