I absorb the sight, trying to burn it into my memory. The former memory will always be precious. But I know that this sight will also transform. I don’t want to forget any of it.
The door from the garage opens…
… and two young men fall into the house, dropping backpacks and discarding shoes. Not the noise, rather the sight startles me. Momentarily I think, “Who are these people?”
Our house is situated to offer a shortcut to the neighborhood from the local elementary school. During that past few years, it was not unusual for students to walk around or even through the house on their way home. A few knew us well enough to stop to use the bathroom and grab a snack or drink.
The boys are no longer in elementary school, though, so the traffic has vanished. Electing to attend an out of district high school, the boys drive themselves to school.
I knew the boys were due home.
But my mind jolts each time they walk past me.
The adorable short round Blue Boy is now a young man, albeit with bluish hair, almost as tall as his grandfather. Now in the third year of high school, he carries himself with the confidence of one well-adjusted. And yes, still adorable.
The sight of impish Mowgli, so named because of his tousled long blond mane, is even more startling. His sudden heightening combined with a complimentary haircut aged him beyond the one-year span of change. He may be taller than his grandfather now. We can’t keep up with his measurements. He moves as if trying to figure out how to manage his long limbs. He appears to appreciate having an older brother scouting the path to maturity.
These evolving young men…
… occupy the space in which I expect to see Blue Boy and Mowgli of four years ago. I absorb the sight, trying to burn it into my memory. The former memory will always be precious. But I know that this sight will also transform. I don’t want to forget any of it.
The odor is distinctive, pungent, unpleasant. The smell of adolescent boys.
The odor is distinctive, pungent, unpleasant. The smell of adolescent boys. If you have raised boys, you know what I mean. They don’t have to move or sweat to emit the odor of maturing tissues and testosterone.
Why did I never notice my brothers’s body odor? When at that age, Older Bro and I were ignoring each other, denying the other’s existence. I was out of the house when Baby Bro’s ripeness peaked.
Older Bro recalls a time when he and friends spent a night in the family room, door closed. Mom greeted them in the morning with, “What died in here?”
After a boys’ sleepover hosted by C-boy, I discovered a can of air freshener in our kitchen. Not recalling that I had left it there, I wondered aloud how it found its way to the counter. Mike said that C-boy had gotten it out to quell the stench. You know you stink when you can detect it on yourself.
The essence of boy remained long after a group of boys exited the den having hovered over the computer together. The aroma infiltrated the air and fabric of cars and stuffy bedrooms, evidence of a earlier male presence.
ED’s car air freshener did not clear the smell but mingled floral and boyness into a distinct and unforgettable olfactory memory
Recently C-boy and his wife came to Arizona to attend a friend’s wedding. The family retreated to a house near Flagstaff to escape the heat and capture some family time. I enjoyed a quiet laugh when C-boy commented on the aroma coming from the boys’ bedroom.
Earlier I described the smell as unpleasant. If you have raised a boy, you know that isn’t true.
I am afraid to blink: LLJ born this week will too soon be 14, progressing to high school. Before then, Blue Boy and Mowgli could be fathers. My children will become members of the “grand” generation: grandparent, great aunt, great uncle. My stomach turns.
My mind cannot grasp
Mowgli and Blue Boy are not babies.
Math teacher SD avows that rolling one or six dice does not change the odds of getting a three. She should know. But I will choose to roll all six. Just as my mind cannot grasp probability, it rejects children growing up.
Like an optical illusion, Mowgli is becoming a young man. While we were in Chicago celebrating the birth of our third grandchild, Mowgli was learning to knot a tie for his eighth-grade graduation photo via You Tube. Noticing that his one dress tie fell only to the top of his ribs, ED ran out to get a new one. She is not prepared for his growth, either.
You will always be my baby
When C-boy was in school, I accompanied him to the funeral of his friend who had died in an accident. During the visitation, we viewed articles the parents had presented: a school jacket, sports memorabilia, photos of him as a small boy. I cautioned C-boy: that is how they will remember him.
The pictures of Mowgli portray an adolescent boy. I see a little towhead cutie, wickedly funny and calculating, ready for hugs. Who is this young man sharing Mowgli’s features? How dare he grow up without me?
I am afraid to blink:LLJ born this week will too soon be 14, progressing to high school. Before then, Blue Boy and Mowgli could be fathers. My children will become members of the “grand” generation: grandparent, great aunt, great uncle. My stomach turns.
But this is for Mowgli
Oh Mowgli, knowing your battles, we are proud of you! Living your battles, you are not aware of what you overcome. Be proud of yourself. But please don’t grow up so quickly!!