Moms of boys understand. When your kids are little, you think you’ll never survive the sticky hands, typhoon-force energy, and non-stop “getting into things.” I won’t even go into the teenage years. But then, in what seems an instant, your boys are men. And with that comes another phase. As a Mom you’re doing less, but observing more. Watching my sons over the past few years, I’ve learned the following…
They’re still fast – To this day, I can’t sit easily in the passenger seat when my oldest drives. Yes, Patrick’s 26, and a good, experienced driver. He’s driven everywhere, including cross-country.
He’s just a little…”speedy” for my taste. I must still have “P.T.S.D.” from teaching him to navigate our narrow, curvy Connecticut roads so long ago. To this day, I’m still clutching his armrest as we zoom along, a frozen smile on my face.
They’re tough— I know I’m stating the obvious, but males are different. My youngest Paul works in a professional kitchen, where he does an assortment of tasks, many physically demanding. Most women would have a rough time, to say the least. I’d be taken out on a gurney.
Paul comes home each day, muscles tired and achy. And I’m filled with admiration. I see how you have to be strong to be a man, in so many ways.
They do things that make you happy – I’m blessed with a chef and a musician. Once in a great while, the stars align (usually on a Sunday afternoon) and Paul cooks while Patrick sings and plays one of hundreds of songs he knows on his guitar.
Ahh… the sounds of chicken cutlets sizzling (and I’m not doing it) along with Bob Dylan. I took it for granted when they both lived at home. I don’t anymore.
They come in handy – You know that household job you and your husband hate, that leaves you both swearing and sweaty? For us, it’s cleaning the garage or putting out lawn furniture. Installing the annual Christmas tree also comes to mind.
Well, we made a great discovery. We have grown sons! For the price of a good meal, we now bribe them for free labor. They do something in 15 minutes it would take us 4 (cranky) hours to do. We’re happy. They’re happy. Problem solved.
They’re brave – On a trip to Ireland last summer, my sons and I climbed the narrow, claustrophobic, medieval stairs of Blarney Castle. I was terrified and almost turned back. But Patrick (who was probably just as nervous as me) held out his hand. “You can do this, Mom.” Paul was in back. “Just take it slow,” he advised.
Hey, wait a minute. That’s the same voice I used on them when they were afraid to go to nursery school. And like so long ago, that reassuring tone worked. I ascended to the top, with the help of one son ahead, and one behind. Their bravery inspired me.
They’re sweet – In the early years, I’d get birthday or Mother’s Day cards with either bodily function humor or “Hope your day is pleasant.” Now they give me cards that make me weep with sentimentality.
They’re quick with hugs and a kind word. Paul comes to talk to me every night, filling me in on his day and inquiring how mine was. Is this the same middle-schooler who used to stomp around with a Mohawk haircut and braces?
They’re funny — When they were little, they made me laugh with their cute kid stuff. What I didn’t realize was they’d keep me laughing years later. Paul will tell a story about his job, complete with killer impersonations. Patrick will post something droll and witty on Facebook, that gets me shaking my head. Is this the kid who used to love “Jackass 3?”
They’re good people – Even though Paul still lives at home, things have changed. He works long hours. He’s an adult. We catch him in passing. Patrick moved out a while ago. I see him once a month… if I’m lucky.
And yes, its right, and for the best, and the way things are supposed to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This was my hardest lesson as a mom with grown sons. You have to let them go.
And if you’re lucky, you look at them with pride. You love the men they’ve become…even if you still miss those little boys with sticky hands.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…and how about mothers with daughters! Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you!