Friday, March 02, 2007

Man-boy

Fourteen years ago today, I was being driven to the hospital because I was feeling the most godawful pain I had ever experienced in my whole life. Those eight hours of unremitting pain were terrible, but they were undoubtedly worth it. They were part and parcel of one of my life's greatest blessings: my son.

**********

One afternoon, about ten years ago, we were walking along the street. Suddenly he looked down, looked up at me and said most casually, "Mama, I have a wound." I looked and was horrified to see his right slipper all wet and red with blood. I picked him up in my arms and hobbled the best I could home (I have scoliosis and carrying anything heavy makes my back hurt something awful). I brought him to the bathroom to wash the wound. I barely noticed the bolts of pain that were playing tag in the region of my lower back, and the trail of blood behind us; all I could think was "Dear God, the blood!" which played like a litany over and over in my mind. I wasn't a nervous wreck, my hands were steady as I washed the blood away, but there was this cold stone in the pit of my stomach that felt like it was growing larger by the second, threatening to cut off my breathing. Good thing the bleeding stopped; I could feel myself starting to want to scream.

Turned out a shard of glass had made its way under his foot despite him wearing slippers, and that's what caused the wound. Unbelievable how so small an injury could cause so much bleeding. I read later that lots of bleeding can occur in the extremities, even if the wound is small.

**********

Throughout the years, I saw how good he was at writing--much better than me when I was his age--and how he has a talent for drawing as well. That's good; I can't even draw a straight line! And he was such an affectionate kid when he was growing up; always hugging and kissing me. He and hubby have a great relationship, but I was the one to whom he entrusted his emotional side: sharing his writing, crying in my arms when he was hurt or disappointed. He thinks and acts methodically in many ways, like his father. His sense of humor is fantastic, he says witty things that make us all laugh out loud. But he's also such a sensitive soul, up until now. He and I are uncannily alike in that aspect.

mom and son
**********

To this day, he's still affectionate. When I pass him as he does his homework or while he's watching TV, he always stands up and comes to me to give me a hug and a kiss.

But...

One day, about seven years ago, he and I were going to school. I forget the reason I went with him, probably a PTA meeting. Anyway, there we were holding hands, about to enter his school. All of a sudden he yanked his hand from mine and walked hurriedly ahead of me. I was a bit bewildered--until I heard him greet some other kids. "Aahh," I thought, as understanding dawned. He doesn't want to be seen holding Mommy's hand. It made me smile, even though my heart twinged a little in pain.

Fast forward to last year. He was 13 years old, a high school sophomore. The school was holding an event in which his sisters (ages seven and five) were participating, and I was there to watch them. I went up to my son's classroom after the event and caught him and some of his classmates lounging outside (they were in between classes). I saw him dart a glance at me and then, to my utter stupefaction, he shifted his glance away and pretended that he hadn't seen me. My eyes narrowed to slits, and I started to see red. I called to him, he came over (of course, everybody was looking at us). I gave him my message and walked away, nonchalant, not motherly at all.

Later, when he came home after school, I sat him down for a talk. I told him that I wouldn't dream of acting like a crazy mother in front of his peers, but that if he ever treated me that way again, I would do something to embarrass him to no end: lavish him with kisses, call him my baby, talk baby talk to him--all in front of his friends. I think I got my message across because he never again treated me that way, as if he didn't know me.

**********

Last week he and his classmates came over after school. I peeked at them as they were sitting in the garden, drinking soda, shooting the breeze, just laughing. And something in me wanted to cry out of love and sheer wonder. Where did all the years go? The chubby little boy-toddler was no more.

Instead, there's this male specimen whose voice is starting to change, who's growing at what seems like an inch per second, who's starting to sprout facial hair (I don't know if he has hair down there already--he won't let me look). He's becoming more independent, his horizons are expanding, and all his parents can do is to give him their support and love as he tests his boundaries and capabilities and starts exploring life.

But (and don't tell him I said this) though he's turning into a man, he will always be my baby.


Happy 14th birthday, my funny, darling man-boy. I love you more than words can ever say.

41 comments:

Matt-Man said...

What a coincidence, my first post today was about my son!! Great post Lizza and the picture is adorable. Happy Birthday Man-Boy, and be nice to your mom. Not because she's a sweet woman, but because you will need some extra money someday!!

Lizza said...

Yep, I did see that, Matt. Very nice coincidence.

Haha, he's nice to me now. And I hope he always will be! :-D

Tammie Jean said...

Aw, what a sweet dedication to your handsome boy! As my daughter approaches 15, I'm well aware of the phases they go through and we go through as parents. But as you said, they will always be our babies :)

Lizza said...

Thanks, Tammie Jean. They might not see it our way now, but in a few years they'll appreciate us thinking of them as our babies. :-D

maggie said...

ure right, lizza. we do not always see it our mother's way. ive been there and done that. i was my mother's worst enemy when i was growing up (she was 20 when she had me). now, i am her confidante!

i do not know how you guys do it. theres just something about motherhood that elevates a woman into something much much higher.

i say, he's very blessed. :)

maggie said...

ure right, lizza. we do not always see it our mother's way. ive been there and done that. i was my mother's worst enemy when i was growing up (she was 20 when she had me). now, i am her confidante!

i do not know how you guys do it. theres just something about motherhood that elevates a woman into something much much higher.

i say, he's very blessed. :)

Cai said...

Happy Birthday to your son! It's very good of you, that you don't embarrass him in front of his barkada.

houseband00 said...

Happy Birthday to the dude! =)

Painumin na yan! =)

Phoenix said...

Lizza

Beautiful post. I have a son too. My first born. I have had all those experiences you describe. It was lovely to be reminded of him

Phoenix
x

thethinker said...

Happy Birthday to your son! I envy him. He has a mother who doesn't embarass him in front of his friends. I can't say the same.

it's the little things... said...

Excellent post! My oldest boy turned 14 in October. I am both amazed and chagrined at these changes, including thick hairy ankles! He'll be ten feet tall if he doesn't stop growing soon!
We've had similar incidents in our relationship too.
My favorite was him asking me to turn down my music when I dropped him at school. Thereafter the ride to school became an excellent tool for me to bribe him....if he didn't do as I said, I threatened to blast the Carpenters!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Lizza-
I remember my older son at 14. I drove hime to school everyday (he lived with me after my divorce) and around then I said, if it's not cool you don't need to kiss me goodbye on your way out of the car.

He said, "I know Dad." and kissed me.

He's almost 30 and married, He still kisses me everytime we see each other. Moral? At least your son is normal! BAHAAAAA

Kiyotoe said...

For me, this happened with my dad. We were buddies for so long and then one day i realized, "it's not cool to be friends with your dad".

I was wrong. The good news is that once I was 800 miles away at college, I grew up and realized how much my mom and dad meant to me and all of a sudden, we were close again. Since 1994 (freshman year of college), I've at least talked to my mother on the phone once a day.

So take it from a son, it'll come full circle again.

lastlifeinmyuniverse said...

liz? hes lucky to have you as his mom. *hugs*

oh and HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO YOU !

im back :D

lastlifeinmyuniverse said...

i was wishin your son by the way. ahem :\

Kyels said...

An amazing post, Lizza.

I love the way you wrote it ... Seriously.

(:

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Great sentiment and love; made me think of my son and daughter and daughter. Happy birthday, to one and all. today.

Terra Shield said...

Happy Birthday to your son... a lovely post by the way :D

Debo Blue said...

Happy birthday to your son, Lizza. You think you feel like crying now? Wait 'til the little girls realize the specimen he's growing into:-)

Great post-filled with love.

zeroimpact said...

:)
I think that is life and he will always be your baby just as you are yourself

Lizza said...

Maggie: Well, we do the best we can and hope we don't screw up too much. :-)

Cai: If he pushes me too far, then I just might do something worse...embarrass him in front of his girlfriend when he has one. :-)

HB: Someday. Right now he lives and breathes DOTA.

Phoenix: Thank you. The memories are priceless.

Thinker: Admit it, it's sweet when your mom shows you affection in front of your friends. :-D

Marlayna: Haha! And sing along too at the top of your voice. That'll really keep him in line.

Bud: Awww, that's so sweet! Some parents and their children aren't openly affectionate, but it's nice to see and hear about those who are.

Kiyotoe: Yeah, I realize the time will come when he might drift away. But as you say, things will come full circle again in time.

Deb: Thanks, and welcome back, and congratulations!!!

Kyels: Thank you very much. :-)

Pawlie: Thank you, and thanks for visiting. And happy birthday to your special someone as well. :-)

Terra: Thank you very much!

Debo Blue: Ohhh, girls! I can just imagine. (Smacks forehead)

ZI: Yes he will, and yes, I'm just a big baby too. :-)

iz said...

A very very happy birthday to your son Lizza. And may I say that this was a wonderful post. You're best ever.

H said...

Lizzzzzaaaaaaaa That's beautiful! Happy ahppy happy birthday to the little-big one.

You made me go through every emotion with this post... horror, tears, laughter and an incredible sense of well being

ps: the horror was over that near-last bit... hahahahahaaaa.

H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prometheus said...

LizzieMom, yer all grown up and all, wot.

Prometheus says 'Love the kid all ya can till ya can'. Those teenie years make monsters out of kids. Prometheus was once Smaug the Dragon, in his teens. He made Ivan the Terrible and Idi Amin look like Peter and Gabriel.

Prometheus never realized when his kid bro grew up so big that he can't do a Choke Slam on him anymore. Time, phickle philandering time.

Prometheus' gonna go and listen to Boney M now.

Odat said...

Yes, the years pass all too quickly don't they? But he sounds like a great young man...and cute too!! (After all he has a great Mom, so why would you expect otherwise?)
Peace

CSL said...

Very touching post. We had sons within a year of each other. I remember that shift away in public and try to respect that. although I also wouldn't tolerate being ignored. Alone, its a different story and he will happily cuddle up on the couch or give me a hug. Even still these days when I drop him off for school, as he's getting out of the car he says in his now-deep voice, "I love you, Mommy." Makes me want to cry every time.

SGT DUB said...

Happy Birthday Man-boy. Lizza, remember, it is a God given right to embarass our children. I will have to tell the story of my daughter's birthday party at the skating rink someday. Yess.....it's my right.

Turnbaby said...

AWWWWWWW

You have a lovely son and he is so lucky to have you forhis mom. What a touching lovely post--just spot on


Smooch

Lizza said...

Iz: Thank you very, very much. :-)

H: Haha! And which near-last bit was that, my enigmatic one? Forgive the brain cells, they're slow tonight. No alcohol. *sigh*

Prooooooooooooooom: So good to hear from you again, mon ami. I hope you post again soon. I'm glad you've mellowed down from your fearsome teenage years. Thanks for stopping in, my pal.

Odat: Haha, he makes me proud. HDF to you!

CSL: Aww, that's sweet. I'm curious to know what my son's voice will sound like after adolescence.

Turnbaby: Thanks, sugar. Smooch to you too.

Scott from Oregon said...

Wicked Evil. Threatening to kiss and hug your son in front of his friends.

How could you?

How?

Lizza said...

Sgt: Ooooohh, that sounds like an interesting story. Do tell! And thanks for the advice. :-D

Scott: Pure evil, that's what this mommy's heart is made of. :-D

Photo Cache said...

happy belated b/day to your son. what a delightfully heart wrenching post. aaahhh...wait until he brings home a girl...you could wring out at least three posts from that. :=)

Gumby said...

I am sitting here with the biggest smile after reading this. What an amazing sweet love filled post.

Lizza said...

Photo: Gaaak! I need to prepare for that day. :-D

Gumby: Thanks! The inspiration was just there...he drives me nuts and makes me proud at the same time. :-)

nunu's momma said...

Oiyoyoiii Mama Lizza!!

Ka-guapo manggyud ng imong hijo (unico diba?)

That was a sweet post. And one I can totally totally relate to as I had my son for a full 14 years before another child came into the picture so he was my BABY for all those years. And when they show signs of growing up, it does give your heart a bit of a twinge of both pride and sadness.

anyhoo, I know this is late but I hope he had a lovely birthday.

Oo nga tama si HB, palaklakin mo na!

PS Ang laki naman nyang 14!

Lizza said...

Thank you! Unico hijo nga. At dapat lang na matangkad siya dahil parehong matangkad ang mga magulang niya. Magtataka ako kung bansot siya no, haha!

Sidney said...

My son is going to 14 and I was banned from his school grounds this year... :-(

Lizza said...

Ahhh, pretend you're following the ban. But get some leverage against him, something embarrassing to threaten him with in front of his friends in case he ever gets out of line. ;-)

Chimera said...

this tells me so much about the tribulations a mom faces n makes me want to become a mom someday...

Lizza said...

There's no experience like it. :-)