I’ve been raising my son by myself for a long time. Sometimes it’s really hard work; often it’s show-stoppingly brilliant; most of the time it’s just normal life. Today, though, came one of those tiny moments in the middle of an unremarkable day that suddenly wakes you up to the wonder and the joy of being in this world.
I get home from a relentlessly tiring week at work. Before I even have time to make a cup of tea, I get a text:
Son: Mum, I need a favor. I’m at my gig, and the drum throne on the stage is way too low for me. Can you bring mine?
Me: Sure. You mean right now?
Son: Yes, please?
Me: B there in 30 mins.
Son: Thanks Mum!
Thirty minutes later I text him that I’ve arrived. I see his six foot three frame loping across the car park, then he disappears between the trees, and then suddenly re-emerges, face smeared with green paint because it’s Homecoming weekend, and that’s what they do here. I think my English boy has become just a tad more American than he realises.
“Mum!” he says (in his deep bass voice that still surprises me every day), “You are the absolute best.”
That’s sweet, I think to myself, but not surprising as I just drove five miles through Friday rush hour to save his gig. And I did bring him up to say please and thank you.
But then he leans over and gives me a huge, unabashed kiss. Right there in the High School car park, where it really, truly isn’t cool to kiss your mum.
“Honestly, Mum. Thanks. And I love you!”
And he lopes off again, drum throne in hand, leaving me feeling calmly, deeply joyful, as if my feet have somehow reconnected with the earth, my heart rejoined my soul. With all the handicaps and shortcomings our nomadic, turbulent life has consisted of, this remarkable young man has grown up in front of my eyes, and he is a wonder to me.
(photo credit: Gabe Simerson)