Friday, June 25, 2010

Not For Your Eyes, My Son!

I couldn't even find the strength to write yesterday. Hormones. Kyle gone for the week. Me, doing what I do best, projecting and obsessing.

Then Will asked me to go sailing with him. Splendor. Perfection. Happiness. Peace.

When I isolate myself I tend to shrivel up with worry. Gliding through the water, I felt alive.

I don't want to think about it. I want to block it out. But, it's there. Close to the surface.

The quiet in the house since Kyle has been gone has been stifling, overwhelming. And it took me by surprise. It didn't expect to feel this way. It's just a week.

But I see my future staring me in the face and I can't quite come to terms with it.

Life has funny twists and turns and the things you worry about aren't the things that end up biting you in the butt. I know that. But still, it's right there.

Andy is going off to college. I've seen the ads. Kyle used to wear his Buzz Lightyear pajama's to bed every night. "To Infinity and Beyond," he would mimic Buzz.

And now, it's almost time for Kyle to pack his toys away, too and leave for college, just like Andy.

I really thought I was closer to feeling OK about all this, until this week.

I realized harshly, violently, that I'm not ready for Kyle not to be part of my life every day. And I feel so unbelievably selfish. He is a great kid and needs to fly and I'll be damned if I hold him back. But who will hold me up?

Kyle, I hope you never read this entry. But if you do, I'll be fine. This is what you are supposed to do. This is my problem, not yours. If you just weren't so darned fun to be around...

And for you my love, I will whisper in your ear..."To Infinity and Beyond!"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Practicing for College

So, my son went off to a leadership conference for a week and I don't like it at all.

I think he is having a great time, and believe me when I tell you I am so happy that he is. It makes it so much easier. BUT, I miss him so much.

I think what I miss the most is knowing about his life, who he is hanging out with, who he is meeting and what he is feeling.

This feels like practice for college.

I'm OK with this only because I know he is coming home in a week. How will I feel when this is the real thing.

He wasn't able to bring his computer with him, so I connect only through a few text messages and a some really short phone conversations.

I just had to stop writing because I received a text from Kyle. I can see it now, my world revolving a few short semi-sentences. I hear my phone signal a text and I get so excited. Here comes anther heart races as I type. PAUSE.

I love his texts. Like him, they make me smile.

He is at a college campus with 1,000 boys from all over the state. The conference is called Boys' State. He is definitely stepping out of the Northern California bubble he has lived in and it seems like he is sucking the marrow out of this experience.

I am proud of him. That is when I'm not bugging Will because now that Kyle is away he gets all my attention. And this week seems to be a week of unhealthy obsession. And poor Will is the object of my obsession. He laughs at me but I can tell I'm starting to really bug him.

I think when Kyle finally goes off to college, Will is going to miss him even more than me. I mean, can you imagine all the unhealthy attention this poor kid is going to have to handle?

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Happy Kid!

Will leaving his graduation.

As Will entered middle school, all I wished for was for him to leave with his self esteem in tact. Watching last night, I knew that he had accomplished this goal. But he did with the help of so many unbelievable teachers and administrators. And two of them are fellow bloggers Teresa and Gary Oefinger.

Thank you.

A picture can say a thousand words.

Today I will leave it at that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I have no time to write today but I had to get a post out to mark this wonderful day. My youngest son is graduating from elementary school.

I woke up sad, eyes moist with tiny tears. This shifted to fear.

Will will walk in front of an entire auditorium and deliver his graduation speech. When I gave mine, I forgot the entire middle section. I have yet to recover.

Tomorrow I will have time to think about it all. And I'm sure something will hit me straight between the eyes. Something unexpected.

But for today I will embrace the moment. Hold back my tears, keep my anxiety to myself. And watch as the children I have known since they were five put elementary school behind them and walk towards their future, towards dreams and hopeful expectations.

The door just opened and Will has finished his last day of 8th grade. He will graduate in a few hours.

I couldn't be more proud.

Monday, June 14, 2010

With A Shadow of A Dream...

Summer finally graced us with her presence the last few days in Northern California. Warm days have left me welcoming the end of the school year. We're not done here quite yet. My youngest will graduate on Thursday and he was selected to give one of the two graduation speeches.

Kyle gave his graduation speech three years ago. I gave mine 37 years ago. Oh my, that does seem like a long time ago.

But I remember it well. "With a shadow of a dream, there is hope. Where hope lies, there will always be a future..." I also remember forgetting the entire middle of my speech and not being able to find my place in my notecards. Fear struck me hard that June day and now I get to watch my youngest stand on stage on tell his classmates, their families, the teachers and administrators just what he feels about this young chapter of his life.

But last night was another graduation. Yesterday my nephew and oldest grandchild in the family graduated from high school.

I couldn't sleep at all last night.

We came home from the lovely celebration (where everyone toasted my wonderful nephew and his sappy Aunt of course cried) and I tried to engage Kyle in coming to watch one of our favorite summer series, "Royals Pains." He wanted nothing to do with me.

I am not sure if this was due to the fact that I didn't let him meet up with his friends at 11:00 pm and I wouldn't let him go camping in the Santa Cruz mountains with a bunch of his 17-year-old friends.

Since school has let out, Kyle has transformed back into the relaxed and happy-go-lucky kid that I know so well. But last night, the dark cloud of 'teenagness' reared its ugly head.

My sleepless night was filled with a mixture of, "I can't wait for him to go to college," and "I can't believe this time next year we will be celebrating his graduation."

After I finished watching "Royal Pains" with Tom we crawled into bed. Kyle said goodnight and then went into the room we had just vacated to play some video games.

I listened from my bedroom as he played. And it struck me that he just didn't wanted to spend the time with us.

I don't know why, but this broke my heart a little bit.

But I will lick my wounds today and hopefully Kyle will want to hang with me a little bit. And last night will be another memory.

Just like the memory I have of my handsome nephew picking strawberries at his grandparents home 16 years ago and reading to him about the big hungry bear and red ripe strawberries.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Worrying about Worrying!

A beautiful sunny morning, finally, in Northern California. My eldest son sleeps sweetly in his room. He's off school. My rising senior is with me this quiet morning. And it's wonderful.

How relaxed he has seemed the last few days. It has been a pleasure watching him transform back into my Kyle. My rising senior.

Summer. It has almost begun. Will has two weeks left but we can almost feel the endless days of summer. I know, I talked on and on about SAT prep and College Applications but F&^* it! Let's not worry about anything. Anything.

Then why did I wake up this morning worrying about everything?

The only thought that pops into my tired head is that I don't want to have to worry about anything. It is almost as if I have no control over my worrying.

Let me explain and tell me if any of this resonates with any of you. That cough that lingers, the stomach ache that doesn't feel right, the curve of the spine, the weird looking spider bite, the unimaginable! STOP!

I am worrying about worrying this morning and that is all F&^*ed up!

Beginnings and endings always put me in this place. I don't know why.

But I have thrown up my short, shorts and a lively tee shirt and Kyle and I are going to go shopping for Will's 14th birthday today...probably around 3:00 when Kyle wakes up.

Until then, I'm free to read your blog posts.

And I'm going to try and not worry.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Rising Senior

I didn't snap a picture. I didn't think of it. He was so handsome in his black pants, white shirt, black tie and black v-neck sweater. Today is his last day of his junior year. When I pick him up at 2:30 he will be a rising senior.

I can't believe it.

I just began writing when he began his junior year and here we are. Time marching on. I have met so many wonderful people along the way but still I'm filled with emotion today.

I sat on his bed this morning and realized how grown-up he really is. He doesn't need his mommy so much any more. Though, I do think he still enjoys her (at times, when I'm not nagging or making him nuts--which is probably most times).

But I pause today for many reasons. I usually look so forward to summer. Can't wait for the freedom of endless schedules, homework and pressure. I love summer. But this year will be different. Very different. I know that in every fiber of my being. This summer will whip by in the blink of an eye. This summer Kyle will attend Boys State, Fencing Nationals and continue studying for the evil SAT's. He will also write his essay for his common application.

Already my heart is fluttering. What happened to days of endless relaxation? What happened to "What do you want to do today, boys? I dunno, Mom, what about you?"

It has been an interesting school year I'll give you that. There were highs and there were lows. And you got to read all about them right here on my blog.

The biggest high in respect to Kyle was spending the week in Los Angeles with him. It was great to show him my hometown and we had a blast together.

Funny, the lowest low was during that same week. He received his SAT scores early one morning when we were in LA and he was disappointed in his score. They just weren't good enough for him. I could literally feel all the stress in my young son's body. It scared me. He has always handled stress so well. But this year was difficult for him.

I am proud of Kyle and I do love being part of his life. He is witty and enthusiastic, helpful (when he wants to be) and kind.

I've done my job. Now what?

Of course I'll be there to support him. And I know he will need my support. But it is time I get out of his way and I'm not sure how. I've learned a lot this year so I have a bit more of an idea of what my boundaries need to be in respect to mothering him.

I love him like only a mother loves her sons! "Snap out of it," wise words from MOONSTRUCK will become my mantra. "Snap out of it!"

I'll try and remember to bring my camera when I pick him up. I need to document this important day. It feels huge. Monumental. Happy.

I'm not sad. That's partly because I have found all of you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"This sucks!"

It was 6:30 am and apparently I turned to my husband and said, "This sucks!"

I had lifted my eye mask and the sun was blazing through the plastic window.

I kind of remember saying it. And at that moment it really did suck.

Rewind to last week. It rained, a cold driving rain. I was stuck in winter when summer was quickly approaching the rest of the country. I told Tom that I really needed to get away.

We talked about Palm Springs and Las Vegas--both warm, both a ten hour drive. I surfed through hotels in Napa and Sonoma, everything was either too expensive or already booked.

I became more and more frustrated.

I settled on a day outing. I made a reservation at a restaurant in Napa called Etoile. It is part of the Domaine Chandon winery. It has a one star Michelin rating and I thought that at least we could drive up for lunch and lounge around Napa for the day.
It sounded good until I stumbled upon a place called Castanoa on the coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. I sent the link to Tom and before I knew it he had book two tents for Sunday night. Tents, yes. We were going camping.

I'm not sure how I got from a one star Michelin restaurant to a camp site but I did.

My friends laughed when I told them that we were going camping. Actually they laughed when I told them where we were camping. Apparently, Castanoa is considered luxury camping.

Luxury camping seems a bit like an oxymoron, but we set on our adventure not sure what to expect.

We had two tents that actually had frames and white plastic fabric nailed into the structure. There was a concrete floor and a queen bed in one tent and two bunk beds in the other tent.

Outside the tents was some firewood and one adirondack chair.

We also had one match.

But my three boys proudly made a fire. The wind was blowing rigorously off the water and whipping around our little camp site. It might have been nice if it wasn't so freezing ass cold and if the RV's were not blocking our view. But we were here and I, for one, was going to make the best of it.

Oh, did I mention the bathrooms were quite a walk from the tent. Now I don't mind peeing in the woods but this wasn't exactly the kind of place where you pee in the woods. So, if I had to pee in the middle of the night I had to walk into the bitter cold and shlep my tired old ass over to the bathroom, in the pitch black night.

I found a plastic plant drainer that looked like it would make a wonderful makeshift toilet.

When we finally went to bed, fully dressed (with long underwear), because it was so freakin' freezing, I stuck ear plugs in my ears and on eye mask over my eyes. Yes, I know, I am a princess.

All night the bottom half of me was sweating from menopausal symptoms but my face was ice cold. I could hear my husband snoring as well as the wind whipping the plastic fabric of the tent through my earplug. When the sun came up and made its way through the cracks of my eye mask, I must have turned to Tom and said,"This sucks!"

When I finally left my luxury cabin, my son had made another fire. He was very proud of his accomplishment.

We spent the rest of the day grumpy because nobody had slept well. I made everybody pick organic strawberries. And Will made us stop at the beach to fly a kite.

We were all together. But most of the time Kyle and Will bickered with each other, especially over the darn fire. Both boys fell asleep in the car on the way home.

We walked into our beautiful home and I wondered why we ever left. But, I felt more at peace. Happy to be home.

Is that why people go camping? Because they appreciate home so much more? I'm still pondering this question.