Summer is the hardest time of the year for me. I always look forward to it. It’s that ingrained instinct left from childhood. Yay! It’s summer. Time to play! Two weeks in, I remember the ugly truth. There is no summer for Moms.
It’s an odd paradox–being alone and yet never alone. My son spends most his time gaming with his friends. I don’t see him, but I hear him, so he is always here.
I’m in my office. I’ve been stuck on the same scene for a while, and I can’t seem to move beyond it. I hear the percussion of machine gun fire in the background.
“Drive the tank! No not in circles, you idiot! Hahahahahaha.”
“You excel at circular logic,” Kate said. “Do you have a point? Never mind the point. Is there even a verb in that sentence?”
“You can’t park on a respawn point, you cheater! Kill switch someone else’s game.”
“I always have a point, and verbs are overrated.” Jess replied, thinking Kate, the spawn of Martha Stewart and her high school grammar teacher needed a new place to park the nagmobile. “Go find some other underachiever to inspire.”
“You’re such a stupid noob.”
You’re such a stupid noob.
You’re such a stupid noob. Argh!!!
I can’t really shut the door. I have to hear what’s going on around the house, so I pick up a pad and move to the sunroom.
Fifteen minutes later, he’s hungry for lunch and comes upstairs. As his mac and cheese is heating, he joins me.
I look over my glasses at him. “Writing.”
“Cool.” He watches me scribble.
“I think the Patriots are going to the Superbowl this year.”
This is a typical opening gambit. His favorite topic. I’d remind him that baseball season isn’t over, but we’re Red Sox fans, so for us, it is.
“That’s good.” A non-responsive response. Not that I have one, really. Although I’m fairly conversant about baseball, football leaves me yawning. I only go for the tailgating.
He takes that as a green light and launches into a long discussion of the team’s prospects and wishful hoping that they’ll sign Maurice Jones Drew. It’s a name I know, only because he’s in ESPN ads. I can’t tell you anything about him other than the fact that he is short but still awesome at whatever it is he does.
“I think your mac and cheese is done.” The microwave beeps every 30 seconds to remind us. I start to count them.
“It’s got to cool first.” I get a recap of Tom Brady’s virtues as a quarterback. It’s also a name I know. I can’t tell you much more about him than I can about Maurice Jones Drew other than the fact that he is extremely good looking, and I know he’s the quarterback. I also know all of the gossipy stuff, but I don’t really want to discuss Tom Brady’s babydaddy status with my son. I want to discuss Giselle even less.
I try not to get impatient with the one-sided conversation. After all, I do love my him. Pretty soon, he’ll be at college and I’ll have to come up with all of my own material. He does his own laundry and makes his own lunch. My husband does neither, and I put up with him without too much trouble.
“Hackers suck. They only care about scoring points. Everyone leaves because the game’s not fun anymore. So they win? Who cares?”
They’d fought this bloodless battle for years. The points came dearly and winning was pointless, not to mention temporary. Someday they’d both figure out it was better to leave the game before it started.
“Are you writing down what I just said? ” He shakes his head and walks towards the kitchen.
“Like I would write about hackers, and by the way, no food in the basement.”
No, he really doesn’t, and it works for me.
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph by Allie Holzman ©2011 Creative Commons