Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last of the Bunch

As of 1:02 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, the Matron has two teenagers in the house.

He Who Cannot Be Named (HWCBN) is well into that tumultuous decade -- he will, in fact, soon begin the art of Driver's Education. Be still, Matronly heart! She won't indulge in driving jokes as she's pretty sure you've heard them all and, like her, been taken aback on the freeway when noticing that the driver beside her appears to be, uh, ten.

HWCBN also has gainful employment. He is building computer networks, web sites, and actual computers after resourcefully posting an ad in a neighborhood online site. That boy has been busy! He also spent a month in Chicago and officially towers above his mother. College? Already a topic of conversation and a light on the horizon. Three years go fast in mother years (sorta like dog years only twice as speedy).

Scarlett is the new teenager. She's been remarkable since she was 8 and landed her first show. This is the child with an agent, big ticket theater credentials and head shots. And her own blog. Having been graced with that great female gift, Uterine Tracking Device (UTD), she can locate any lost sock, shoe, toy, ball or book in the house -- just like her mother. Her father, the Official Laundry Man of the household, can no longer distinguish between his daughter's clothes and his wife's.

John holding up pair of black stretch pants: "You? Scar? How can you tell?"

Matron: "My pants aren't quite so ornamental. Notice the glittery stars up and down the leg?"

John: "Uh, no."

Honey, that's because you are a MAN.

But with all this grown up fuss -- the newly minted teenager daughter just back from New York and the eldest of the pack headed out daily for his job -- somebody got lost in the Big Kid Shuffle.

Merrick: "I'm bowed."

He is eight. His brother is wiring invisible elements into something that will someday be called a hard drive and his sister is at rehearsal for the next play. Even if they were home, they are slowly fading into something elusive: more thoughtful, quieter people who resemble adults more than children. His world is still being 'security' for his dogs (Merrick looks good wearing a badge and a Nerf gun while walking Satan's Familiar) and climbing halfway up the tree.

So abandoned -- and in ways he cannot yet appreciate but are just emerging -- Merrick has taken to hanging around his mother more. Today, he pined in her office as she tried to type out comments on student work.

Merrick: "SIGH."

He languished. Moaned. Stared pitifully out the window.

Merrick: "Mom? Do you have time to take me to the cownew stowe and buy a suckew?"

Matron: "Hmmmm. . . . I'm working."

This time the sigh was genuine and it pierced her concentration. And heart. What's 15 minutes in mama years?

Not only did she take him to the corner store, she did the UNHEARD of and drove the three blocks, letting Merrick sit for the first time in: the front seat. Yes! She threw the air bag warnings to the wind for three two mile an hour blocks and let her baby get a taste -- a tiny taste -- of big kid life. He loved it.

They chatted about the different view, the texture of the seat, the way the window worked. They commented on the lollipop options or lack-there-of and settled on lemon drops. Landscape changes in the neighbor's yard were duly noted.

Best three blocks this mama has had in a long, long time. She wishes those fifteen minutes really felt like years. Just flying.


*m* said...

Good call on the trip to the store. I'm convinced that it's the little moments like these, rather than trips to Disney and such, that kids love and remember most.

As a mama of two teens with no younger one waiting in the wings, I too feel the years flying by.

Common Household Mom said...

Excellent use of a trip to the corner store.

My oldest just went off to college a few weeks ago, and my youngest (12 yrs old) misses her immensely. The family dynamic has changed a lot.

I love your laundry report. My husband has NEVER been able to distinguish the clothes of the various females in our house. This difficulty was partly overcome when my oldest two kids began doing their own laundry (oh, YES! it was a happy day when that happened!)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

I Lovey McLovey this post. Also, a guy who does this important job: "'security' for his dogs" with pride.


Shawn Paulson said...

With both of my boys off to college I find myself looking at old pictures searching for those memories. Enjoy the small things, I promise there will come a day when you sincerely miss them. P.S. Can I borrow your little guy?

Suburban Correspondent said...

The youngest at 8 always has a way different life than did the oldest at the same age! Inescapable fact of life, I'm afraid...

But don't we get to hear about Scarlett's summer? And you can prevent the laundry mix-ups by making her do her own clothes. It never made sense to me to mix everyone's clothes together just to have to separate them back out at the end.

trash said...

I think there is a Baudelaire quote that fits - "A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness."

My favourite quote ever in the world and one that I remind myself of regularly.

Minnesota Matron said...

Ah, Scarlett's summer. Should be coming soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I have missed reading your posts since I've gotten so busy. I enjoy reading about your life and your family and I find your writing style delightful.

I am glad you took Merrick to the corner store. Before you know it, you'll have yet another teenager on your hands.

Take care!

Deb said...

Wonderful post! Yes, it is hard for the youngest to watch the others grow up and out. When I look it him sleeping, even though he is now 20, I see the little boy in the bed.

I still go in and kiss his forehead when he is asleep. He pretends not to notice, but I see the change in his breathing.

Xtreme English said...

Cool post!

3limes said...

Lovely. How kind you were to both of you to hand over this small gift that will certainly go down in his little treasure of memories.