I have one biological son. His name is Matthew.
I call him Matt for short or, Hey You, if I get him confused with the dogs.
“Hey you! Come here.”
I didn’t have trouble remembering my son’s name. It was one of the few male names I really liked. When I was thumbing through the book of baby names that big publishers like to push on to expectant mommies, I came across a few decent names; Matthew just seemed to stick.
He just finished his Junior year in college. After spending a few months at summer school and working a full-time job, Matt came home to take some well deserved time off.
While he was here, I realized how fast everything happened.
By everything, I mean life.
He’s become a grown man. Completely independent (okay, I throw him a few bucks now and then–sue me, I’m his mom), he knows the difference between a frying pan and a spatula. The best part is he also uses the frying pan and spatula.
When I was listening to him make arrangements to have a limo pick him up to take him to the airport, my mind just flashed back to him being a little boy in his baseball uniform.
The only thing I could think of was little league and football. This is probably due to the fact that I spent more of my waking hours at both of these sports than Hillary Clinton has spent in an airplane when she was Secretary of State.
He got hooked on baseball when he was two. This kid–only in a diaper–would be hammering away at these big, plastic baseballs. He loved the power behind the swing and watching the balls fly toward me as I tried to catch them.
When he starting playing on a T-ball team, he hated it. At that point, he was not hitting off the T any longer. His dad and me were pitching it to him. With little patience in the outfield at six years old, Matt would twirl around and around with his head up into the sky. T-ball games could go on for six hours, and no, I’m not kidding.
The only three words that were constantly repeated for about two years straight from the mouths of the baseball coaches and me were, “PAY ATTENTION, MATT!”
As the years went by, it became a lot of fun to watch him play baseball. Playing first base became a natural thing for Matt. Although he wrote and ate with his right hand, he played sports with his left. Being left-handed has its advantages in baseball. Pitching is one of them, and Matt became exceptional at it.
All the way through high school he played baseball. Through middle school and high school, we added football games to our schedule, and even though I love football more than baseball, it’s baseball that reminds me of my son.
As he is completing his reservations for the limo, I realized that between all of the sports, learning how to drive, going to his first dance, countless questions about girls, and navigating through the un-chartered waters of puberty and adolescence, he had grown up.
When I dropped him off for his freshman year at college, he only packed one pair of socks. I know. You should have seen the expression on my face when I heard that. He now buys his own socks, washes them and I’m pretty sure he owns more than one pair. Some may be missing their mate, but he definitely has more than one pair of socks.
He handles his own finances, has a car, buys his own groceries, cleans his own apartment–at least that what he says–and cooks his own meals. Sometimes we don’t even text for a few weeks, and I’m good with that. The boy has his life to live, so let him live it.
So, where does that leave me? Mom? It leaves me here to give him advice when he asks for it, not when I want to give it to him; we all know that would be called nagging. Even though I am hard of hearing I am a pretty good listener, and an even better observer.
Sometimes when I walk through my small town I see weary parents with three little kids in tow. I know what the parents are thinking. I wish they’d just grow up so I wouldn’t have to carry them everywhere.
To those parents, don’t move so fast. Enjoy the time you have with your children. It may seem at times that you’ll think they will never learn because they will make the same mistake over and over. I don’t know about you, but I’m over fifty and I’m still making mistakes and learning from them.
I worried my son wouldn’t turn out right. I worried that he would join some gang and start wearing his pants down around his ankles. He would eventually disrespect me and leave home wearing a baseball cap with the bill perched on the side of his head as he walked out of the house empty-handed without a high school diploma, but he had some serious bling going on around his neck.
I’ll be here for him whenever he needs me because I’m always there for him when he needs me. He is always there for me as well, and that makes me happy.