my boy, my son, visited today and ate mom’s chocolate chip cookies with a glass of cold milk, we sat with his dad, the three of us, and babbled endlessly about matters of little importance to anyone but us,
his soccer game today, which was not attended by his daughter or wife on account of the level of—hmm—shall we say, “aggression”, and know that in fact it is a kind of stark violence not suitable for a toddler’s eyes, at least not when the player is her daddy,
now that would be scary for a wee one to comprehend,
the loud grunts, groans, cursing, falling, flailing,
angry faces, intensity, and so forth.
other leagues on which her daddy plays are suitable for family viewing.
not this particular one. many of these players are refugees from terrible wars where the combat on the soccer field truly resembles child’s play in comparison,
and some of the men have lost entire families, wives and children, to conditions that most of us cannot begin to imagine or to grasp the enormity of consequences,
hence, these soccer games are almost a form of worship, church attendance in a sense, a kind of reminder of their own humanity in spite of unbearable losses,
losing a game is nothing in comparison,
they give it their all, their hearts, their bodies, their spirits of complex emotions too problematic for understanding by otherwise non-battle-scarred folks.
so, my son came alone today to visit on this mother’s day, brought a funny card that made me smile and understand his still-shy love for difficult mom who nevertheless fought tooth and nail for him throughout his tender years.
he took the time to admire all my seedlings, to compliment my massive tulip bouquets, to eat my baked offerings with due respect and appreciation,
he’s letting his hair grow out a little, now, after going through that popular shaved-head phase of grad students, a phase which has always made me long for the days long, long ago when he was that little “hippie style” kid on the little league team, the boy with unbelievably long red hair, the boy that everyone identified by the color and length of his beautiful locks.
i hugged him too many times today, i’m sure, but there are some acts that must be forgiven in the big scheme of things. repeatedly hugging your grown son, that man taller than you, that massive mysterious man you will always think about with your heart rather than your head, the one you will secretly and forever sense is your baby boy, the infant for whom you waited eight long years in anticipation when you were determined to be a better mom the second time around, your baby,
your “love heart” as he called you when he was only 5,
the child who talked about god as if the two were best friends—before you had ever mentioned the word or the concept “god” in his presence, the man-boy whose current work takes him into dangerous and worrisome environments, the man who can calmly behave in a crisis when all others are losing their heads,
that boy, the beautiful red haired child who confessed, at age 9, that sometimes he knew what events were going to happen before they actually happened,
a child who has some very unusual qualities and traits, which make him, at times, feel odd.
that’s when it feels good, to him, to come home again to mom and to dad.
we know he is not an oddity but an amazing individual.
how can a day which includes a visit from such a person, from the one person you know as your son, be anything less than awesome?