Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother and Son

Smartmom popped out of bed at 1 a.m. hearing noises, thinking there was a burglar in the apartment. She tiptoed down the hall and realized it was Teen Spirit awake in the living room, listening to music on his iPod and absentmindedly clapping his hands. He looked appropriately tired for the early morning hour.

"Hi mom. Can I have something to eat?" Teen Spirit asked.
"Make it yourself," Smartmom snapped. Happy to see him, annoyed by the question.

She sat down at her computer and her son sat down at his - he checking his favorite Internet comics, she fiddling with her blog: OTBKB.

Eventually, he cajoled her to make him a bowl of Ramen.

"My throat hurts. I had a coughing fit earlier. Didn't you hear it?"

Lately, Teen Spirit vascilates between insolent and incredibly loving. One minute sharing a confidence, the next pushing his Smartmom away. It can be quite painful.

So this Mother's Day Smartmom is filled with questions about what it means to be the mother of a teenage boy. Will Teen Spirit continue with this push/pull? Or will he want nothing to do with her soon? Stay tuned.

Smartmom suspects that this too shall pass. How often has she said that to herself in the last fourteen years? Teen Spirit has been through so many, in retrospect, short- lived phases: Waking up many times in the night as a newborn. Teething. Finger sucking. Potty training. Tantrums. Night Terrors. Homework struggles. Power stuggles.

This is, no doubt, just the latest in a long line of developmental passages. But it ain't always easy.

This past year has seen such an explosion of identity in Teen Spirit.

His new style: black jeans, dark t-shirt (no stripes anymore, he said), brown leather jacket.

His hair: Long, stringy, a little rock n' roll. In his eyes like Violet in "The Incredibles."

His artwork: Notebooks filled with sophisticated cartoons, evolving characters. working ceaselessly to teach himself shading and other drawing skills.

His music: Playing bass with his band, Cool and Unusual Punishment has become a central focus over the last six months or so.

His interests: Nieztsche and Chinese history, Family Guy and National Public Radio. He's even started reading the New York Times and the articles, not just the cartoons, in the New Yorker.

Smartmom finds herself wanting more from him: more details, more information, more conversations like the conversations they used to have all the time. She cherishes her confidential chats with OSFO about her social life, her feelings, her fears. She worries that she won't be having those with Teen Spirit anymore.

So sitting at their computers in close proximity in the dining room, Smartmom and Teen Spirit share an uneasy hour in the middle of the night. She the intruder who makes Ramen, he the i-pod listening, cartoon artist drawing with his stylus pen

He thanks Smartmom profusely for the bowl of Ramen and immediately goes back to his music, to making his art.

He has bigger fish to fry than talking to his mom. Even on the eve of Mother's Day.


At 4:11 AM, Blogger red eft said...

Beautiful piece.

Sounds like the two of you could use a weekend away together.


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