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  1. Empty Nest

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    My house is empty for the week and as they (they sure do seem to know a lot, don't they?) say, the silence is deafening (Do the hearing impaired take offense to this statement?  I always feel as if I'm being offensive with this statement...damned political correctness brainwashing).

    My boys are on vacation with their donor.  No, they were not conceived via IVF.  They are with my husband-once-removed.  The other half of their DNA.  I would be their DoNA.  He is their Don'tNA. That's not funny.

    But I miss them and they've only been gone for 10 minutes.

    I have this persona that I'm the bitchy, crass, sarcastic, negligent, sometimes intoxicated mom.  I talk (mostly on stage) about my boys as if they are a burden.  Truth is, they are not.  Sometimes making homemade pancakes or homemade pizza with homemade sauce (yeah... thanks Grandpa DeRose) is a burden when chicken nuggets and cake is clearly the simpler option.  Sometimes asking them a quatchalillion (the term I used as a child for "a lot"... wordsmith even back then) times to clean their rooms, brush their teeth, empty the garbage, stop farting, stop bitching at one another, say thank you, do their homework, clean the cat box, stop scratching yourself there in public, brush the dog, stop bitching at one another, practice the cello, stop burping, practice the guitar, stop bitching at one another is a burden.  My sons are not burdens.

    Please don't tell anyone this, but I really like my boys.  I'm not just saying that because I have to.  My sons are these mature, funny, intelligent creatures who are actually enjoyable to be around; inspiring, entertaining, and material for me.  And they crack me the hell up. (They, my sons, not the they experts of the world)

    Ryan has this uncanny ability to do accents.  ANY ACCENT.  He absolutely loved his science teacher this year.   She was warm, funny, intelligent, and Polish.  He'd come home from school and talk about what he had learned, perfecting her accent so much so that I could hear her saying, "Now children,  focus on the periodic table."  Only "focus" didn't sound like focus.  It sounded like a two words that would make any adolescent (and some immature adults) giggle.

    He's extremely well-read...this kid read Beowulf when he was in 4th grade.  Not Beowulf for Dummies.  The Seamus Heaney Beowulf that I was teaching to my AP seniors (who bitched and moaned throughout).  What a friggin' geek, right?  Nope.

    One of the most amazing experiences was seeing Ryan play the guitar in his middle school talent show.  The kid taught himself how to play guitar only 8 months prior to the show.  Now, I'm a teacher and I've taught middle school.  Suffice it to say, I was panic-stricken.  I know what middle school children do to one another.  I was the middle school kid who they did it to.  I thought, for sure, that Ryan, this quiet, unobtrusive kid would get on stage and become an instant target for every middle school Biff this side of the Rockies.  I was petrified for weeks.  If you peruse my facebook wall and find the video, you can see how badly my hand was shaking as I videotaped his performance.

    And what happened?  He was good.  He wasn't just good.  He was phenomenal.  There is no describing what I felt when the audience of his peers erupted into applause.  I cried.  My sister cried.  My dad cried (fearlessly sensitive, cool guy...sorry ladies, he's taken).

    Ryan is my inspiration. Where did that confidence come from?  I'm not that kid.  I never was.  I want to bottle that self-esteem up and splash it on myself like it's Jean Nate (Nah-tay) After Bath Splash.

    Don't get me wrong.  There are moments where I would like to punch him in the throat when he gives me that teenager stare, that turn-to-sh!t look (my mother's term) when I try to "reason" with him.  But damn.  The kid's got something that I have always dreamed of having.  Confidence, brains, and wit.

    And Ethan.  This kid gave us a helluva time in the beginning.  I'm not going to go into details about what he did to me during childbirth for fear that any future moms will certainly reconsider (though it may help with population control).  The terrible twos began at birth and lasted through about 5th grade.  Strong-willed is a term that we parent-folk like to use as a substitute for very unparentlike expletives.

    Cee lo
    The bright side is that he's evolved into this insanely funny, talented, amiable kid.  Admittedly, I was pissed when he decided, in 3rd grade, to take up the cello "because it's big and no one else in school plays it."  (Wise way to make decisions, Ethan.  Frighteningly similar to the way some of my friends choose boyfriends.)  Only 4 years later, he's a very talented cellist for a non-Asian.  I can say in all honesty, it's not painful listening to him practice.

    Mornings usually begin with Ethan suggesting, via his cockeyed grin, "Hey toots, do me a solid and fix me some pancakes for breakfast," and as he moves toward the bathroom adding, "oh, and sweets, and not the frozen ones."

    Any other quasi-feminist mom might take offense to the seemingly sexist tone, but the kid gets it.  He's making fun of the way men talk to women.  He knows better.  Or at least I think he does.  (Come to think of it, that tone might be the reason that one of his teachers hated his guts, but then again, maybe the gods neglected to endow bridge trolls with a sense of humor).

    But Ethan and Ryan, in fact, have the utmost respect for women which is so fekking cool.

    So, dear reader, when you hear me on stage, know this. A large part of me (some parts are, unfortunately, larger than others) is that bitchy, crass, sarcastic, negligent, sometimes intoxicated mom.  But the larger part of me knows that my sons are phenomenal human beings who are a constant source of joy in my life.  And I miss them when they are not around.

    (I'll probably wait until Wednesday to break out the Barry White, the booze, and the trashy books)

  2. 1 comments:

    1. A great blog SDR. A good thing that they probably can't be bothered to read your blog. In which case you are going to have a phenomenal gift to give them in a few years.

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