I took a minute and looked around our family room last evening. Tom was resting on the couch, nursing a cold, Will lay with his head in his Dad's lap, and Kyle sat on a chair with his laptop propped on his lap. We had decided to watch "Death Trap." It is a film, based on a play by Ira Levin. Ira Levin has written many great novels, including "Rosemary's Baby," which my father produced years ago.
The movie dragged at the beginning like so many 'old' movies, especially when seen through the eyes of your children who are used to the fast paced films of today. Will fell asleep promptly but Kyle stayed with it, probably because he had his computer ready to fill in any boring moments.
All my children were home with me. It was a Friday night and they were home. Two groups of kids dropped by trying to lure Kyle to come out and play but Kyle was happy staying home tonight.
I had gone to a farmer's market earlier in the day and picked up some perfect heirloom tomatoes, a handful of basil, and delicious, freshly baked bread. I cut up the tomatoes, added garlic, a pinch of salt, basil, and wonderful olive oil. I let it sit for hours. When everyone was hungry, I threw some penne in some boiling water and when it was 'al dente', I combined the room temperature tomato mixture with the steaming hot pasta. I grated some fresh parmesan cheese on top. My plan seemed a tad sinister. Make good food and they will never want to leave their 'Mommy'. It has the makings for a good horror story. Mother lures children to live with her forever by feeding her children to death. What could Ira Levin have done with this premise?
All I know is that with full stomachs, a long week of school, the kids seemed happy to stay at home and watch a boring, old film with their even older Mom and Pop. Perhaps my plan is working.
I was delighted. The day had been hot, steamy hot. Our Indian summer was here and it lured me back in time. It was just weeks ago, that I shared the perfect summer with my family. Every one was close at hand and happy and healthy. The days seemed endless as I truly enjoyed every moment we shared together. When school began, I knew I had given up something so precious, something that I would never have again.
Last night I got one more chance to pretend that time stood still.
As the movie played, Kyle got more and more into it the textured plot, enjoying it, even hoping to direct it one day. His enthusiasm is so catching.
After the film completed and everyone left for their own room, I followed Kyle into his. He had flopped down on his bed, spread his computer, earphones, and books around him. He was talking on his cellphone. I stared down at him. There was no place for me. There was undeniably no place for me, figuratively or literally.
So, I did the unthinkable. I pushed him aside. I was going to make room for myself on his bed and in his life whether he wanted me to or not. He quickly grabbed his teetering computer, headphones, and books and rustled to the other side of the bed. He gingerly tried to balance all the 'accoutrements' of his life with his mother. Somewhere, somehow he understood that he had to share this particular moment in time. He didn't even try to shut me out. Perhaps he wanted to let me in, but more realistically, I think he knew he needed to find some room for me tonight.
This was perhaps the sweetest thing he has ever done for me. My 16-year-old, 6'4'' son, allowed 'Mommy Dearest,' into his life, UNPLUGGED! He talked with his girlfriend with a freedom that wasn't, "Mom is in the room so I can't really talk."
This was so mature of him. It seemed that my little boy really was growing up and I was astonished to find out that I loved it.
So, I lay down on his bed, next to him and listened to his sweet conversation and watched as he adeptly talked on the phone and played on his computer at the same time. I admired his skill. When I talk to Tom on the phone and he turns his attention away from me, I always bust him. I know when I don't have his complete attention. I realize that this generation of kids have either gotten so good at multi-tasking, that their friends don't know when their attention is being divided or they are so use to it, that it feels natural.
In any event, Kyle offered me the opportunity to be a part of his life for a few moments and I savored these moments like they were the best chocolate truffles in the world.