Monday, March 3, 2008

Separation

"I don't want to go!" My son looks on the verge of tears, something I've become accustomed to, as well as the pimples and the faintest, faintest shadow on his upper lip.

We are sitting on his bedroom floor, surrounded by a sleeping bag, back pack, snowboarding helmet, silk long-johns and discarded wrist guards and gloves.

"I said I didn't want to go!" Now this is news to me. When my mum offered to pay for the school ski trip, he seemed happy enough. When I parted with $100 in Big 5 Sporting Goods, he did not demur. On this occasion, I am relieved that any hesitation about cancellation is not selfishly motivated on my part, nor has nothing to do with plans to spend four blissful childless nights with the man of my dreams because, despite Cupid's best efforts, he has yet to appear, if ever.

"Come here!" I say, and he crawls into my arms. I savor the moment, stroking his elbow and sniffing his peppery hair, planting a few quick kisses before he remembers he's a preteen and any signs of affection herald a perilous descent back to the days of Barney videos and food cut into shapes.

The dilemma is that the gloves no longer fit over the wrist guards - something we hadn't thought to check out since last year. And he can't wear his goggles over his glasses, so he has the choice of being blinded by the sun or smashing into a tree. Problematic, I agree, but then life's not perfect.

The next morning dawns sunny and with a pleasant edge of chill. I rouse my son with a John Belushi (drinking chocolate with coffee - terminology straight from jail, so he'd better not use it with his LAPD buddies) and pack his lunch. His bags wait by the door. I throw on some clothes in case the carpool is late - we can't risk the bus leaving without him. I'm still in the bathroom when the carpool arrives. I hasten out to help my son with his luggage.

"I don't need you," he calls from the door, hoisting the backpack onto his shoulders and snatching up the other bags.

I watch from behind the screen as he throws the bags into the trunk. No, you don't, I think. But I'm here just in case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He needs you more than he'll ever know, because he has never faced life without you.

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