Cafe du Monde, New Orleans, LA 2013. Copyright Beabe Thompson 2014, All rights reserved.
One of the things mothers have to get over early in their children’s lives is the presence of “the significant other.” The first one in Eldest’s life was in kindergarten when he was officially engaged to a classmate. They were dead serious. He’s now 22, and if you ask him her name, he’ll look at you as if you’d started speaking in tongues.
The second for him came in high school when a fellow classmate decided he was hers, and started coming over for choir show rehearsal. I kid you not. He did eventually take her to Homecoming, buying her a Texas”double” mum instead of a triple. Good move since the gigantic corsage was larger than she was at the time. When they broke up, she would stand across the street, staring at the house, crying. Mystifying and sobering.
His last high school girlfriend is someone still dear to my heart, and the most amazing young woman. They’re no longer together, but I still love her dearly, and her parents remain good friends. If I could’ve adopted her, I would have but instead hired her at my now defunct toy store.
I liked the next girl, especially since she was artistic and funny, creative, and seemed good for him. Sad day when that ended, at least for me.
The current girlfriend has been his for months now, and despite the fact she’s a native of Houston, I’ve never had the privilege of meeting her. They both live in Austin, a few hours away, studying at a university there. Perhaps my eldest is ashamed of me, afraid I’ll embarrass him, or God knows what. I did tell him that perhaps he was ashamed of me, and that’s why I hadn’t met her. He did say no to that, but perhaps there is a kernel of truth there for sure. Maybe it’s the mayhem of my housekeeping. Know knows?
Having a twenty-plus son means letting got of a lot of things parental, but there remains a thread that pulls and pains at times. Who knows if I’ll ever meet her? For whatever reason, he’s chosen to not bring her home, I have to respect it and keep going. Parenting grown-ups really is painful at times, and no one knows that better than a mother, except a father.
So here’s to the parents out there who remain in the dark, hoping for the best, keeping cheerful, not resentful, respectful, not guilt inducing. I raise my glass of ice tea to you. Hopefully, our children picked a delightful person we’ll eventually get to meet.