October 18, 2008

The boy I knew

I can't be the only 40-something mom who feels like her youth got sucked out of her with each placenta. Tell me I'm not alone in this. I taught high school, for God's sake; how can I not be in touch with my youth? I look at Matty and I realize there is no way on earth I will ever relate to him, no matter how many times I read his MySpace, peek through his text messages or evesdrop on his conversations (oh yes I do). I have no idea what goes through his head or what's in his heart. How can this be? Where did I lose him? And when? How can I have forgotten everything I knew about being young?

When he was little, I always said, not my kid. I looked at moms in the grocery store whose kids had funky hair, or offensive t-shirts and passed judgement so quickly I almost tripped over it. I was so sure that my kids would grow up to be the respectful teenagers that Nickelodeon would have us believe live in every house in America. My kids would never talk back, break the rules, sneak out of the house, do drugs, steal, cheat or lie. Yet, here I am. Buying urine tests at Target and spending half my days researching the scene/emo/punk culture (see? I don't even know the difference) in fear of being in denial. Which, I have to say, is one of my greatest fears. I'm terrified of not knowing; I still pass judgement (God forgive me) on the mothers of the Columbine kids. How in the world do you not know that your kids are hoarding semi-automatic weapons under their beds? And feel free to judge me there. I'm taking the risk of honesty. My husband laughs at me, though. I've been worried that Matt was going to shoot up his school since he was six. I guess I figured if I worried about it enough, it wouldn't happen...? That's how afraid I am of not being aware.

Some days, he's just the boy I knew. He's soft and kind and he actually seems like he needs me, if only for a split second. But before I can even get my heart around him, he's gone. He's some kid I don't even know anymore and I swear it came out of the blue.

So... when I am delighted by the fact that Jack will come back to hug me, if he forgets at the bus stop in the morning, I should also remember that it can all change in a heartbeat, just when I swear I 'm fully awake and paying attention.


  1. Okay, your blog makes my blog look all like, umm...stupid. And stuff.

    Seriously, Tam, you have use words beautifully. I'm jealous (and not just this post, but all of them). Keep them coming!!!

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  3. Nice writer I am...did I just say "you have use words beautifully"??? How about this...

    You use them beautifully!


    I hope you don't mind that I have your blog listed as one that I watch!