Hello, awesome readers!
Now that college is out, my son has decided to come and spend the summer with me. This is a big step for him because living in the country, my existence is swallowed whole by cornfields and quiet and no neighbours. To clarify, my son HATES cornfields and quiet and no neighbours.
(I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong. I did not guilt-trip him into coming to visit me. This was 100% his decision.)
So what does one do during a visit with their 18-year-old son?
Well for one thing, get to know him.
That came out wrong. Of course I KNOW him … he’s sensitive and smart and diligent and never makes his bed (unless he’s trying to make a point that he ALWAYS makes his bed) and loves to produce movies and is hyper-focused and a computer geek and couldn’t lie if his life depended on it and eats ALL THE TIME and isn’t afraid to cry and still counts on me to do his laundry and makes Kraft Dinner better than I do and has one of the most interesting perspectives on creativity that I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with.
His height has gotten out of control and he towers over me like a willow tree yet I still feel the urge to hug him so tight, until his inner toddler crawls out to sit safely in my lap.
As you can probably guess, my emotions are being hijacked by memories as past and present meld into one. My son the young man. My son the little boy. When his man-voice laughs, I can still hear the baby bubbles in his vocal cords. His soft, tiny hand of just yesterday is imprinted into my own, making it so easy to actually feel the memory of his hand in mine. And then he walks by with his big, hairy, man-legs and the time gap knocks the wind right out of me.
I remember his Square Pants Sponge Bob days and his love for everything Pokémon. (He’s since outgrown these, in case that needed clarifying.)
During teeter-totter conversations of listening and responding, I get to discover that I’m related to one of the most interesting people I know. Deep and complex. Logical yet sensitive. Bright and naïve. His values make me proud. His take on life piques my interest. His driving slightly scares me.
Admittedly, my parenting style has never been the most conventional and cooking has never been the highlight of my kitchen. BUT our time together these last few days feel like a crack in time. Everything has changed and yet NOTHING has changed.
Hanging out with my grown-up, baby boy is proving to be one of the highlights of my summer.
Proud moments of, “Hey! I taught you that! You WERE listening!”
And, “Yo! You forgot to close the toilet seat. AGAIN.”
I think my son and I both agree: quality time together can be anything – from sitting and talking to hanging out and not talking. And kitchens, as I’ve always suspected, can be put to much better use than just cooking. For example the other night when my son and I sat at the kitchen table and experienced feeding a Venus flytrap for the first time. Some families watch TV together. We feed carnivorous plants.
Warning: Watching this video may make you hungry. Or swear off food for the rest of today. Either way, nature is interesting. And since hanging out with an adult child is the natural evolution of humanity, my warped sense of connecting the dots has identified a relation between feeding this plant and hanging out with my son. And since we’re always evolving, this may make no sense to me in a year from now. Meanwhile though, I’m enjoying our time together. Mine and my son’s. The plant is just a victim of circumstances. Well not really victim since we’re feeding it. Okay. I’ll stop talking now.
Enjoy the show!