My son and I watched Missy Franklin win the gold medal. The commentator noted that she was going back home to start her senior year in high school. I looked at my son. He’s going to be a sophomore. He was in pajamas pants and an old tee shirt. I think he’s had them on for a couple of days now.
“You have two years,” I told him.
He looked as unimpressed as McKayla Maroney. “Overachievers. They annoy me.”
His look said and you were probably one of them.
Guilty as charged. I bounced on life’s trampoline yelling “watch me, watch me.” Why else become a writer?
My son longs to be invisible–not an easy thing to do when your mother writes about you on the internet.
A day later he asked me to drop him off at a friend’s house, and I asked for the address. He gave me a blank look. What am I supposed to do, drive around town in circles until we see your friend waving from his porch? Maybe we could get him on the phone and he can at least say colder/warmer to guide us in the right direction. He admitted he was being a dolt. That’s okay, I told him, it gives me material for the blog.
That was not a good thing to say.
I do try to draw some uncrossable lines regarding what I will discuss and what I won’t on this blog. Anne Lamott says that if it happened to you, it’s yours and if people wanted you to speak of them kindly, they ought to have treated you better. I wonder if her children are in therapy. I do not write about my son’s feelings, his fears, or the private things that go on in his head. I tell him that what I write is my story more than his. He is a character, a catalyst that propels my thoughts and worries and concerns. My blog, I reassure him, is really more about being a mother than being a son.
He doesn’t read my blog. I think this is probably a good thing, although I’ve told him he’s free to. He’s sure his friends read it. I assure him that if they did, he’d be the first to know. I’m not telling the world anything he hasn’t made painfully obvious. His mother loves and nags him in equal measure. He plays videogames and procrastinates. And can’t forget — he hated camp.
So if you do read this, my darling son, know that I love you with all of my heart. Which is another good thing, because sometimes, you annoy the living daylights out of me. And I know that the feeling is mutual. If anything, I think you come out of the whole deal looking pretty good. I only repeat your best lines. I’m saving up for therapy however, just in case. Better to have the bases covered.