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.