At 22 years old, my son has not lived at home for more than a month or two since he was fresh out of high school at 17. He left two weeks after graduation to play soccer in
I did not have a problem with this. In the corners of my heart, I found a bit of envy. Oh, to be young and stupid and free and full of dreams, ready to tackle the world…
We gave him a couple of hundred dollars as a graduation gift towards his airline ticket, he sold his drum set and we drove him to the airport. When his team left to come back to
Five years later, he can claim: having played soccer in London, Spain, Budapest and Romania – although never in the Premiership, only semi professionally – having slept in airports, tiny European closets, on couches and floors, having a diagnosed schizophrenic roommate, arriving in three countries with an incognito agent, not knowing the language or anybody there and trying to negotiate a contract, living in villages without running water or electricity, literally fleeing Romania in the middle of the night for his life, two knee injuries, a trip back to the states, a girlfriend, and a telemarketing job.
The view of his exciting, youthful adventures waned as his quest forged him past the opportunity to serve a mission for the church. Although he looked up the church and the missionaries wherever he went and oft times did splits with the missionaries, his choice not to serve his Heavenly Father has weighed heavy on his mother’s heart. Alas, as his mother, I try not to dwell on it because it makes for long nights and wet pillows.
Fast forward to the present wherein I refrain from asking where he is living because I’m certain it is with his girlfriend. His poor choices give me anxiety and although I try to be cordial, I’m told that I need to be friendlier to his girlfriend. He often says that she and I should get to know each other better. He asks me to bring her gifts when she is ill, tells me to spend some time with her, etc. My personal thought is that it is his job to get to know her, not mine. I’ll save the emotional expense until it is time to prepare a wedding.
His birthday came around and I asked if I could take him to lunch. We were both going to leave work and meet at a designated time and place. I began driving when he called on my cell phone and by the number I could tell he hadn’t left work yet. He said he would be right there and instructed me to just ask the hostess for our table he had reserved by our last name. I got to the restaurant and was asked to wait just a minute. I turned and saw…her. I knew immediately that I had been stood up. I fumed for one second then tried to be cordial. At the same time, both our cell phones rang and it was my son telling us that he would not be joining us, to have a nice lunch and the tab was on him. Midway through the corrugated conversation and lunch, he sent her a text message and she excused herself to get a card he had put in her backseat that he wanted her to read. It was a birthday card to him from himself and said, “Sometimes you just have to make your own birthday wish come true.”
I was insulted and angry that he put me in that awkward position and I was truly disappointed that I didn’t get time to spend with him. Yet… I am honored that he cares enough to care what I think. He was gracious in his comments and care of both she and I and I could tell he loved us both.
When my birthday comes around, I think I’ll ask him to take me to lunch this time. Except, I think I’ll send the Bishop in my stead…after all, sometimes you have to make your own birthday wish come true.