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Friday, May 8, 2009

freaky friday: my son is now ten!



I’m not really sure how it happened. I mean it’s not like I woke up one day and decided, today is the day I’m going to discover that I’m getting older. Today is the day I will open my eyes and see my retina’s are slightly cloudier than usual, my body aches in places I had yet to learn about and that my children, my babies are no longer babies but growing up right before me and I have just been floating through each passing day as though it were nothing more than a dream I had been given the courtesy to enjoy rather than to live.

Yeah, no – I didn’t decide that. Sometimes bleep just happens.

And on this particular day—the bleep hit the fan!

Pardon the expression but it did. It hit it hard, blasting its nastiness all over me like a wet blanket of crap from a neighbour’s dog dead set on pooping my front yard and leaving it there for me to find.

I woke up this morning and I realized—my son is now ten.

Ten years old. Where the fuzz did the time go?

Yes I said FUZZ! Sue me, I’m a grown woman who curses when confronted with sad realizations of impending years floating before her over night.

Where DID the time go?

It was just yesterday I was bringing Jake home from the hospital. Swaddled in a small baby blue blanket; his black hair sticking straight up which gave me the continuous reminder of electrocuting myself during the pregnancy while wall papering the damn kitchen (story for another time).

God, he was so adorable.

Ten years ago I was twenty five years old. I was stupid. I was naive. I was stuck—in an unforgiving relationship tormented with hatred and pure abusive behaviour, both physically and mentally.

It was Jake who saved me.

Jake, who gave me my life back and helped me make the final decision to start out on my own, the place I should have been all the time but was too stupid to risk.

It was Jake who guided every decision I made from that moment forward, leaving his father—my abuser—my friend once—now my enemy because the man was too dumb to realize I had finally discovered my own self worth went beyond anything he could take away from me every again.

Jake—my baby—my son and the only person I feared would ever truly understand how much I needed and loved him, and how that love would continue as the years flew past us. And he did—understand.

Now he is all grown up.

He is ten today and I have no idea how on God’s green earth I am going to handle things. I mean I realize I cannot stop the future from happening. I wouldn’t dare try—that would be just retarded.

That is life.

I just feel so overwhelmed on this bright day watching as he barrels down the stairs with his big cheesy grin spread thick across what I quickly see becoming his ruggedly handsome face. He’s nearly as tall as I am, five feet no inches.

I watched as he walks into the laundry room, going to the pantry to grab the box of Frosted Flakes; his favourite cereal. And then it hits me.

My little boy was going to become a man!

I know... I know... you are sitting there and reading this and saying to
yourself—uh—duh. What did you think was going to happen, Jodi?

I don’t know what I thought. I just didn’t expect it. I didn’t see it coming. I feel completely blindsided by this natural and reoccurring event taking place.

It’s just a birthday, right?

Wrong!

You know when Jake was little and I used climb into his bed to grab a snug-a-bug with him, while he begged me to sing his song “Little boy blue” which I wrote the night he was born and had sung to him every night since. Not once did I ever think or dream of his future.

Not once.

When I left Jake’s father, it was just him and me—against the world. And that is how I lived each day, one day at a time. It was how I had to live.
I couldn’t afford to be afraid of everything for the rest of my life. I had already spent too much time being afraid. I didn’t want those fears to mask over, spilling into Jake’s life and keeping me from allowing him to grow and be who he is. I wanted him to be himself without worrying about mom worrying about him and about everything in-between.

So that is what I did.

I took each day as it came and lived it. Each day and every moment became precious and we built many memories daily—together. So I never stopped myself to worry about what kind of man he was going to become, what school he would go to after he graduated, who his friends would be or what life he was going to lead.

I just loved him.

But now—now I look at this gangly, overgrown young man with a face that mirrors mine and attitude that mirrors his stepfather, Corey and I think—OMG! Who is this kid? Is this really Jake? And just who is Jake?

I have absolutely no idea.

And I feel like the worst mother in the world because of that.

I have no idea what kind of music Jake wants to listen to, aside from country which he was raised on and is in his blood to love. I just found out the other day that he no longer wants to sing or play guitar. “It’s gay!” he tells me.

“Since when?” I asked him, to which I received the reply that he’d made this decision like at the beginning of the school year when all his friends made fun of one of his favourite country artists Brad Paisley because one of the girls said she’d gone to see the concert and suddenly all the boys thought it was gay to like singers.

I know Jake like hockey. In fact he lives for it. He eats, sleeps and breathes the sport, playing before, during and after school, and one of his dreams is to be a goalie in the NHL. It’s something he’d discussed with both Corky and myself since like a year ago, asking us if we could find a way to pay for him to join the junior team out here in Abbotsford.

But I never thought he was dead serious about it.

See what kind of mother I am. I sit here thinking I have such an amazing communicative relationship with my son, and yet I never really believed he was being serious when he told me his dreams, and I never knew changing what you like was a simple as following what your friends think.

I’m such an idiot!

I also just discovered he likes more than one girl at school!

Girls!

I can actually hear my heart pounding and feel the chunks rising in my throat. Girls were not a part of the bargain when I brought this lovely little boy home. No—no—no, I clearly remember there being no dreams or wishes for those creatures to inhabit his life.

Yeah, right. Who was I kidding? Of course he likes girls. He’s ten!

Ten!

I don’t even want to say the number.

He doesn’t have toys in his room anymore. Everything has been replaced with Canucks memorabilia and hockey cards, dirty clothes all over his floor, socks in the waste paper basket because his aim sucks.

No basketball in his future.

No more teddy bears or stuffies near his pillows to help him sleep at night. No more pyjamas, it is boxers only under the blankets. No more kissing his boo-boo’s when he falls or gets scrapes. Now he adorns his scars with a state of pride and grins.

No more tucking him at night. No more butterfly kisses or singing him to sleep. No more holding my hand because his friends might be watching, and Lord knows we don’t want to embarrass him in front of his boys.

He has boys?

Okay Jodi, breathe.

He’s not a teenager yet.

No, he’s a tween though.

That’s the age right before they become a teen but are no longer a child. It’s awkward, unforgiving, horrible and scary—for the parents. I don’t know about Jake but right now I do not like ten. Eleven will be even worse. I don’t even want to think about twelve. And you can just kill me at thirteen.

“How old do I have to be to drive?”

“Sixteen.”

“How old do I have to be before I can work at McDonalds or have a job?”

“Fifteen, but only with my consent.”

“How old will I be when I graduate?”

“If you do all your homework and pass your exams—sixteen or seventeen.”

“How old will I be when I have sex?”

“Thirty!”

“Mom!”

What? Well that is an age I thought appropriate at the time. You weren’t there for the questions so don’t judge!

So many questions, each and every day he asks now. It’s always something new having to do with what he will be doing a few years from now. I just want to shake him and yell—“you’re still just a child!”

But I can’t.

It’s a rite of passage, Corky tells me. And what’s worse—I don’t even get to be there for it. Apparently when they turn ten they go to dad for answers to the really hard questions, which half the time Corky won’t tell me what Jake’s even asked because he doesn’t remember them right after he gives Jake HIS answers.

So I have no idea what is going on. It’s totally unfair. And I realize all my bitching and moaning over this isn’t going to make you all understand or heck—feel sorry for the plight I’ve found myself in.

“Get over it, Jodi. Your son is growing up.”

I know he is. I just don’t want him to.

Oh well... I still have Trace. He’s still a baby, only three and not yet NOT needing me. I lean over the table to help him cut his hash brown in half.

“I do it! I do it!” He screams. “I a big boy!”

If you will all excuse me now... I’m going to the bathroom to lock myself in and drown myself in the toilet. Three flushes should do.



Happy Birthday Jake. I still love you of course, despite you growing up too fast. Don't worry mom will be okay. I might cry and worry. I might be afraid for your plans and wishes for your futures, but I'll never stop loving you. I'm proud of who you are. I'm proud of all you've accomplished. And no matter how old you get you will still be my baby. My first born. And I'm so grateful I got the chance to be your mom. Thank you for sharing your life with me.
- Love Mom





1 comments:

Maria@Conversations with Moms on May 8, 2009 at 2:20 PM said...

30? I would have answered 35. LOL. Happy Birthday to your son. You guys have a great relationship.

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