Peter has been in Hawaii for the past week, studying the environment with his program at MIT. He has been sending me joyful photos of jungle, ocean, volcanic ash. Obviously he is in his element and it makes me oh so happy. I just hope he comes home to New England 😉
And August and Lily made it to Toledo, despite some momentary drama the morning of their departure. It was the day with single digit temperatures and when Aug hit the highway, his car started shaking violently. Fortunately I have THE BEST MECHANIC IN THE WORLD (J & R Auto Repair in Chelmsford MA) and Aug turned around and headed straight there. John (of J & R) took one look at the car and diagnosed ice in the rims and prescribed a good spray at the carwash as the solution. John is honest, smart, kind and a bit of a mensch–he sent that kid off without charging him a dime. ❤
Of course I’m missing August already and fortunately the feeling is mutual. He sent me this text from the road: “I miss you a ton mom. The last few months were some of the best of my life.” Swoon. And then Facebook gifted me with a reminder of the backpack I received from Aug last Christmas. There is a little clear plastic sleeve for name and address and August filled it in with this precious message:
Being a mom hasn’t always been easy but it has always been the best. My three kids have taught me more than anyone or anything else and I love them to the moon and back. I take nothing for granted and am so profoundly grateful that I have had the opportunity to see them grow into adulthood.
Thank you medical research. Keep up the good work 😉
It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve got some stories to share. But first….this. I’ve finally gotten hip to the fact that my children’s preferred means of communication is text messages. And now that I have a phone where texting isn’t onerous, I drop them all a line once in a while. In fact, I’d sent quite a few messages to Peter that had gone unanswered. I figured it was simply an indication that he was quite busy but also adjusting well to life at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Texts to Mr. Peter
Well, yesterday morning I awakened to exactly the message I’ve been waiting for:
A snippet from our conversation
I immediately responded like the love-sick puppy that I am. Several texts later we agreed that I’d meet him at the Academy at 1pm. When I arrived we walked downtown for lunch, strolled along the river and then went back to his tiny room. He sat at his desk and I stretched out on his bed. We chatted some more and then, just like old times, he started his homework while I took a little nap.
All over the map and engaged in just about every variety of activity except for writing. Oops. I have this theory about getting behind. It involves activation barriers and the fact that the longer you put off something you need to do, the more daunting the task becomes. The more daunting the task, the less likely you are to tackle it. There is the temptation to just move on. However, if you are (as I am) a conscientious procrastinator, that is impossible. You become your own worst enemy and there is nothing to do but surrender.
My distractors (David, Peter, Buddy) have headed south for the last of the summer’s fishing and blue crabbing. It is just me, my lap top and a nagging sense that there are things left unsaid…now where was I?
Way back at the beginning of August, 8/1/13 in fact…the actual August (our big boy) bid us adieu. It had been a wonderful week and it is always difficult to say goodbye. However, this time was a little different. I have been quite transparent in my attempts to nudge August back to the East Coast. And….I am happy to report that it just could happen. It’s been ten years since he moved to Colorado and my eldest son is not one to embrace change. So we are exploring this possibility in baby steps. But, I remain ever hopeful. And perhaps unreasonably excited.
Photo by Sadie Dayton
Of course, even as I cross my fingers that one child may be moving back home, I am preparing for the departure of another. Master Peter Duff heads off to boarding school in a week. Every time I think about it my breath catches and my heart seems to skip a beat. After almost twenty nine years of hands-on mothering, this is not going to be easy.
Peter is just so much fun to be with. And I shall miss our daily repartee. The other day we were talking about hair. I finally found the perfect cut for me—I was sitting in the chair at Super Cuts, and my favorite stylist Tiffany had the scissors poised above my head. What to do? I glanced at the eight year old boy in the chair to my left, and decided I wanted my hair to look just like his. So, a little longer on top, and shaved to 3/4 ” on the back and sides. I like it. However, I digress. I had hoped that Peter would submit to Tiffany’s ministrations as well. However, he was still on the fence about whether or not he would simply shave all his hair off. I protested rather strongly (which, psychologically speaking, is probably the worst thing I could do. Mom doesn’t want me to do it? Decided!) Anyway, my effort to influence his decision went like this: “Get a trim and you are a handsome boy with great hair. Shave it all off and you look like a skinhead.” Alas, subtlety is not my style. Peter claimed my observation was ‘racist’ and Tiffany didn’t touch a hair on his head. Yet.