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3:22 p.m. - 2012-05-30
On the cusp of 15

I can't see the top of Wolf's head anymore. When we stand next to each other the top of his head is above my line of sight.

This is about the dumbest thing I've said here and I've said plenty of dumb things, but this not seeing the top of Wolf's head? I hate it. I hate it and it hurts.

I know, I know I'm supposed to be all yippy-skippy about Wolf rounding the clubhouse turn toward his man height. Sure, moms are allowed a teary sniffle, "Oh, my son is becoming a man!" Then we're supposed to get a grip and deal with this horrible business of our children's incipient adulthood. Be all proud and happy and relieved. But I'm not. I hate it and I want it to stop. I want him to stop. I want shorter than me, sweet faced, 14 year old Wolf forever.

I don't remember being grieved like this with Alex. Things were different then. I was a different person. Alex had a different mom. Everything was different during that stage with Alex. We lived in the big house and it was packed to the gunnels with stuff and exchange students and we had 17 cats and life was noisy all the time. My crappy marriage was already falling apart even though it took another six years before we called it quits. Wolf was a toddler and an unholy terror he was too. When I think back to that time all I remember is a blurry smear of excruciating tension, frantic racing around and bone-weary exhaustion. So maybe I was heart-sore over Alex turning into a man, but honestly? If I thought about it at all I was probably just relieved that soon there'd be one less thing on my list. That endless list of things to mind and tend and take care of.

"Okay, you! Yeah you, the Serbian kid! Stop bothering the German kid. What? How many kittens did she have? In the piano? Which piano? The baby grand, of course. Okay, there's a nesting box on the side porch, go get it and put the kittens in it and leave it under the piano, Dolly will feel safer there. No, Michael, I don't know where you left your reticulating saw. Would somebody answer the phone, please? What was that noise? Goddamnit, where's Wolf? Who was supposed to be watching Wolf? Jesus, Michael, Tool Town is open until 8:30 and NO! I don't remember their phone number. Wolf, you are covered in raw egg again, great. German kid #1, go wipe up the broken eggs in the kitchen while I change the baby. Oh, Alex, hi! Wait, are you taller than me? You are, aren't you? And when did you grow that beard? Yeah, I like it, it looks good on you. Band rehearsal, sure, I'll drop you off. Somebody answer the phone! German kid #2, please put Wolf in his snowsuit and take him out to the car, yes? Thanks. For fuck's sake, Michael, I'm going to the high school and it's not anywhere near Tool Town, go yourself. GAH! Okay, fine, I'll pick up the saw after I take Alex to rehearsal. Serbian kid, I'm telling you for the last time you may NOT eat all the M&Ms. Go help German kid #1 clean up the eggs. Alex, right, you're wanting a ride to the school. Hey, I like the beard. Huh? I said that already? Sorry. Are the kittens still in the piano? What do you mean 'Patches is already using the nesting box'? More kittens? Fabulous. Would somebody please answer the phone? Right. Band practice. Is the baby in the car?"

And that's what life was like when Alex was the age Wolf is now.

These days my life is quiet. I adore my new husband. We have two cats and one dog and none of them can breed. My little 6 room house is tidy and everyone who lives in it speaks English. And the egg smashing unholy terror is now a terrific kid with great manners, gorgeous sea-green eyes and the fricken audacity to be too tall for his old mom to deal with in any kind of sane or realistic way.

This time around there's no noise, no distractions, no overwhelming pain and constant sorrow to cloud my mind and numb my feelings. This child, this formerly hellish, exhausting, frustrating, guilt-inducing, smasher and ruiner of all my precious things, this late-in-life game changer of a son is suddenly too tall to see the top of his head. Another inch and he will look me dead in the eye straight on.

Is this allowed? Is it legal? Is this the slightest bit fair?

I don't think so.

I'm almost out of time. It's almost over. And I don't want it to be. Goddamn, I don't want it to be.


Soppy, soggy, momsy, sad, and scared, ~LA

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