Saturday, May 19, 2012


I was busy preparing dinner last night when the front door opened and The Boy arrived, scooter in one hand and backpack in the other, home from adventures with friends down the street.  More and more these days, seeing him walk through the door catches me off guard, because he just looks so damn grown.  Not completely, of course - he’s not even in high school yet - but in the past year he has been maturing at a startling speed.  He’s as tall as I am now, lean and lank and boyishly handsome, with just a hint of a moustache developing.  No longer my little boy, but not yet a man.  “’s you,” I teased, feigning disappointment.

He returned the greeting in similar fashion, and casually added, “I think I’m going to need a Band-Aid.”

“Oh dear,” I said.  “What happened?”

“No big deal,” he said.  ‘We were playing outside with sticks as pretend clubs, and I swung a little too hard and cut myself.”  He strode over to the kitchen and showed me his hand; a small cut in the soft area between his thumb and first finger was just barely oozing.  “I wasn’t even sure if I’d need a Band-Aid.”

I resisted an old ingrained urge to take over, to take him to the medicine cabinet and wash his hand and put on a Band-Aid and taa-daa, make it all better.  He’d have probably been insulted anyway, so I just nodded agreeably instead.  “Band-Aids are in the medicine cabinet.  But I’d wash that first.”

“Oh, I already did, but I will again,” he said as he headed off down the hall.  So grown-up sounding, I thought again.  After a couple of minutes, he returned to the kitchen.  “Band-Aids are amazing,” he said, and held his hand out toward me.  “Doesn’t even hurt anymore.”

A moment later, he held out his other hand.  “Oh, and uh, guess what I made?”

In his hands he held what appeared to be a crinkled handful of newspaper, held in place here and there with tape.  “ made a ball of paper?”

The Boy grinned self-deprecatingly.  “Yeah okay, well, it’s wrapping.  Can you guess what’s in it?”

I tried to think of a good smart-ass answer, but couldn’t seem to settle on one.  After a few moments, he let me off the hook.  “It’s....a mug!” he declared, starting to unwind the paper ball.

“A mug?” I repeated.  “That’s kind of...random.  Where did you get a mug?”

“I made it in art class.”  He freed the mug from the wad of paper and held it up.  It was large and ceramic, clearly sculpted and painted by hand.  He gave me an awkward smile.  “And, I thought, maybe, it could be a....delayed....Mother’s Day gift.”

He handed the mug to me, and for a moment I could only stand in silence.  He immediately began cataloging flaws in the mug - the paint had bubbled in one spot, he had trouble getting the handle right, he wasn’t very good at painting, and so on.  As I turned the mug over in my hands, I delighted over the unique little bubbles in the paint, the oddly-shaped handle, the somewhat irregular borders of its painted stripe.  It was a classic Mother’s Day gift.  I even flipped the mug upside-down to find his name carved into the ceramic.

Still holding the mug, I pulled him into my arms for a long hug, and kissed him on the cheek.  “I love it, sweetie.  Thank you.”

“There’s kindofa crack in the side near the handle, too,” he said, looking embarrassed.  “I fixed it a bunch of times, but I could never get it quite right.”

“Well that’s the thing about mugs,” I smiled.  “They’re pretty heavy for the handle.  Hard to make a big mug like this and get the handle just right.  I never could do it myself, but this looks pretty good!”  I hugged him and kissed him again before letting him escape.

That’s The Boy for ya.  Maybe he doesn’t always show his appreciation when and how I might expect, but the appreciation is there.  Maybe he’s a little uncomfortable with sentimentality, but that’s understandable at his age.  Not quite a man, not a little child...but still my little boy once in a while.

Check it out folks, it's a MUG SHOT!

No comments:

Post a Comment