I was at the table working on schoolwork for the master’s program I am currently enrolled in. (More on that later.) It was about 2:30 in the afternoon when I noticed a text from Golden Boy.
“Are you home?” it said.
“YES!” I hurriedly replied, hoping that I hadn’t missed the chance to see him.
He didn’t reply, and after a few minutes I got back to work reading some very exciting material about the history of curriculum, some fella named Tyler and something about a Rationale. I knew Golden Boy was on his way home from the campus he’s attending about 40 minutes away, and was really hoping that this time he really would stop, as he practically passes the home I am living in on his way to his father’s.
I was too afraid to hope.
I’d been disappointed before, and can count on my hand the number of times he has found the time to stop by the house in the past year or so. The number grows even less if one were to go back the last few years. Some of you know what I’m talking about, but I won’t get into something that cannot be undone. I will just attribute that to the fact that 18 year-old boys probably do not think that making time for their mom is cool, or really is something they think about. It’s about friends, basketball, football, work and perhaps a girl. I’m going to go with that excuse.
I began taking notes again when I heard the door open.
“Hey,” he said in his low voice.
I jumped off the chair and walked over to him for a hug. I may have held him a few minutes longer than he wanted, but I didn’t care. We sat down, and shared about twenty minutes of casual conversation about this and that and nothing really important. I watched him intently as he shared a few words or two when answering some vague questions that I hurriedly came up with. I watched him as he talked about school and the classes he was taking. I listened intently as he explained how he had caught a horrible cold and was battling to keep up with schoolwork. My eyes took him in and held him close, soaking him in like a woman seeing the sun after a long, dark winter. My heart filled with such love, and I tried so very hard not allow tears to spill out as I watched my son share simple things about his daily life.
This is what I’ve missed.
I’ve missed the small moments in our daily life. While I could spend time mourning the last years that were stolen from me, I won’t allow it. Instead, my heart swelled with joy and love as I sat next to the son that has still managed to become the man I had always hoped he would be.
He left after about 20 minutes with the excuse that he was very busy with school and work. I thanked him for making time to see me, hugged him and sent him on his way. I watched him get into the car and back out of the driveway with a huge smile on my face.
I sat down in my chair with such a full heart. I realized that I am happier with my life than I ever, ever thought I would be. I have an amazing loving man in my life who shows me daily what a real adult relationship is supposed to be. I speak to Bitchy and Sassy every single day, and am so very proud of the young women they have become. I have a son who has begun to find his way back to his mother, and for that I am grateful. My heart is beginning to heal and grow in ways I never imagined. But the loss of those years? It has broken me in ways I never imagined. I often think about the ending of Stephen King’s Book,The Storm of the Century. The Anderson’s, a couple at the heart of the story, were forced to give up their only son. Of course they had to give him to the devil, and I simply allowed my son to stay with his dad. (I’m gonna keep my mouth shut here.)
But that price, the price of the gift I gave him(remember THIS post???), was one I never EVER imagined I would have to pay. I just pray that he continues to follow those bread crumbs, and finds his way back to the mother who has loved him every single day of his life.