Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My SON!

At school yesterday morning, the parents were encouraged to stay to wave goodbye as all of the fifth graders lined up and made their way to the buses. I handed my camera to my friend and said, “Here, when Ajers comes out, I’m going to grab him out of the line and I want you to take a picture of the two of us, OK?”

She looked at me kind of funny. Actually, now that I think of it, she looked at me like maybe I was kind of psycho. Of course, her son going on the trip is her THIRD child. My son going on the trip is my FIRST child. This makes a huge difference in the world of parenting!

I grabbed Ajers out of the line, made him hug me and we smiled for the picture. I told him I loved him; I told him to be good. I kissed him in front of all of his friends and their parents, and he kissed me back and told me he loved me.

All of the moms made fun of ME once he got on the bus. How could I have embarrassed my son that way? And did I see how he was blushing? Then I felt horrible for my behavior. How could I have done that to my son! He would probably be mortified with me now, and he would probably be made fun of the whole bus trip. I hung my head in shame, feeling like the lowest of mothers. I didn’t know the protocol of the secrets of motherhood. I don’t know how to control my emotions. I’ve never let him go before.

I just did what felt right to me at the time. And what felt perfectly right to me was to let him know he means the world to me and that I love him so very much, and that I would miss him tremendously. And now, I probably ruined his trip by embarrassing him, according to all of these do-good mothers who were pointing out the error of my ways.

But then, I looked up to the window of the bus, and saw my smiling Ajers. He was waving to me and smiling the biggest brightest smile. I hadn’t embarrassed him. He was looking right at me, happy to be so loved and coveted by his mother.

And as all the other mothers looked on, my son, the one I covered with mushy kisses while all of them admonished me for embarrassing him … MY SON looked at me and mouthed the words, “I LOVE YOU” over and over and over again. And I did so back to him, loudly and lovingly, not caring about anyone else around me, because I knew at that moment, I was most definitely NOT embarrassing my child.

Those around me were missing the opportunity to let those they most cherish know how much they cherish them. And that, my friends, is one of life’s most important lessons. Don’t let the moments pass you by. Don’t let you lose it.

Ajers comes home in two hours and I cannot wait. The house definitely was missing something spectacular the past 36 hours. And it was my first-born son.

35 comments:

Monnik said...

I love this post. My son is in 6th grade and doesn't mind my displays of affection either.

It reminds me of a time when I was in high school speech class. One of the hugely popular boys found a note in his jacket pocket from his mom. I was sitting where I could see it and it said something along the lines of 'good luck on your test today. Love you! - Mom' He saw that I'd seen the note and instead of mumbling it away as sentimental mom BS, he smiled and said, "She always thinks of things like that. Can't beat that, can you?"

It struck me as an incredibly secure of himself way to react. Most kids would have tried to downplay that type of thing.

Sounds like your Ajers is like that too. And why not? He knows he's loved and there's not one thing to be ashamed of about that!

(end of novel)

Manic Mom said...

Monnik--that is so cool about the kid in high school! I thought after Ajers left that I should have put a note in his luggage. I am bummed that I didn't. I really cannot wait to see him and hope he is excited to see me! : )

morninglight mama said...

What the heck is this all about?? Manic making me CRY?? Manic is supposed to make me laugh, make me pee my pants a little bit, but here she goes being all sweet and sentimental and fantastic-mom-who-shows-her-son-unconditional-love? Man, oh man.

:) This was a beautiful post, in all seriousness!

3carnations said...

That is an awesome post. Because I am totally that mom. Granted, my son is only four, but earlier this month, I gave him a kiss before I left daycare (as I always do), and his buddy said "I don't like kisses." My son said "I like kisses." :) I wonder if he will be mouthing "I love you" to me from a bus in 10 years? :)

T with Honey said...

Way to go, Manic!! This is a perfect example of how to live life your way and have no regrets, no missed opportunities.

Plus it must have felt great to have him openly showing his affection for you in front of all those other parents. I bet those other moms wished they had thought of doing what you did.

sandy said...

Kids will suprise you! a few weeks ago my 13 year old son was horrifed when I yelled "hi" to him at the school carnival but this morning he told me he loved me in front of the school when I was dropping him off. He is 13; I can only imagine I caught him on a low hormone day.

Jari said...

<3 Thank you for sharing. He doesn't look the least bit embarrassed.

noexcuses said...

You go, mom! You do what you feel is right for you. What an awesome kid to "back at ya" in front of his peers.

My 2nd son would hold my hand in public until he was 14. When I would drop him off at high school, I would always say "I love you." He would not speak, but the corner of his mouth would curve up. I knew he was telling me "back at ya."

None of us know how long we have here. I want the last words they hear from me to be "I love you."

I love your post, too! Thanks for your energy and honesty!

Mabunny said...

AWWW, I say screw the do - gooder moms that wouldn't dream of embarassing their kids by telling them they love them. If they do't tell them enough, then decide to once , that would embarass them I say.
I sub at my daughters school and whenever she sees me she will come hug me and/or kiss me. I've caughtmyself before i call her babygirl which is my nickname for her. Ajers knows hes loved;)

Tug said...

Do what's right for YOU and YOUR SON, seriously - I think it's awesome! My 13 and 17 year old nephews STILL run up to me and greet me with hugs & 'I love you's' at FOOTBALL games surrounded by their friends - and I love every minute of it!

Michelle said...

Oh so true and so right! It's good to know that there are moms and kids with good relationships like this. I can only hope that my wee ones will be talking to me at that age! Good mommy!

My boys are Army Brats said...

That is so sweet! My boys are still little but they love to kiss me in the hallways at school! And I'll take it as long as I can get it! I love that they come home with notes they wrote to me in school. It's so sweet! I'm so not feeling the overnight trip thing, I'm glad I have a long time until that happens......right?

Anonymous said...

Pooker Pie! I am surprised at your reaction at "the whole experience" Of Ajers "leaving you!!!! I guess he will never go to "Spring Break" Your little bro was only 8 yrs old when we put him on a bus with the whole Petit bros to go away FOR A WEEK!!!! You have to let them go...and they will always be fine....unless we cry and make them feel bad about what is NORMAL for our kids! Love Ya!!! Mean It!!! 1-4-3 Mon

texasholly said...

Sweet!

Oh so sweet.

lilypotter said...

Good for you! He doesn't look embarrassed at all in that picture- he looks happy to be with you. Plus, from the way he was telling you he loves you, it's obvious he was glad you did what you did.
Of course, my son's 2 1/2, so I can't imagine him leaving for that long... looks like he'll be staying with me forever! (I'm kidding. I'll be over it by the time he's older, right? Right?!)

Amanda said...

Manic they were just jealous. You packed him off securely and happy and that is the best mothering you can do. Most likely it will be a tale told later down the way at school and he won't be allowed to forget it, when it isn't so cool, but hey that's what mums are for!

Manic Mom said...

To my MOM--YEAH, my little brother was eight when he went away for a week, but you failed to mention you had a 19 year old, an 18 year old, and a 17 year old as well. You were well-seasoned as a mother. Ajers is MY FIRST. I don't recall you shipping ME, your FIRSTBORN out ANYWHERE for a week when I was eight? Hmmmm? Am I right or am I right? : ) 143

Anonymous said...

You're right!!! You win...again!!! I do remember that I wouldn't let my sister take my 5 yr old son to Disney World when he was 5 yrs old...and it was only an hour away!! 1-4-3 Mom

Michelle said...

I would have donethesame thing...but as doctor Phil ays I'm a "helicopter mom" that's fine w/me;)

Colorado Writer said...

That is the sweetest thing I have ever heard. My oldest, he's 16 still holds my hand and puts his arm around me in public...and kisses me, too.

Screw those moms. They were jealous!

Robyn said...

so sweet. I would have done the same thing. Besides, he'll let you know when it isn't cool anymore. I remember when my older brother told my mom that it was ok if she kissed him good-bye, but if she could do it at the house where the other kids couldn't see.

DawnfromCA said...

Oh, this post really hit home for me. My 12 y.o. son went to science camp in 5th grade for a 5 DAYS!! They had parent volunteers ride the bus up to camp with the kids, then we(the parents)rode the bus back to the school. I cried the whole way back as the other parents chatted. I know just how you feel and bravo for not holding back your love. Ajers will learn to be an affectionate man that isn't afraid to show his feelings, thanks to the examples you and your husband set.

Elle Charlie said...

Aw, that's so sweet. I think you did the absolute right thing - you let him guide the interaction, and he wasn't at all ashamed to have a mom who loves him so much :) Sounds like you share a great bond. And sounds like he's a very secure, grounded boy! What a lucky kid.

Manic Mom said...

Elle--More important--what a lucky mom am I! : )

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

What a gorgeous boy! I bet every mum stood there next to you was as jealous as hell.

Trish Ryan said...

Omigosh, I love the Mom you are! Kudos to you for showing Ajers how much you cared that he'd be gone. And clearly, he's a heck of a kid to recognize that you deserve some "I love yous" right back.

THIS is a rockin blog post!

Kim Stagliano said...

YAY!!!

R said...

Hey there..... long time no post.

My oldest is a 7th grader, playing football and running cross country. I do the same thing to him in front of everyone ..... except I kiss the top of his head.

We still say I love you to each other in front of his friends and coaches.....then we end it with a fist bump and both say "Rock On".

I've told my kids some time ago.... " don't be embarrassed. Lots of kids watching most likely wish they had someone to tell them they are loved and given a small kiss. But what separates your parents from everyone else is ..... We Rock!"

Don't change. Don't ever change.

:)

Manic Mom said...

R--thank you for that! And so nice to know that you're still out there 'watching!'

Every now and then I think I will do a post that says simply:

"R, where's my martini." Then you'll know I'm expecting a comment from you! LOL! Thanks for your sweet thoughts! I know you're a great parent and I appreciate the comment!

Manic Mom said...

Oh, and as a sidenote, AJers came home from school yesterday with the Citizens Certificate award given out to one fifth grader who shows examplarary (sp?) behavior and kindness toward others. Yep, I'm a proud mom!

Shannon said...

Shame on those other moms, we need to support each other! My 16 year old is off hiking in the Pyrenees for fall break and I got up early today just to kiss and hug him before he left for his trip. Showing your kids you love them doesn't stop just because they are 8 or 16!

Andie said...

that is so sweet.

Eileen said...

I can already imagine how it is going to go when you take him off to university. Personally, much like you, I don't think we can tell the people in our lives how much we value them too much.

Bree said...

I don't care if its your first or seventh child what you did absolutely made a difference to both him and you. I do the same thing to both my teens. And if they do get embarrassed, so what, in the long run, it's whats best. They know they are loved. Oh, and by the way, I have tears in my eyes right now. Usually you make me laugh till I'm crying not from sentimental musings.

Manic Mom said...

Oh Bree! Sorry I made you cry! Thank you though, to everyone, for making me KNOW that I did the right thing! You guys know exactly what it's all about!