Saturday, October 11, 2014

This Child is a Full Grown Man...An Epiphany from a Mother

A friend of mine who is a writer herself encouraged me to begin writing on my blog again. So I decided that since I love to write this may just be the time to get back at it. Oh, I write a "morning missive" every single day on facebook and sometimes it's almost as long as a regular blog, but there are subjects I can write about on "Little Mary Sunshine" that I can't really write about on facebook. I can get a bit meatier on here.

You want to know what is disconcerting? It's the day that a parent realizes that her children are really grown...that they are adults. This happened to me the other day. It wasn't something amazing that happened. It wasn't newsworthy. It just was. I turned to say something to my oldest son, (he and his wife were visiting from out of town) and the words caught in my throat. Maybe it was a look on his face. Maybe it was the way he was lacing his boots. Maybe it was his whole demeanor. I don't really know what exactly triggered it, but it was at that moment that I realized the little mop topped boy I had nurtured since birth was gone. In his place was this man...full grown...low voiced...authoritarian.

When he was growing up, he was small, really small. He was pretty much the smallest kid in his class. He liked to put rocks, paper, dead bugs...all kinds of stuff in his pants pockets. Laundering his clothes on any given day was an adventure in the discovery of a cornucopia of surprise thingies...some good, some pretty gross.

As a kid, he had a sweet nature (he might not appreciate this) and loved to work with his dad on all kinds of things. He'd help his dad spread "manuker" and when his dad was working on a basement for the house, he wanted to help him with the "mortimer." He laughed easily and was a happy kid.

Well, he was happy most of the time. When his dad was in the hospital for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome for almost a year, he was pretty much devastated. He missed his dad terribly and it affected his school work. In the gifted program at school, it came time for him to be retested during his dad's hospitalization. He didn't do well enough to stay in and had to leave the program. For some odd reason, I didn't catch that, but it could have been because I was so devastated myself. That was a tough time for all of us.

When he started high school, he was 4'9" tall. His dad is not so tall at 5'6", so I figured he'd be about his size. Something happened, though. In his junior year in high school, he started growing and he didn't stop  until he was in law school. That little biddy boy grew to be over 6 feet tall. He somehow morphed into a big man, an imposing man.

It hit me that morning just a few days ago...hit me hard. My little boy who used to duck his head when he wasn't sure of himself. My little fella with the huge soulful eyes and long dark eyelashes who was so cute, "you could eat him with a spoon" someone said to me once, was not around anymore. He had grown up before I realized it. He had become a man, and I just didn't see it.

Oh, he met a wonderful girl, a beautiful girl after he graduated from college and was living in North Carolina. He brought her home and I knew he had finally found "the one." They married in a lovely ceremony in the woods on family land we call Evelyn's Eden. It didn't dawn on me then that he was grown. I know. I know. It should have. He was getting married. He was planning on attending law school. He was moving on with his life.

This child of mine, my first son, was my 30th birthday present. Yes. He was born on my birthday. What a beautiful child he was...all dark curls and big brown eyes...inquisitive eyes. He always has had inquisitive eyes. He always needed to know things. He always asked questions like, "Mom, why is dirt brown?" Heck, I could have gone into stuff about minerals, elements, crushed rock, flora and fauna, but I didn't. He was three. So I took the easy road. I told him God did it. I'm not even all that religious.

So what triggered this epiphany...this realization that my oldest son was grown? I mean this child, this little boy I loved/love so much is a full blown man. Maybe it's the loving way he treats his wife. Kelly is pregnant with their first child, a girl we will call Evelyn. Maybe it's the way he treats his dad. His dad helps him now with a cabin that has been an ongoing project at Evelyn's Eden.

I am proud of this son of mine. I am proud of what he stands for in his life. I am still surprised when he takes command of a situation, not with arrogance, but with assurance and knowledge of what is right and wrong. He knows how to treat people with dignity and kindness. He knows when to be assertive and when to back up and let things happen.

I'm not sure why he is the way he is. Of course, as his mom, I hope he's learned some things from me. 

My husband and I were blessed with four children when, at one time, we thought we would not have any. Our first born is our daughter who is a wife, mother, writer, and photographer. Our second child is featured in this blog. Our third child, a beautiful baby boy is part of the staff of the campaign team for Jason Carter who is running for governor of Georgia. Our fourth child, a boy is a marvelous writer, artist, and performer. I am so proud of each and every one of them.They are all grown now. I know they are grown.  It just took my oldest son to help me realize it.    


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your grown-up son will love this post. Our children grow so quickly and we see them pass through the milestones in their lives with pride. However, inside every mother's heart remains the child that she bore.

Coleen Brooks said...

You are so right. Nice to see you again and read your comments.

happy said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks Mom. That's the best compliment a son could ever have. I Love you.

Amber Lanier Nagle said...

Coleen, I love this post so much. Love it! It was worth the wait. Keep writing these gems.