one of the parts about being a mom i enjoy deeply- is watching my boys and wondering how their personalities are going to change, morph, grow, develop. i wonder what little quirks will fade away and which ones will take root, hold on, flesh out.
sometimes i watch them doing something they really are into- like how seren is focused on drawing right now- and i imagine him as doing this throughout his life. i'm curious about how his skills will improve, if he'll study it in school, if someday he'll have a drafting table in an office at his house where he draws comics or greeting cards or illustrations for food processor manuals.
or if one day he'll just stop drawing and take up some other hobby like raising guinea pigs.
i know, of course, that without a doubt some parts of their character will always be there. their sense of humor, for example. i' betting that farts will not be as funny to them as they mature. but then i still think farting is pretty funny so i could be wrong on that one.
i'm pretty sure that they'll always have relationships in their lives. of all sorts. some even.....sexual in nature!
the other day me and my boys were eating lunch in the co-op. as we sat seren had out his sketch book where he was drawing various weapons. yes, the universe finds this hysterically funny that i, a passivist with bad gun experiences, would be blessed with two warrior sons. no doubt, i pulled this fate to me like a magnet on steel. in any case, seren was drawing spears and bows and knives and other things that he knows the actual names of but i do not, when a young gal- about 3 and her mama and the baby sister come sit next to us. the 3 year old picked the table next to us because she saw kiddos and she was smart. sit by people you find interesting- this should be a rule, well, it is her rule. she sat next to seren.
she watched him draw. seren was kind of vague when she asked him what he was drawing, "some stuff." at this point cyrus grew tired of stagnation and went sprinting toward the mercantile department (but he was not the one who threw those balls all over the place, i swear....not this time anyway) so i took off after him. when i came back seren had gone to get a to-go box as i had suggested once i realized cy was headed toward pre-nap melt down, and this young gal was drawing in his sketch pad. she assured me that he had told her it was ok.
i noticed seren had shifted to drawing some faces he has been practicing in his cartooning class. as i wrestled cy around, shoveling soup into his round mouth, i chatted with the mom about how two kids is a totally different world- and why hadn't anyone warned us!- and about all the baby stuff at the co-op now, and where they lived, and all that sort of stuff. as i got ready to go i noticed seren scrawling on a scrap of paper and he asked me, "mom, what's our phone number?"
yes- he gave his phone number to this sweet 3 year old girl.
now i know he was just being his normal, friendly self- but i had this strange sensation like i was glimpsing into the future when he would actually know his own phone number, probably have his own damn phone! and be giving it to girls and/or boys all the time. it made me giddy to think about. and completely terrified too.
it's not the sex talk- ever since that day at the zoo when he said, "hey mom, look at those funny meer cats wrestling!" i have been upfront and honest with him about "mating" and the like. really that's just all chemistry. hormones and body fluids. you can teach safe sex and kids understand that. as a middle school teacher i sat through these classes all the time and answered strange questions from students without even blushing.
i think what the potential freaking out part is the heartache. the fact that realistically at some point in his life someone is going to want him more or less than he wants them to. and this will happen with cy too. when cyrus was just a few months old a gal stopped me and said, "oh- he's going to be a heartbreaker." i've heard this often of seren too. and i'm pretty sure they don't mean that tom petty is going to have a reunion tour when he is 78 and happen to recruit my boys for their rocking guitar skills.
no, they mean that my guys are handsome and that folks will fall for them and be rejected by my sweet children and will be crying about it and writing mean notes and talking thrash; wishing evil on them, to boot, just the way that you and i did to those mean people that rejected us in the locker bays during recess.
i believe in romance and i also believe that it takes a while to learn enough about ourselves to know how we need to live in this world. it seems that we have to figure out some parts of that before we glue our hips, or any other body part!, to another human. but we don't do that. we don't wait. or maybe you did. maybe you still do. but most of us don't. no. no. no. because that chemistry makes it all feel sooo good. remember young love!? admit it, if you had a bottle of that shit you'd be hitting it right now!
when it comes to love it's trial by error. we learn what we want and need by sometimes getting what we don't want and don't need. and running screaming room it. or dragging our sorry butts home with tail between legs.
like my first boyfriend. i should have never lurked on his facebook page. just resist the temptation to look up your first. i could have gone on believing that he was only in a downward slump during our short stint as boyfriend/girlfriend. sadly, his priorities in life have not shifted in the twenty years since we were together. and they aren't now, nor ever were, priorities like: 1. work to end hunger 2. decrease my carbon footprint 3. finish high school. ok, so maybe he did finish high school, eventually. at this point, i'd like to give you specific examples but honestly i am too embarrassed. i'm cringing.
i'm embarrassed because i remember the intensity of that swirly-eyed, tingling toes, fuzzy-headed feeling like he was my soul mate. together forever. always and forever. i'll always love you. and every other bad love song from the late 80s with some few classics from the 50s thrown in there. he was thee one. i was done- in my mind with all that dating stuff, whew! found him. at 14. yup.
obviously, in hind sight, that was not the case. but at the time you, or my mom, could not tell me- even hint at- the smallest possibility that we would not be blissfully happy together for the rest of our lives. i believe in him, in us, in the face of ridiculousness....until he found some other chic and didn't tell me about it so then i found someone else and then i knew for real- that guy, not the first guy, was my true soul mate. i was then 17.
so we know they've inherited some good decision making skills in any case.
how do i survive two heartbreakin' boys? and really, even though they are exceedingly handsome, there's no guarantee that they aren't going to be the ones with the broken hearts. at least once.
it reminds me of the first scar seren ever got. a small nick from my fingernail as i was carrying him. he didn't cry- the small crescent shape of blood rising on his perfect skin. his smooth skin grew crinkled just there in the smallest way that only i could, can still, see. i felt horrible- it had changed him. and life is going to keep doing that to them, to us.
heartbreak does that to us too. it changes us in this strange way that also makes us more of ourselves. reminds me of a song that says something like "the heart has no bones, so it can't break. the purpose of love is the pounding it takes."
so pound on strong hearts of young warrior sons! no matter what shape your heart takes- i will hold it inside of mine always and forever, for reals.