I’ve been reminded a few times that I haven’t written nearly as much about my boy as I have about my girl. Yes, I have two kids. Two. Great. Kids. And I’m blessed that I get the opportunity to experience being a mom to a daughter as well as to a son. My girl is easy to write about. She is and has always been a character. She’s a wear-one-side-of-her-hair-in-a-pigtail-and-the-other-in-a-braid kind of girl. All while sporting a red cape. At the grocery store. On roller skates. Honestly, this stuff writes itself. Except when she actually submits it to me personally for the blog. Easy.
My son is different. Maybe it’s because he’s a boy. Maybe it’s because he’s 12. Maybe it’s because he’s a lot like his mom when she was his age. If everyone around him is wearing a red shirt with yellow stripes then that is so what he’s going to have on, too. He doesn’t want to draw attention or make a spectacle of himself. Unless, of course, it’s because he just scored the winning goal on his basketball team. I think he’d be perfectly comfortable with that.
He’s a truly amazing kid, and always has been. He could name the first fifteen presidents by (full) name in order when he was four. He has such an incredible memory that he can accurately and completely recount incidents from as far back as age two. (I am so screwed.) And that memory now translates to being able to rattle off the name, number, position, college, hometown, favorite snack, high school locker combination, etc. of every professional football and basketball player out there. With a special emphasis on the Saints and the Hornets, of course.
But beneath that we-should-have-put-him-on-Leno-as-a-kid quality memory (not to mention his killer performance in school) beats what I’ve always called his “heart of gold.” We even have an ornament on the Christmas tree illustrating this special trait. I offered a first glimpse of this endearing kid in an earlier post during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
My boy & his heart of gold
He’s a first child which, whether I want to admit it as a fellow oldest or not, means that sometimes you kind of think the world revolves around you. However close you are to your next sibling, there was a time in your life when you didn’t have to share anything and you, as they say, hung the moon. Actually, if you’re lucky, you still do with your parents. (Right, Mom?) And even when your sibling(s) comes along, you still get to be the first to do everything. You set the bar, however high or low, for all of those that come after you. I’d like to think I blazed a trail that was sometimes gravy, sometimes a straight uphill climb for my younger brother.
But back to my wonderful son …
I woke up today feeling like complete garbage. It was nothing really. I just have a bad cold that robbed me of a lot of sleep last night and, as of this morning, most of my voice. I’ll live. No need to send flowers or anything. But my boy was worried.
My husband was out of town this morning. And … before you make any plans to rob my house … he’s already returned so put away your lock-picking tools. (Geez! What kind of people do I think are reading this blog???) And, as the (little) man of the house, he took one look at me and said he wanted to help. He told me to go to my room and get dressed and said that he would handle breakfast. He made toast, poured drinks and took care of everything for himself as well as for his younger sister. He made sure she didn’t complain about the school lunch menu (which I very stupidly have posted on the refrigerator). I even heard him hustling her along to get to her toothbrushing, etc. as she was, I would imagine, moving at her usually slackened, early morning pace.
And the most astonishing part of it all was that it worked. He was in charge. She was listening. Nobody was yelling. It was, aside from the thick-headed effects of my seasonal maladies, a very smooth morning.
Like I said, my boy has a heart of gold. He, like so many of us, can be known to get caught up in himself … and big game days, his Xbox or whatever … when all systems are normal. But when the chips are down, he’s the man.
And, you know, I’m really kind of proud of that.