Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What a very long day

I am sitting on a bed in a hotel room in Big Spring, Texas. That is roughly 100 miles past No Where and not quite all the way to No Place Special. I think the next town over is Don't Blink or You'll Miss It. I'm here, with my family (my three sons and husband) because my less than academically adroit son managed to land a sweet deal.
Noah, my oldest son and recent high school graduate, spoke his first words about the same time as any other kid. To the average stranger on the street there is nothing special about my boy. They don't see his quirky sense of humor, sparkling blue eyes, and bow shaped mouth. They don't see my father and brothers the way I do. That's one of the things that I love about being a mom....seeing the men that I've loved reflected in my boys. Because of these men, my grandfather, father, and three brothers I refuse to believe that men are the low down dirty dogs that the world makes them out to be. I know that they can be, but I also know that they are capable of more....oh so much more. When I see those same superlative character traits in my boys it makes my heart sing. On those days I am proud to be a mom.
From the moment he could do more than sleep, poop, and cry, Noah has had a love affair with sport. His first word? "Ball" The moon was a ball. We had big balls, little balls, squishy balls, and golf balls. You name it and we had one. The things seemed to multiply like rabbits. We had great fun playing catch and fetch and anything else that you could play with a ball. In a pinch we could play air ball.
Unfortunately, Noah has always been equally enthusiastic, (that isn't really the right word, but it is the closest I can come to something that implies an intricate and deep seated entwining of body and soul with something so I'll go with that) when it comes to getting injured. My boy was born via cesarian section because he had managed to get his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. He tripped over his shadow and split his forehead open on a corner of the bathroom wall as a toddler...and again when he was in elementary school. He has broken his ankle, jammed fingers, gotten multiple concussions (to the point where the school system instituted new rules about students returning to sport after having one) and broken his collar bone. He now has a five inch scar where the surgeon went in to screw his clavicle back together. I don't get excited anymore when he says he hurt himself. All of these injuries resulted in his being banned from participation in interscholastic competitions his senior year. That was a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.
Having spent many hours on the proverbial bench, and being banned from participation, Noah turned to athletic training. Despite the fact that it has a predominantly female demographic, or perhaps because it does?, my boy loves it. In what other field can you be in the middle of any and every sporting event and yet not get clinked on the head, tackled, or otherwise injured by yourself or the opponent?! It is a match made in heaven. Thus I sit on the edge of a bed in a hotel room on the interstate in Next to Nowhere, Texas while my boys play paint ball on the television.
We spent the day at new student orientation. I would say that they haven't changed much in the past 30 years. It was an awful lot like the one I went to. Kids and administrations are pretty much the same as they have always been. However, where I had a student ID (aka a laminated photograph of myself that I might have used for a book mark if at all), a physical room key, and access to a coin operated public telephone (calling home required calling collect...can you even do that now?). Today's students have electronic IDs that incorporate room keys, debit cards and


Betty said...

Yep, we did about the same thing with our sons!

Lynne said...

I love the way you write.

It is so obvious that you love all the men in your family. I am the same - my grandfathers, my dad, my FIL, my brother and brothers-in-law, my uncles, even my son-in-law; they were/are all good men. And, one day, both of our Grandboys (now 17 months and six weeks) will also be good men.