“Mom, can you pick me up at the Y about 6:00? I’ll text you when I’m ready. Oh, and I’m staying with you this weekend. See ya.”
I looked at my phone. Did I hear him properly?
Was I going to spend an entire weekend with the son I hadn’t spent time with for almost a year? (Well, I DO get to see him every other evening when he calls me to pick him up from the Y and take him to his dad’s house. We chat for the five-minute drive and I get one or two word answers. He slams my car door shut as he walks towards our old house and I shout, “I LOVE YOU!” to him each time as he walks down the driveway and into the house. He may or may not respond, but I shout it anyway. Each time I pull out of the driveway I wipe a tear or two from my eyes as my heart breaks.)
And while we’re supposed to spend every other weekend together, it hasn’t happened; at least until now.
I smiled uncontrollably and practically floated out of school Friday afternoon. I ran to the grocery store and stocked up on whatever I thought a growing almost 15-year old rugby player might want. And then some.
And then I waited in the parking lot at the Y.
I watched him walk towards my car, thinking again about how fast young boys grow. “Could he get any taller?” I wondered. I glanced at him many times as we made the drive to the house and noticed the stubble all over his face.
“Mom, STOP looking at me,” he snarled. We bantered back and forth, smiles and laughter making their way into the conversation.
We spent the weekend in an easy, comfortable rhythm that I had feared was lost. I was determined to enjoy the moment, and decided that it needed to feel as if we were still living in the same home. And as I chauffeured him from this store to that store, and from basketball to rugby, I felt at peace; at least for a moment.
I dropped him off tonight at the old house and as he slammed the door shut I shouted, “I love you!” as he walked away.
And this time as I drove away there were no tears.
This time I smiled.