Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby Boy

Yes, again it has been a very long time since I wrote. October was a very long month. I was intending to only work my yearly Fright Fest job doing makeup out at Six Flags, but things did not go quite as planned. I ended up needing to have a surgical biopsy done which meant that I needed to keep my Starbucks job and insurance. That complication led to me working two jobs; it was a pretty exhausting run. Then in the midst of that I had surgery to have lymph node removed and biopsied. Praise God, the lymph node ended up not being cancerous. Oddly enough, it was filled with blue black tattoo pigment. I didn't even know that was possible. Google it if you are skeptical. I was and I did and it does happen. It is not harmful; it just mimics cancer b/c it causes a very suspicious looking calcification. It was a day surgery which I thought I would quickly recover from, but, as it turned out, now three weeks later, it still hurts. The combination of the above really kind of kept me in survival mode leaving no time to blog. Not that I needed all that as an excuse b/c sometimes I go longer for no good reason. This post, though, has been rolling around in my mind for literally 3 or 4 weeks.

I love working Fright Fest. It is my favorite job of the year. I begin to get excited about July knowing that as we head into fall we will begin planning for the season to begin. I have so much fun working Fright Fest. There are a lot of reason for this. I love Halloween. I love zombies and gore. I love the creativity I get to exhibit making different characters and wounds. Most of all, though, I love the kids and people I get to work with. I become very attached to them over the month of October. However, I realized coming home the second weekend of Fright Fest that I wasn't having nearly as much fun as I usually do. I began to think and wonder, "what is going on with me?" "Why is this just not as fun as it usually is?" I have had to work Fright Fest and another job before, so that wasn't it. As I thought about it and analyzed myself, it hit me what it was. My son, Stephen, had not been coming out. He was what was missing. He made Fright Fest fun for me. I didn't even realize how much joy he brought to the job. It wasn't until he wasn't around that I realized that he was a major part of what Fright Fest was to me. Fright Fest was, "our thing". Because I home schooled him for 2 and half years, he was basically with me every day around the clock for those almost 3 years. We would begin to get excited together and count down the months prior to Fright Fest starting. As it would get closer the excitement would build and even make it hard for him to focus on school. He would stop about every 5 minutes to ask about something or talk about some aspect of the upcoming season. Then it would start and we would begin planning and getting ready every Thursday. We would try to get ahead on school so that Fridays work would be light. We would get up on Friday morning and start packing and prepare to leave. We would drive together in the car, most of the time just him and me. We would listen to music really loud and drive the 45 minute drive into Arlington. The weekend would be exhausting and exhilarating. Friday, Saturday and Sunday I would do makeup and he would watch and wait for time to go to the haunted house to scare the patrons. He would scare from open to close with no break; he would often go without eating all day long and he did all this for free (no pay, just for the joy of doing it). He would come even if he was sick; he never wanted to miss a moment of it. So, it was Stephen; he made Fright Fest so much fun; his excitement was contagious. It was not the same without him.

Over the last few weeks being at work at Fright Fest and especially driving home, I would think about how much I was missing Stephen being with me. Everyone else missed him as well. He is such a fun and energetic force to be around. I began to realize that I was grieving over the loss of that experience. I would sometimes come close to crying as I realize that my little boy is very quickly growing up. He is becoming more independent and needing me less. This year it has really hit me that the time we get to spend with our children is so short. It is over before we know it. They will always be our children, but it changes. When your in the middle of the day to day living, day to day fun, day to day fighting, you think it will last forever. It did not occur to me last year to cling to those moments with Stephen; I did not take time to relish the energy and excitement that we had together. When it ended, I just thought, "we'll do this again next year." last year was really the last year for that. I never get to go back to that. I have the memories, but that season will never be again. People always told me to cherish those moments you get, b/c they are gone before you know it, but I didn't believe them. Now I get to be the one telling people who won't listen to beware b/c in a flash it is over. This year I went from spending every day with Stephen (more time than I thought I really wanted to spend with him) to him going back to school, not attending Fright Fest with me, and pretty much pulling away from me very quickly. He doesn't have much time for me and for the most part finds me to be pretty annoying. I just figured he would always be my little boy. I realize now that I did not stop nearly enough to "nuggle" with him when he asked. He won't even hug me right now. There has always been so many other things I needed to do when the kids were wanting my attention. Those things seem so stupid and unimportant now.

Now, I am absolutely stupid about getting his attention. If I have a moment that he will give me the time of day I will do almost anything from enduring wrestling and arm punching to listening to any and every song that he wants to share with me. If he stops to tell me something or says hey listen to this song mom, I am there b/c I know that those moments will continue to become less and less at least for the next couple years. His latest obsession is Kid Cudi so guess who is newly a fan of Kid Cudi. I don't always appreciate the language, but I do appreciate the opportunity to share something with my son. Stephen also introduced me to T.I. (talk about language). When I hear those songs, though, they remind me of the moments I get to share with Stephen.

Maybe what I really want to share with everyone is take the moments when you can get them. There are so many more when they are young, but remember they don't last forever. Grab up every moment they will give you. When they get older, you may have to share moments in a way different than you may want to or think about. I may not appreciate all the music Stephen appreciates, but if I just forbid it then he will listen to it elsewhere without me. At least if we are listening to it together, we get to share it and I have to opportunity to talk to him about it and maybe give him some perspective on what is being talked about. Just remember there comes a time that you don't get as much control over the moments; you can either try to be picky and miss moments or you can relax a bit and have more moments; they may be different moments than you would choose, but they will be moments none-the-less.

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