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Monday, May 30, 2016

Singing-in-the-car-together moments

I've been feeling things deeply these days. Maybe it's an marker of a transition of seasons of life or something. Whatever it is, it's kinda like my emotions are laced with caffeine.
I pick up The Man Child from school most days. Yeah, he's 17 years old, will be a senior in high school, has a driver's license and access to a car but doesn't drive, so we still shuttle him to school daily. He 6'3" tall and is built more like a man than a child and has the voice to go with it. He crumples his body to fit in the front seat of my car. And I reflect about how much more time there is with him, how much more time to parent and how much influence we actually have. I'm painfully aware that those days are short now.

I play the music. Pandora. If he puts in his ear buds, suddenly I'm not a part of his world anymore. I pretend I'm hip and hum the lyrics of the pop music I know quietly under my breath. Then gradually sing louder with the verses I do know. Then it happens. I realize The Man Child is doing the same! And soon we're singing in the car together, reverting more to mumbles on the verses we don't know. It's mana from heaven! Mama mana! His voice is so low. I'm a natural alto, and he sings bass in the school choir. Sometimes we even harmonize. And suddenly I'm startled with this feeling of complete joy in this very singular moment and just having my son's company. And then a realization of how few of these moments are left. I felt a tear roll down my face, and I hoped he didn't notice because I know he'd stop singing and the moment would end if he did. We've already had a child leave the nest, felt the never-ending sadness of the empty hole it leaves. I know that hole will be torn even larger when The Man Child leaves someday... someday too soon for me. I don't want to miss him already when he's still here. I want to savor these moments, these here and now, singing-in-the-car-together moments while I still have them. And yet, I feel myself missing him already. I love his company so dearly. He's compassionate and quirky, except when he's not. He's a guy's guy and so handsome. He's that stud in high school that I was never brave enough to talk to. Like our other bigs, he's fiercely independent and one that's already testing out his wings. I tell him all the time, You're one of my favorite people, and I want him to know how earnestly I mean these words. He really is.

But like I said, I don't want to think of him leaving just yet. I just want to savor his company here and now. So I ignore that tear, turn up the volume and start singing louder! And he does too! And I'm pretty sure it was the best 12 minute car ride of my life.

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