Thursday, July 3, 2008

How Our Kids Love Us And How To Love Them Back

My son is leaving me for a week.

I'm half-excited for the freedom, and half-sad to have him gone that long. I don't think he's ever been gone from me that long when I wasn't on vacation or on a business trip. It's going to be hard to be at home for a week without him.

Last night he snuck into my bedroom and played with my hair while we listened to the thunder.

"I'm going to miss you when you're gone," I said.

"Like you missed Fred?"

"Yep."

"I'll come back, Mama," he said, not sounding at all sad to be leaving. He's never sad to leave me.

"Who will be my teddy bear?" I asked, trying to guilt him a little.

"Fred," he said.

He wrapped his arm around me and slipped his fingers through my hair over and over again until he fell asleep. I reminded myself that the fact that he is so comfortable leaving me, and so unconcerned about me is a good thing. I've done a good job. My son does not feel responsible for my happiness. He knows I'll be here when he gets back, and I'll be just fine.

But still.

Sometimes I wish I knew he missed me. Or maybe just once he could be sad to see me go? Okay, there was a time or two that he was sad, and I didn't like that. Whenever I get to thinking that his dad is his favorite and I'm just reliable old mom, I remember that when I pick him up from daycare, he always has a picture he's drawn from that day. For me. Of me. And my yellow hair.

And when he was named Student of the Week, this is what he had to say in his interview:

"Hi my name is CRACKY.

I am 4 years old. My favorite thing to do at home is play with my toys.

When I am at school I like to make art. I have 0 brothers and sisters. My favorite thing to watch on TV is "Aladdin." My favorite color is Dark Blue. My favorite food is chicken nuggets. My favorite animal is a horse. My favorite toy is Potato Head.

If I went on vacation I would go to my Mama's work and bring my music playing thing."

I guess he does love me after all. I mean, he must, if his idea of a vacation is coming to work with me. And I guess I don't need him to carry on about how much he'll miss me in order to know that. Besides, what's important here is that he knows I love him.

That's the way parenting works.

27 comments:

  1. "Hi my name is DIRTY DIRTY JESUS.

    I am 46 years old. My favorite thing to do at home is play with my toys.

    When I am at work I like to make art. I have 7 brothers and sisters. My favorite thing to watch on TV is porno. My favorite color is Vagina Pink. My favorite food is beaver. My favorite animal is a beaver or a pussy. My favorite toy is the Anal Plug that I stick in my girlfriend's nether-region.

    If I went on vacation I would go to my girlfriend's work and bring my anal playing thing."

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  2. Ahem. Sorry. Forgot this blog is serious. (Pull up pants.)

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  3. If you weren't so funny, you'd be a bad bad man.

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  4. I'm sure all of my readers (all eight of them) will be relieved when you finally get laid.

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  5. hmmm, I feel like a 3rd wheel and was about to be all emotional about my sister and her boys going to be with their dad for a month. and then I laughed.

    mothers are the anchors that boys know they can depend on. when stability is at home they have a touchstone. it makes life easier.

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  6. I think I can live with being a touchstone.

    (Let's hope the perv doesn't see this.)

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  7. I'm sure I'll be relieved when I finally get laid.

    (Ballsack explodes.)

    Too late.

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  8. This almost made me cry. I just got off the phone with my boog.
    They always miss their mamas. I remember when my nephew was about 3 when I went to check on him - he was spending Christmas with us (my bro and his mom didnt stay together). He was sound asleep and as I watched him he smiled and said in his sleep "mommy" like he was dreaming about her. It was so sweet.

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  9. I mean about the kid saying "Mommy" in his sleep. Not about DD Jesus needing poon.

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  10. Cracky draws like my Louis. Now his favorite things to draw is Hulk and Batman with those oversize arms and wings. M

    y kids left to my In-laws for 5 "dodos" (i counted them all). Before we left, and after I strapped my 4yo in the car, he grabbed me by the neck and said:"You'll see Mommy, I won't be lonely". Like he wanted to reassure me. Letting go is never easy.

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  11. Kids know. They get who we are and who the important people in their lives are, the ones who wash their clothes and cook their food and make better there grazed knees.

    They know who is their favourite, they're just sometimes too subtle for us to notice.

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  12. The first time I left my son to go on a trip, I called twice a day (sometimes more) just to make sure he was doing alright, and every time my parents would assure me he was fine, having a great time, making cookies, swimming, etc... I was always pleased, but secretly I wondered if he even knew I was gone.

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  13. My son went on holiday with my father last year and even though I had two other kids still at home I felt desperately lonely, like part of my soul was missing. He missed me a lot too, and by the end of the two weeks he started phoning me three times a day and not even saying anything, just listening to me talk. Sometimes we would just listen to each other breathing.

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  14. A week apart at Cracky's age will seem interminable to you, mom. I used to hate it . . . my moping, miserable behavior just pointed out glaringly that I really had very little purpose in life outside of parenting my child. And that didn't change until she was grown and gone. Speaking of . . . these little weeklong absences are just practice for the big leave . . . college, moving to Sweden, replacing you as the center of life when the serious significant other enters the picture . . . pick your scenario. ALL of these are so final. That's the problem with the little brats . . . they become self-sufficient, confident, healthy adults and don't need us anymore!

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  15. That's so sweet, Who.
    You're making me miss my little boogey bear even more.
    *slaps herself so she'll stop with the baby speak*

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  16. I see Cranbrook Academy of Art in Max's future. He'll be sculpting or painting your yellow hair, and be another of the famous who've graced those halls.

    While he's gone is when he'll have those pangs of missing you. He'll notice that he misses you tucking him in, his familiar place of comfort, your praise, and of course twirling your yellow hair. He'll miss you, but he'll be all right because he knows you'll be there for him when he returns.

    My sons are now older than when I had them. Ackk. My eldest told me a year ago that I am, always have been, and always will be, his favourite parent. Something I never expected, or tried for, and it still makes me grin like an idiot when I think of what he said.

    Oh, and please put your rock and roll jesus ballsack together again.

    deb

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  17. Great post. You really know how to captivate and entertain your readers, dirty dirty jesus. I'm glad mandy does a blog for us to be able to read your comments.

    Happy 4th you love sacks!

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  18. mama's boy!

    when he goes on dates he will go to your work and play with with his toys in front of ya both

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  19. Oh my oh my oh my. The words "I will miss you" flows in my ears and slowly moves through me like a sweetness that tingles. There is something about knowing that the heart of another is so intertwined with your own that the distance is a healthy pain.

    Though you are right, the confidence in knowing that your own happiness is not related to him being there is a good thing. You have done a very good job my dear!

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  20. Whenever I went to go visit my dad for a week or so in the holidays, he would always say, "Alex, do you want to call your mom? Why don't you."

    I never had the urge to. Saying "I miss you" felt like a mandatory vacation checklist humanity had drawn up for me.

    But it WAS because I always knew she was with me. It was because I loved her no matter where I was. It was because I was so young and didn't understand the possibility of her not being there. She always was, so why worry?

    Now I'm due to move out of the house in a year.

    I am SO.... fucking.... fucked. Lmao.

    Every time I take the trash out, I think, "This is one less time I'll be able to take the trash out of this house. This is one less time I'm going to have a continual attachment to this house as my permanent residence."

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  21. Hi Mandy,
    We all take our Mom's, not so much for granted but where a mother loves her child as you love yours, a child knows their mom is always there, for them, always loves them...and you as a Mom are loved more than any other human on the plant.

    Sincerely,
    Richard

    P.S. I sent the following to Madge.
    The words also remind
    of you.
    How you describe the way you and your son interact reminds me of the following:
    From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

    And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

    And he said:

    Your children are not your children.

    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

    They come through you but not from you,

    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

    For they have their own thoughts.

    You may house their bodies but not their souls,

    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

    Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

    For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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  22. Hi Mandy,

    And the words are so you.
    Reading a newer post I
    came across the use of words. I did not realize I was following the teachings of the Buddha. Or at least trying.
    Glad it was a floater.
    Love how you listen to your doctors advice, in part...;)

    Sincerely,
    Richard

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