Sunday, January 5, 2014

... And I Feel Fine.

Most Sunday evenings, it will dawn on Rory Malcolm that the weekend is almost over.  He generally responds to this grim realization with tears.  He is fine one minute and the next, a sloppy, impassioned wreck.  In between sniffs, he will sob about the torture of his education, the unholy length of each school day and his concern for my welfare in his absence.  He has been this way since forever, with his heart stitched to his sleeve.

I tend to briefly allow the waterworks.  I'm not really sure why, but I remember feeling this way when I was a little girl.  Even though she was rough and did a ton of hollering, I clung to Big Mare and I didn't like when we were apart.  I grew anxious when the good times were ending. I felt like they might never happen again.  Good, bad or indifferent - this was my own peculiar hunger, and it definitely shaped the person I became.

This little vagary of Rory's makes me think of just how much I miss my mom.  So I let my youngest boy lean into it for just a minute or two, but no longer than that. Rory is not me, and I am not my mother.

I remind my son that fourth grade is his job, and home schooling is not an option. I will be just fine while he is busy with his academic pursuits.  He gets a tissue and blows his nose, and just like that, his fleeting emotional indulgence is over. Learning how to comfort yourself is part of growing up.  It's a big lesson and an important one.

Last night on the heels of our fun-filled holiday vacation, Bro's breakdown occurred a day early.  While walking across the parking lot of the KFC, I heard his voice crack and saw his hand go to his face.

"C'mon, Brother.  You've gotta pull it together."
"I know, Mom.  I hate when I get this way," he admitted.
"Don't be so hard on yourself.  Just appreciate who you are and what you have."
This was my sage suggestion.  It sounded simple enough without having to go into a big explanation about something I might not be able to explain.  Plus, I was really hungry.

"Why does life always have to be so excellent?" he asked.
My right hand to God, his words.
"I don't know, honey.  But I love you.  I think we're doing exactly what we're supposed to.  And right now, we're supposed to go eat chicken."

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