This weekend son came to visit.
I am especially excited because this is probably the last time I will get to see son before his wedding day.
Turns out his Friday night bus is late. So I will not get to see him tonight because I have to go to bed to get up early.
I will see him tomorrow after teaching my class.
Tomorrow comes. I get home from teaching and son is awake!
“Hi son!” I say.
“Hi mom.” he says.
And he gives me a hug.
In a few moments he brings me two gifts: One for Mother’s Day and one for my birthday, which is not yet but soon.
There is a coffee mug with a Cherry tree on it. When you put hot water into the mug, the tree blossoms! And there is an adult NYC coloring book, since he knows I like these things.
“Thank you!” I say. “That was very thoughtful.”
“Well, thank fiancé.” he says. “She is good at reminding me about these kinds of things.”
Soon it is time to go pick up daughter on her work break. While we are driving, I ask son, “Should I open the window and yell at those people over there?”
“No mom” he says. “Please do not do that.”
We pick up daughter. She is waiting outside the bank. I can tell she is happy to see son.
Really, I miss them together.
When we get home, daughter begins the music blasting. One Direction comes on, What Makes You Beautiful. Daughter starts dancing wildly around son, waving her arms and jumping up and down.
HA! I have taught her well.
Son is standing like a statue but I can tell he is trying not to laugh. What the hey, I decide to join in the fun. I get on the other side of son and start jumping around too.
“Woo!” I say.
Son does not really look that pleased.
Ok, we stop.
We take daughter back to work and go home to go for a walk or maybe a bike ride and then BBQ.
When we get home son says, “There are only two bikes.”
I say, “No, we have MY bike down in the basement although I don’t know if it is exactly working right now since someone left it chained to a railing in Brooklyn when they moved.”
Philly says, “Do you have a helmet for it.”
I say, “Son probably chucked it.”
Son says, “Yes he did.”
I say, “What an asshole.”
Yes, I really say that. He is almost 25. He can deal with it.
We go for a nice long walk with Zelda the dog. We talk, we look at the creek. We climb down and try to skim some stones into the creek. Philly is the first one to get a stone to skim. Then he gets one to skim like four times in a row across the water.
You can tell he is from around these parts.
Next on the skimming is son.
“Good one!” Philly says.
I am trying but mine just keep plopping into the water. FINALLY, I get down lower and get a good flat stone and it works! I skim!
“Hey! Hey!” I say. “Did you see?? Did you see?? I did it!”
I am very proud of myself.
Soon we begin the walk back home. I say something I cannot remember right now to Philly, who is a lawyer you know. He gives me a counterpoint.
“Can you ever not have the counterpoint?” I ask.
Because he knows most of the time he starts his sentences with, “I am not sure I agree with that…”
We are almost home. Son and I are planning on looking through boxes and bins in the basement for a binder of some family pictures and records of the family lineage that my mother had given me years ago.
I do not know where this binder is. I have looked. But I am not a very patient looker reader. Son is much, much better at the patience thing.
We begin THE DIGGING. We come across many, many photos from my past. Elementary school, high school, punk rock days, pink mohawks. The Painted Desert, The Grand Canyon. Italy. Mexico. We dig through several boxes. I am getting tired. I am ready to give up.
Suddenly, son says, “I think I found it.” Real calm like. He opens up a gray binder. Inside are pages and pages my mother has written on family history. There are pictures labeled from three generations back.
I tell son, “That is my Great-Grandmother.”
We go upstairs. We begin the preparation for THE BBQ FEAST. While we are preparing I begin to jump around near son and make chicken noises.
Son says, “Don’t do that mom.”
I say, “Why not?”
Son says, “Because you are a 55-year-old woman.”
Reader, you are never too old to act like a chicken. Just saying.
We eat. We watch the baseball game. We talk about the little girl who got hit with the baseball the other day.
“This is why you should only watch baseball games from home.” I say.
Really, people get hit with baseballs all the time. It is dangerous out there.
We begin to talk about THE INFINITE. I tell son, “I do not wish to talk about the infinite. It creeps me out.”
“Really?” Philly asks. “I had no idea.”
“Yes.” I say. “It kind of haunts me thinking of things with no ending.”
I do not want to talk about this. I point to a little finger puppet we have on a shelf in our living room. We call it THE GUY. It is a puppet with its arms raised and its mouth open with little jagged teeth showing. Sometimes when Philly wants to make me laugh he mimics THE GUY. I try to get him to do THE GUY now. But he will not.
Instead I do THE GUY.
Son says, “Oh my god mom! YOU are the one who haunts the house.”
I think of giving him the finger but oh ok, I do not.
After we eat the BBQ FEAST, we go inside to watch sports. The Yankees are on. But we are Mets fans. We watch the Yankees anyway.
Son tells me, “The Yankees don’t let their players have facial hair.”
“Really?” I say.
“Yes.” he says.
“Are there other teams that do that? “I ask.
“Nope.” son says.
Philly says, “They look like eunuchs.”
“The Yankees are hairless eunuchs!” I say.
We change the subject. I tell son how much better it would be if we all lived closer together. I tell him this is how it should be. This is how it was when I was growing up. This is how it is for fiancé’s family.
I move closer to him. But son does not like too much touching. And so, he moves away a little bit.
“Hey!” I say. “You moved away!”
“I did.” he says. “You know I don’t like too much touching.”
But then he moves a little closer, anyway.
I tell him, “Hey, guess what? Philly was going to buy a tent so we could sleep in the yard.”
“Yes.” Philly says. “For your birthday.”
“Well.” I say. “That would really be more for you than for me.”
I am not much of a camper. I need very specific conditions to sleep well. Including a white noise machine.
“Listen to all that racket out there. Tree frogs. Dogs barking. We would have to run a line to the tent so I can run my white noise machine.” I say.
Philly is just shaking his head.
It’s getting late “It’s time for me to go to bed.” I say.
And off I go.
Next day comes and we are going over to daughter’s place so son and daughter can play ROCK BAND together. ROCK BAND is a family tradition. Before we go Philly and I have a little talk with son about his upcoming marriage. And about marriage in general. I try to share some of what I have learned in my life without being pushy. Philly shares too. Son tells us how he sees things. It is a nice talk.
We head over to the daughter house. Daughter has CATS. Son and I are allergic to cats. We put a cover on the couch before we sit down. Son mostly stands up, playing the guitar part of ROCK BAND. Daughter and son are very good at this game. They put the setting on HARD and they get scores like 98%. I myself am not very good at this game.
Daughter says it is because I did not grow up playing it.
Not too long and it is time to take son to the bus which will carry him back to NYC. He has all of his belongings in the car. Daughter decides to come with us to say goodbye to son. When we pull up to the bus station, I get out to walk son inside.
No matter how many times I do this my heart always sinks a little bit when I give son a hug goodbye and look at his face and begin to walk back to the car.
Like I always do, I turn to look back for one more peek.
I will miss you son.
I have enjoyed our visit.
See you soon.
See you soon.