16 September 2013

Puppy Paws

My son, the fourteen year old, made lunch for me.
Not a big deal. He coaxed me away from the computer saying we both needed a break (he’d been in on-line school all morning and I writing). He heated up the leftover sausages. Put them in buns, added yellow mustard and put both on a plate. 

“Oh, I can’t eat two,” says I. “You can have one.”

“Okay, thanks,” he says wrapping his arm around my shoulder and giving a soft squeeze. 
The soft squeeze is a newly acquired skill. You see he is 6 foot and about 230lbs. The youngest and biggest in the family. He’s had to learn what sort of space his body takes up and how strong he really is. He rarely knocks me or his older sister over anymore with sneak hugs. He rarely crashed into walls or plops down so hard on the furniture you can hear it almost crack. I kind of miss the “puppy too big for his paws” stage, but at the same time my body and home are grateful.  

So, I finish fixing my plate- add a little coleslaw, get a drink, sit at the table. He sits across from me. I look up puzzled, “Where’s your lunch?”

“I ate it.” He gave a crooked grin. “I was hungry.”

And I guess, out of the corner of my eye, as I was still getting my lunch ‘just right’ I’d seen him, in two, easy to fit in his mouth bites, gulp down his sausage and bun.  He’s like that, this youngest son of mine, with life. He embraces it and swallows it whole. He has an ease and confidence that come from being a child surrounded by love and acceptance. As the baby of the family he’s had four older siblings, two parents and the grandparents who have put up with is quirks and encouraged his uniqueness.  I also think being home schooled has given him the opportunities to take chances, to grow into his skin and discover who he wants to be without the ridicule and bulling and pressure to ‘fit in’ that kids face in public school.

He’s branching out and relying less on me. He needed to buy a e-book for school. I got the credit card out and went to sit down and buy it. “No,” he says. “Let me. I’ve got to figure this stuff out for myself.” We were at Comic Con. “Hey, I found out about a Teen Writer’s Bootcamp,” he tells me.

“Oh, should I go over and check out their booth?” I ask.

“You can. I already signed up for their e-mail list,” he says. I never did find the booth.  He’s excited for bootcamp. I have my credit card ready. I’ll hand it to him and walk away. He can figure out how to register.

Back to lunch. He sat with me as I ate. We talked about agents and publishing.  Then he says, “I’m going for a walk. I’ve stared at pixels enough this morning.”

“Okay,” I say.

“I’ve got my phone and keys with me.” He gives me another non-bruising hug and walks out the door.