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Posts Tagged ‘sam’

|| July 27, 2010 || 12:29 am || Comments (12) ||

(alternately, I’m struggling to find a way to show you these things without eliciting your pity.)



This is how it was when he was so little that he didn’t have all of his words: His head cocked slightly, his eyebrows raised, everything about him careful expectation. How is it that you are so small and your desire to please me is so great? How is this even a possible thing?

filching his grandmother's coffee, 18 months

:: filching his memom’s coffee ::

He wanted to hear me praise him, to be effusive about whatever token of effort he had just shown me. “Good job, Samuel! You are a very good boy.” Job. Boy. Strung between both of those words was Sam’s hope to hear them prefaced with positivity. So before he could even articulate it to me, this child wanted me to be proud of him and his accomplishments.

This has never ceased, even over the last twelve weeks, when we have repeatedly slammed headfirst into one another’s emotions, sometimes while snarling. It is a scenario we are both unaccustomed to, and one that has left us each bewildered and wounded. We clashed, we tiptoed, we tried to reach understanding, we had five minutes of peace, we clashed. We are each covering new territory here, and it is a uniquely exhausting undertaking.

(How terrible, Samuel, to lose our innocence, to cut our teeth on one another in this fashion.)

With each day that we are closer to his leaving, I sink further into myself, wrapping  tighter around this white-hot kernel of  pain that has insinuated itself into my damn-fool chest. I have totally chumped myself, because I’ve been convinced for years that I will be fine with the moment of departure. This is because for the better part of those years I had a lock on things: I imagined him scuffing out the door with his guitar in hand, ready for people to hear his voice. I never saw his need to march coming.


:: s’alrighhhht ::

I hold to a faith that tells me not to fear. I am afraid, even so.

I know where Samuel will be, what he will be doing for at least the next six months. Still, I am afraid. I can’t push the fear aside for five-and-a-half months, like I know I ought to. I am afraid NOW and it is a Really Big Deal NOW and I cannot possibly throw enough words at this thing to articulate the imposing NOWING NOWNESS of it, the urgency with which it beckons me to buckle, to panic, to scream all my crazy out at God, at you, at everyone who dares not be as afraid and unsure as I am about this one big-tiny thing.

Because it is tiny, see. I’m just one more mother whose son is donning boots and slinging a rifle over his shoulder. There’s nothing so special or unique about that. I am just one more mother who wants this to be done,  who wants to be on the other side of this. I want to fast-forward to the part where I meet him at some airport or on some parade field somewhere, waiting to wrap my arms around him and whisper one more again, “Boy. Job.”

Oh Sam, how I will grieve the loss of  the daily I Love Yous that we have always been so careful to gift one another with.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

It’s never been unusual for music to break out in our home, whether at gatherings or just quiet moments between a couple of us. When the children were small and we had absolutely no money (nor did our friends), a bunch of us would get together on the porch of our old farmhouse, drinking my daddy’s plum wine, banging on guitars and wailing. We had a bucket of instruments for the children –fish-shaped maracas and blue bongos and One Shots and tambourines and a beautifully-pitched little glockenspiel– to dig into, and there we were: The hippie, his punk wife and three golden-haired monkeys, surrounded by slow-talking, deft-fingered mountain folk, swapping licks and stories and inside jokes.

You know those things that you impart to your kids without a conscious plan? The completely positive ones? Yeah, for me that is this:

Huge thanks to our friend Rod for whipping out his phone just as Samuel gathered steam on this one; it was our last friends-and-family gathering before Sam ships out. Over the years I’ve usually been busy singing with him, and have foolishly neglected the act of nailing down his magic with a camera. This was probably a  dereliction of parental duty –and I’m a titch sad about it–  but I am unrepentant.

I’ve gotten to fling a lot of notes into the world with my firstborn and every last one of them was precious.

Sam performs his medley of Peanuts®-inspired dances (sorry about that separate window, I’m on a dash to the gym and haven’t time to try and remember how to embed the player), peaking with the difficult and ever-popular ‘Snoopy’.

That’s his mother (ME!) accompanying him. The symphony of laughter is joined by younger brother Mathias, seven, whose laugh is startlingly similar to his mother’s. You know, barky and quite loud.

If you don’t have one, really, you should get yourself your own fourteen-year-old boy*. I swear, ever since they were eleven or so, it’s like he and his friends are my own personal comedy troupe.

For instance, they were out in Wal-Mart t’other day. Unbeknownst to them, so was I. Scout and I wandered up on them in the Halloween goods, trying on masks and voices. When we found them, one was poking another with a plastic pitchfork while that one was wearing the most grotesque rubber-and-hair contraption on his head and rubbing his nipples. The third was down on the floor, rolling and near-strangling with the hilarity of it all.

Scout and I stood at the end of the aisle and watched their shenanigans, crying with laughter and biting it back with forearms shoved in mouths, for about four minutes. Several patrons and one associate were Really Good Sports and joined in on the fun when provoked. After that four minutes, I had to go put on my Stern And Slightly Embarrassed Mother Facetm and say things like, “I cannot beeeelieeeeeve you people are acting this way in public! Settle down, before I take you all outside and tan your backsides like you are four!”

“That was pretty good, mom,” whispered Scout upon our taking leave of the Smashing Young Men, “I would’ve bought it.”

*unless, of course you are a Florida Senator or one of his ilk. To you I say, “Cut that shit out, sickfuck.”

|| November 16, 2000 || 6:24 pm || Comments (0) ||

About 5:30 p.m. CST:

ME: *waggling finger in direction of youngest boy-child* WHY is he SCREAMING like that???

ELDEST BOY-CHILD: *oh so matter-of-factly* Because he’s two.

ONLIEST GIRL-CHILD: *frowning as only she can* And because he’s a BUTT.

|| October 14, 2000 || 2:39 pm || Comments (0) ||

I just don’t understand those moms that go to the ballfield looking like they’re ready to take afternoon tea. I am an exuberant mom, so I dress the part. You simply can’t jump and cheer properly in 3-inch heels (we are excluding bedroom sports here, y’all…).

I don’t just cheer for my kid. I learn the names and numbers of all of ‘em. I think that’s my role as a football mom…some of those little people have no encouragement whatsoever. Others have rampant negativity. They are 8 years old, for Christ’s sake…cut some slack there, you overbearing, fat-assed, I-missed-my-chance-so-I-must-live-vicariously-through-my-offspring-and-intimidate-them-into-success parents. SHEESH.

The latter annoys me, but the former does even moreso. Who cares if your slacks get wrinkled or your nails get chipped or your hair gets mussed? Drop that jaw and pull some good old-fashioned enthusiasm from the gut! You can re-apply your lipstick.

Here again, I state the obvious: You can’t re-apply their childhoods.

And, oh yeah,


|| August 24, 2000 || 4:41 pm || Comments (0) ||

“You look cute right now.” –what my eldest son said to me this afternoon.

Now, normally I find the word ‘cute’ quite repulsive, ESPECIALLY when it is used in relation to me. But this time, oh HELL, it made me blushy and gooey.

Only because he genuinely meant it.

Dude, I am soooo lucky.