I am currently sitting at my (tear stained) table, when I am supposed to be doing some lame-ass completion of keyboarding for school (hey, I am fucking typing right now, so this should count!) and instead of doing the completion for keyboarding, I am spinning in some form of painful shame spiral. It is good times, over here.
My son got his first job today. I can’t put into words how proud I am of this little human (snort, little.. he is 6’2″) He is a great student, his teachers all love him and he gets good grades; he is a nice boy and has lots of friends who really like him; he is a great athlete and frequently gets awards for volleyball (his sport of choice); he is kind and respectful; he doesn’t get into ANY trouble (worst thing he does is avoid studying to play his iPad or watch tv); Like, LEGIT, we have no problems with this boy. And now he is 15 years old, going into high school (starts in grade 10 up here in the great white north), made the senior volleyball team (we call it senior, but it is also known as Varsity), has his classes chosen to help him get on the right track for university (where he wants to go to be a teacher), and now he has a job, too. Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud of him for going out and doing this. But…. my heart is still breaking.
He was my first baby. He was the first thing I ever truly loved at first sight. The day I held him in my arms, I knew that I would do anything for him. And that has never stopped or changed. But I worry that I haven’t done well by him. I worry I haven’t spent enough time with him. I worry that I left him alone too much. I worry that he had to grow up too fast. I worry that he felt lonely when I was busy doing other things. I worry that he felt sadness because of me.
My kids had to grow up faster than most when my marriage to their biological father disintegrated around all of us (seriously, it was for the best and should have happened sooner than it did…) And they had to bounce between houses, and listen to the poison and bullshit being spewed when I wasn’t there to guard them from it. They had to grow up too fast when they were put in the position to defend their mom to the man who was supposed to protect them. They had to grow up too fast when they were told to choose between him and their step-dad (whom loves them, and they called dad). They had to grow up too fast when they were put in the position to be more mature than the asshole that the courts were forcing them to spend time with. It breaks my heart that they were ever in that position, and I wish I could have protected them from it all. But the damned judicial system thinks it knows best, and just throws a blanket rule on everyone. Thanks for that…
When all of that hell-on-earth ended, I was alone. It was me and my kids. But I was also forced into the position to provide for them on my own. So I had two jobs, which pulled me away from them more than I would have liked. And eventually, I had a new dude, and we moved in with him. And as with any new relationship, we spent a lot of time together. I NEVER ignored my kids or shuffled them off to have alone time with my boyfriend. NEVER. But it was a shift that I always worried made them sad or lonely. And then I had a new baby. They LOVE their little brother, and he finished our family puzzle. But again, new baby means that I had less time for the older two. And the oldest one likely got the least attention of them all. Fast way forward, and middle kid gets diagnosed with diabetes. Guess what happened, again? Less attention to the oldest again… he was self-sufficient and didn’t require a ton of attention. Again, my heart breaks.
Fast way forward again… and now I am going to school and kind of super busy. And to make matters worse, the last 6-12 months have been particularly trying for my relationship, and a lot of time has been spent either in tears, fighting, trying to avoid fighting, or patching things up from fighting. And my poor kids have been on the outskirts while I have been clawing my way back into the happy place that I used to be in (let me just say this; being married to an un-medicated adult with adhd is NOT easy, especially when that person has no idea that anything is wrong.. but that is for another time). And my first baby, my tall baby, my blonde baby, my sweet blue eyed boy… I fear that he got less attention than he deserved because he was older, and just did his own thing, and didn’t really demand much for attention or anything (other than his volleyball, which I NEVER missed). And my heart breaks thinking about him alone in the basement, watching tv. Even if he chose it, and even if it is normal for teenagers to hole up in their rooms… what if he didn’t want to? What if he needed me? Or wanted me? But I was too preoccupied with school or the diabetic or the youngest boy or my flailing marriage… what if he wanted me and I wasn’t there for him? What if he felt sad and lonely and I wasn’t there for him? What if he felt like he wasn’t important or a priority? Fucking heart breaking……
And now he is going to go to work, and I will see him even less. This will be his life now. I had no idea that last summer was my last whole summer with him.. going outside and watching them jump on the trampoline, or going to the park, or watching them play in the sprinkler, or watching him screw around on his skateboard, or playing with his little brother like the amazing big brother that he is…. I would have paid more attention to every detail, I would have gone to the park one more time with him, I would have hugged him tighter………. Yes I am aware that getting a job doesn’t mean he doesn’t need me anymore. But it changes things. He’s changing. He is pulling away. He is able to do most things for himself. He is like this little self-sufficient human. He needs me less. But one thing won’t change; I will NEVER need him less. I will never forget his white-blonde mohawk on his tiny little perfect shaped baby head, or the sound he made when he slept, or how scared I was the first night I had him, or the first time I fed him, or how much my heart exploded when he looked at me with those bright blue eyes the first time, or when he grabbed my finger, or his first steps, or his first word, or his first day at school, or the first time he called me mom instead of mommy, or his first volleyball game, or his first tryout, or his first girlfriend, or his first big final exam, or his first time taking a driving test… and now, his first job.
He is my first baby, my first purpose, my first real breath. I just hope he never forgets how much I love him, and how hard I always tried.
They say you never forget your first love… I absolutely won’t. My first love calls me Mom.