Though our days fly by (as in: “it’s really almost Halloween already?”) and time sometimes drags on for eons (like when you’re in line at the BMV or the one of the only four open of the 28 grocery store lanes), there are significant moments in time that will and should be, always remembered. Suspended in your memory will be times you have accomplished something or you were witness to something amazing: the day you made it to the end of that marathon and didn’t stroke out; the first time your baby smiled at you; the first time you kissed the lips of the one that holds your heart; the time you shook the hand of the man that presented you with that degree; or the time you helped someone in need and they gave you that look of gratitude that words couldn’t even express.
Maybe your special moments might include more ornery scenes: like the time you accidentally threw that egg (well it was thrown on purpose but was meant to land elsewhere) and it hit your uncle in the head; or the time you scared your little sister so bad she cried, barfed and then wet herself; or maybe the time your brother pretended to drop your baby and you attacked him like a rabid animal … or maybe your family isn’t as bizarre as mine. But you get the idea.
There are moments, scenes, things, sounds, expressions, events, that you will never forget — some of them ones that you wish you’d rather not recall and others you wouldn’t want to miss.
A “moment” happened for me that was unimportant, seemingly insignificant — but that will undoubtedly stick with me forever. My son, rather, my baby just turned 16. He is my only son (I have two older daughters, 19 and 25) and is unapologetically my pride and joy. He won’t speak to me for a week after finding out I’ve written this so let’s keep this hush-hush, or as they say nowadays “on the down low.”
My son has been growing into a man for awhile now. His voice last year surprised me on the phone one day — I almost apologized for calling the wrong number (you can’t just hang up like you used to years ago and sheepishly and more carefully redial — there’s caller ID everywhere). I just didn’t recognize the man-voice that answered and I assumed I’d called incorrectly. I later made him record my personal phone message and several family members said they wanted to have one of “those” voices (assumedly a recorded masculine voice speaking like an announcer) say that they were unavailable to take the phone. When I told them it was my Boo, they at first didn’t believe, and then couldn’t believe it, until he spoke to them over the phone in that voice.
My boy has a straggly, “man” collection of hairs on his chin that reminds me of Shaggy on the Scooby-Doo series. He likes to call that his beard. He has a cowlick that he hates me for — which is so darned adorable, and bright smiling eyes which some rotten girl … er… darling young woman will fall in love with — and while he is all and every day changing into an adult, is still every bit my little boy.
For his birthday we sang to him, took him to a movie, fed him cake and gave him a new phone. It was the reaction from that final gift that hit me.
I’m pretty sure he knew the phone was coming, and he did ask for it after all, but after he acted all cool about receiving it, his eyes gave him away and he let out a little giggle and shook/wiggled around (picture a happy toddler or excited dog). In that one moment, that one-second-uninhibited action, I saw my son as both the little boy he was and the young man that he’s become, almost like an image over an image. It made me warm inside … and a little sick.
My oldest daughter was from a previous marriage and was a child I had to often share with people I wasn’t fond of, so in a sense, when she was at the age of butting heads with her mother (as most young girls do at some point in the pre-teen-to-young-woman years) the weaning away of her was something that hurt … but not so much.
My youngest daughter is a special child, one that makes instances in life seem fresh and unique, as she sees it through the eyes of a younger person, and always will. She will likely live with me until I am aged and can no longer watch over and help her … and then that responsibility will either go on to one of my other children, or sadly, the state.
Bonus for me? I don’t have to watch her move away and rip my heart out … I mean …. start life on her own. My son on the other hand….
Well, he has a wide world to attack and will and should. But seeing that dual-face upon the acceptance of his beloved technological toy, shook me.
It reminded me of another moment I had missed but caught on tape years ago. One where he received another device that would enthrall him to my disgust, when he was introduced to the handheld video game. At the time it had been Christmas and there were other people within the room doing their own opening and whatnot, so only when playing back the tape did I notice my son holding the revered video game in the holiday chaos. I watched his eyes widen as his fingers rapidly tapped away. His jaw then set and his eyes fiercely focused and that was it. They then glazed over in a mad scientist sort of way.
He may as well have been literally plugged into something because that, his FIRST video game, is something he was quickly hypnotized and forever changed by. Of course we set limits and so on now, but if it hadn’t been for the cameraman, my sister, that moment in time wouldn’t have ever been realized — the moment my little boo got sucked into cyber action and he turned into an obsessed gamer.
Realizing his aging reminds me that I’m aging too — a fact I don’t like one little bit. A fact that makes me additionally realize that there will be even fewer special moments to live and that I should pay better attention.
So, I’m looking at things a different way. I’m working on that “bucket list” (and for those of you that haven’t seen the movie, one of the best feel-good tearjerkers I’d seen in a long time — allow yourself the time to see it) and work at doing and seeing as many things as you can and remember to catch as many moments in time as you can … because once they’re missed, they’re gone.
I just hope when my time comes to return to the great beyond I came from, I get to actually have the chance to see my life flash before my eyes, and that it doesn’t consist of the moments I’d rather have forgotten…