It has come to my attention that all Hallmark movies have the same plot. While this isn’t completely shocking for me, it’s mildly annoying nonetheless. Not that the plots are eerily similar … no … this is what I love about them, it’s that I have a rather vocal family member who spouts off Hallmark spoiler alerts like it’s nobody’s business. It has gotten to the point that Full Speed can almost predict to the minute when the star-crossed lovers seemed doomed to be forever apart.
However, I do not need to hear it.
I DO NOT NEED TO HEAR IT.
I watch enough football, well, a loosely based version of what constitutes as ‘watching football’, and enough high-action dramas (seriously, how many explosions can one main character survive?) that as a reward, Hallmark movies are essentially my birthright.
You can take them or leave them but I’m telling you, if a Hallmark movie is rated ‘G’, it means it’s GOOD.
T.Puzzle swiped my phone from my grip. He clicked it open and scrolled through to his current grades. My attention remained on the road.
Traffic is no joke here.
“I got an ‘E’ in behavior. What does that mean?”
Full Speed and I shook our heads.
“Oh, man, T.Puzzle. If you think Dad was frustrated with me last night about geometry, wait until he hears this,” Full Speed said.
I chimed in. “Yep. ‘E’ is about the worst mark you can get for behavior.”
Honestly, neither of us had any idea what we were talking about. I had an inkling ‘E’ was a good thing. I figured no contact from his teachers meant he was staying on track. Still, being a new school with a different classification system, we couldn’t resist messing with T.Puzzle a little bit.
“Really?” T.Puzzle said.
His eyes scanned the screen for more information. “It says ‘E’ stands for exemplary. What does that mean?”
“Exemplary? Wow. This is really bad T.Puzzle. First it goes ‘O’ for outstanding, ‘S’ for satisfactory, ‘U’ for unsatisfactory and then waaaaay below that comes exemplary. Dad is going to lose his mind,” Full Speed said.
T.Puzzle kind of believed him and he kind of didn’t. However, he looked mighty relieved when I told him exemplary meant awesome.
Little Guy had a tough adjustment to our move. We have a special formula we (mainly me) follow each day to keep him comfortable and happy. In addition to his five sets of eye-drops of three medications, we shower him with affection and praise each night before bedtime. It does not guarantee he will sleep through the night, but it has been proven effective. There is nothing that warms my heart more than watching Mad Dog make over Little Guy. It is the sweetest.
Little Guy gets a lot of leeway during the day. He is allowed to be cranky. He is allowed to be snippy. He is allowed to beg and whine for food at the table.
He can do anything he wants.
Most of the time he chooses to nap. This makes it easy for everyone.
I am surprised at how unquestioning my devotion is to him. I do not judge him for his cranky missteps.
He has followed me around enough through the five years we’ve had him to earn this loyalty.
He shows me what love can teach us.
Be true, be loyal and you will always, always be loved.
Unfortunately, as our children grow towards adulthood, life starts handing them more complex challenges. Gone are the days of kindergarten-fixes which were mostly comprised of a few snuggles and a chocolate chip cookie.
It isn’t all bad.
The best part is watching our children’s personalities solidify into more of who-they-are. They get to start defining more what matters to them.
Weirdly, that doesn’t always align with what mom and dad deem important.
As I continue to let my boys go off into the world to discover what is most true for them, I must go and do the same for myself.
Mothers and caregivers tend to take a giant pause in their life when it comes to raising a family. This pause becomes so second-nature, we often don’t realize when it’s time to hit the reset button.
We are not meant to figure everything out in one day.
In fact, I believe we never figure everything out completely.
Life moves forward for a reason. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t.
Either way it’s moving.
We can either join in or sit back. Maybe both?
Even if we don’t make every right turn, the fact that we are on the journey is bound to lead us somewhere wonderful.
Especially if where we’ve been has already shown us such great love.
This summer has me so overwhelmed with change that I feel like part of me has shut down to cope. I am operating more in logic and less in feeling.
The feelings will have to come later.
Before we knew we were moving to a new state, we signed Full Speed up for a three-week academic class held on a college campus. Even then, while I was thrilled for him to have this unique opportunity, I was not particularly happy about him being away for three weeks. Throw some travel and our family changing addresses into the mix and I am surprised I am still standing.
The most unsettling part of this process with Full Speed was how extremely collegiate it all felt. We had to make sure he had linens and towels. He also needed shower shoes and a caddy for supplies to be used in the dorm showers.
Once we arrived at his dorm, it continued to take on a surreal quality. A feeling of yes, he is only thirteen, and yes, he will return home, but also a feeling of what our future without Full Speed may look like.
It’s not great, folks. Not great at all.
The positive is we obviously love our kid and should be grateful that we are missing him.
It would be rather telling if we broke out the bubbly and celebrated his departure with a joyful clink of glasses. There was no toasting. Only a sinking sensation that Full Speed is well on his way to carving out his own life.
I cannot tell you the willpower it took to not cry when we left him at his dorm. I held it together. I don’t know how, but I did.
My goal is to stay focused on the present moment and be mindful of what will feel supportive to him in terms of how much I communicate with him.
Unfortunately, him live-streaming his day to my phone is not an option.
Weird, I know.
Instead, I sense he is consumed by new routines, meeting new people and mastering the intensive curriculum ahead.
Texting his mom should not be a priority.
I get it.
I don’t have to like it, but I get it.
I have always known that my children have never really been mine. The most ‘ownership’ I can claim over them has maybe been the nine months I carried them. Once they arrived in the world it has been my one of my greatest honors to walk along beside them as I do my best to let them go.
Now, more so than ever before, it is time for Full Speed to walk ahead alone.
I love you, Full Speed. I am so proud to be your mom.
May this opportunity open your eyes to the infinite possibilities of life.
And remember, I am only a phone call away.
You’ve got this.
For the record, I can neither confirm or deny if T.Puzzle is missing Full Speed.
Ok, I lied.
I can confirm he totally does though he would never say it out loud.
And, I thank my lucky stars to have this one-on-one time with him.