Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gabriel, My Wayward Son.



Our feet shuffled across the back deck making soft whispers that betrayed our position to the feral animals that roamed the night. I stepped onto the grass and led him into the middle of our yard. The earth was cool and soft, beaten by the springs fevered rains and our toes sunk into it's muddy constitution. I shook out a blanket that had been picked specifically for this event and handed my son a pillow. We sat upon the ripped and tattered sheet; it's purpose now was to aid in the ease of discovery, and I smiled at the thought that reincarnation is available for all things. Uncurling my body I laid upon the thin fabric that was already failing in it's duty to keep us dry. My son followed suit, his warm and familiar frame, sprawled shoulder to shoulder next to mine.

His eyes followed my steady hand as I traced the constellations that lay before us; my finger the aspiring artist, my words a brilliant and colorful text, kept him fully engaged and deeply enthralled. His interest never faltered and he was enamoured by every new revelation. We wished upon the meteors that streaked through the sky and watched in wonder as satellites etched a path across the nights inky backdrop. Both of us were enveloped in rapturous awe of the universe and all the possibility it possessed; we held each other's hands and refused to let go - mother and son connected once more.

The daydream was beautiful and flawless.

I lounged languorously across my pale, microfiber couch, tracing the hand prints that marred it's stain "resistant" fabric. Four is a hard age for a mother to appreciate, I needed to make it mine, to love its inquisitive nature if only for a night. My fantasy of star gazing with my oldest child had become too good to ignore. I had a fleeting thought that his age might not be mature enough to appreciate such a task, but I pushed the whispered warnings from my mind. My bold imaginings allowed no room for doubt; so when I tiptoed into his room and roused him from sleep I was surprised to discover that my son was less than enthusiastic about my plan...

"It's a surprise. Just for us. Come on buddy - it'll be fun"

He looked at me as though I had grown another head.

"Can I have a new Optimus Prime instead?"

I tried to explain the eloquent nature of my plot. I tried to entice him with the knowledge that it was a secret rendezvous between us and us alone. Still he pleaded..."Maybe a new Bumblebee?"

His green eyes were solemn and resolute in their request and nothing else would do. A surprise just wasn't a surprise without a Transformer...

"Never mind buddy, just go back to sleep" I whispered. I shut the door behind me and patiently waited for him to shout out, "Mommy!" When no such call came I balked at the implications...Did he just ditch me for sleep?

I slunk away from his room feeling dejected and defeated and totally bewildered. My confusion soon melted away, however, as I realized that Gabriel is a leader, he will never follow anyone, not even his own mother. Besides, I thought, he is only four.

Who knows maybe if I'm lucky, one night when we're both a little older, he'll rouse me from sleep and insist that we go stargazing.









Carry on my wayward son/There'll be peace when you are done/Lay your weary head to rest/Don't you cry no more.
    -Kansas

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

43 comments:

Delilah Love said...

My 4 year old would have done the same thing. Once he's asleep, there is no rousing him for anything. And my heart would have hurt just a little bit too.

Shan said...

You're right, 4 is a hard age to come to terms with. They are both big and little. I took my son stargazing at the beach at this age. He got overwhelmed and cried and said there were just too many stars.

Jennifer Worrell said...

What a sweet story!He'll appreciate star-gazing one day--probably when you're bone tired...I really enjoyed this!

Stephanie B. @B4Steph said...

I loved the opening. My finger the aspiring artist... Sweet story of your wish to share these events. Be careful, though, it may not be long before its you who want to stay asleep, and he who wants to trace the stars. :D

Your Doctor's Wife said...

Ditto on Stephanie's remark... our teens tuck me into bed nowadays. Sad, but very true.

carrie said...

LOL. I do hope I can one day share the sky with him. My father and I used to stare at it togehter through a neighbours telescope. It was probably the best memories I have with my dad. So I hope I can do the same for my boy!

Gia said...

I'm glad you saw an upside to his behavior, and weren't just disappointed that he was hard to wake

Jack said...

When I was little my family used to go camping in the mountains. I have a lot of fond memories of star gazing.

But what comes to mind now is a trip we took a few years back. I was standing outside looking at the moon and my mother came up next to me and asked me when my hands got to be so big.

I laughed and asked when hers got to be so small. I am almost a full foot taller than she is now. She looked at me and smiled.

carrie said...

Aww such a beautiful story jack. Thats really what I want for my kids. To have awesome memories like that! Even when they are grown.

Treading Water in the Kiddie Pool said...

This was sweet. We have the same problem. I have tried time and time again to explain that "surprise" doesn't always mean a physical object, sometimes it can mean an unexpected person or event. He's six and still hasn't grasped the concept.

Pish Posh said...

I love that you quoted Kansas :)

Beautifully written!! And yes, he will one day and probably for the rest of his life, want to look out at the stars with you. I do with my folks :) Just takes time.

carrie said...

Good. I'm glad that one day he will come around and enjoy stargazing. Because really...he owes me...you know how many times I've played Transformers with him!

:s

Tara Pohlkotte said...

love, love this. one day you'll hold hands under those stars...and if for some reason you don't? he'll lead you somewhere even more perfect for the two of you.

carrie said...

AAAWWWW thanks Tara :')

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

It sounds like you are a raising a strong, confident, lovely child who knows his own mind :) even if that sometimes leads him to transformers instead of stars.

Great post!

Dawn Beronilla said...

What a beautiful wish for you both!
My stepson was the same at 4, and now at 6 he is more into things that don't involve Transformers (or IronMan or Spidey... you know what I mean. Haha.), and is showing a real interest in photography and other more "grown up" things.
I am very confident that one day you will get to live your daydream. :-)

Lisa Nolan said...

Such a lovely post. (If my hubby woke me in the middle of the night for star gazing I'd think he was high on who-knows-what! Kind-a sad, huh.) I know your sky adventure will happen! When he turns five or six and children begin to question and wonder about the world around them, including the stars, planets, and the universe! Maybe get him some books from the library to peek his interest, then plan ahead (youngsters like to know what's coming, not big on surprises yet!). OK, no more teacher tips! And thanks for commenting on my blog.

Vanessa said...

For some reason I always felt the need to shower my children with "educational" gifts. They never took the same as the fun gifts from gramma's and uncles.

We have our star gazing moments in the car while driving for some reason. I think because nobody can bail? My mom and I used to have them while doing dishes -- her washing, me drying. The star gazing moments come, they really do.

carrie said...

I so look forward to them. Perhaps I'll purchase a telescope and set up the tent for a night of backyard fun!

THE SARCASM GODDESS said...

Don't feel too bad. It's really hard to compete with a transformer.

LemonadeLady said...

I agree ... it's hard to compete with a transformer and also I think I've learned that the more I plan/expect events with my kids the more I become disappointed, sometimes it's just easier to let them lead :)

carrie said...

I hate Optimus Prime.

kisatrtle said...

This is beautiful and goodness he is cute!

carrie said...

Thank you kisaturtle. I made him myself...well not completely by myself...I guess his father helped. A bit. Like one tiny sperm, which when you take into account all I did is a ridiculously small contribution.

dalrie doll@gmail.com said...

hi carrie,what lucky kids having a mother who helps them appreciate our universe,they will all gain so much insight into there lives from your writings.i am blown away everytime i read one of your blogs.you are very special,and have been given a rare gift.love you granny

carrie said...

Ahhh Granny. I love you too! I swear you are my biggest fan! <3

xoxoxoxo

Kathy Kramer said...

This was beautifully written. I love your descriptions.

carrie said...

Thanks Kathy that means a lot. I tried something different this week. I'm glad it wasn't a complete flop lol.

Vivian said...

This reminds me of the time that we all went outside to look at a comet. We were all so excited because we got a clear look at it. We were all oohing and aahing. My youngest looked at it and said with disappointment, "What is the big deal, it's just a star with a tail on it."

Amanda said...

I've been there before! My almost four year old loves looking at starts (she gets it from her father,) but there are so many times when I get so excited about things and she remains... underwhelmed. The joys of parenting ;-)

smushyfacebaby.com said...

Four: an age I don't quite know how I'm going to handle. But I love the beauty and truth of this. Plus, my husband and I were just talking about how that Kansas song is one of the great, great classics. Perfect.

carrie said...

four is definitely a difficult age. Stuck still between being my baby and wanting to be a big boy. Hes just on the cusps of five and being a "kid"...Gawd that's terrifying. :( Where does the time go?!

Kristin said...

I love this wonderful collection of moments. Really fantastic!

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

My 4 yo keeps me on my toes, but I haven't thought to do this with him either. Which is a shame. I want to watch stars with him too. Beautiful post, Erin

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

Cheers to stargazing and to telling these stories. Happy to have made my way here.

Tracy @ Scribblesaurus said...

My son is 4 in August and I swear he's 'prepping' me for it. This morning he told me I am uninvited to his preschool BBQ day tomorrow. I'm sure he'll change his mind by this afternoon, but his rejection still stung! I hope you get your stargazing in soon :)

carrie said...

@ Kristin - Thank you so much for the compliment :)

@Sisterhood, Erin - No time like the present - well unless it's raining.

@ Aidan - I'm glad you found me! And I hope you enjoy your next stargazing session! :)

@Tracy - It's so sad when they decide they dont need us anymore. I hope your son changes his mind! :)

Kimberly Speranza said...

This is simply beautiful. Caused me to think of my 13 year old who now has to be coaxed out of her room if I want to see her...unless she needs a ride (it's her age, she's a very sweet person). Every once in a while she says, "Mom, I really want us to have like an entire weekend together." Your words have inspired me to make that happen. Thank you,.

Adrienne said...

I LOVE this! You are a fantastic mama! Waking up in the middle of the night for that. Bummer he didn't join you. I hope he can read this when he's older. It will mean so much.

the other night we woke up at 3:45am to watch a rocket go up. I SO did NOT want to get out of bed, but we did, and I'm so glad we did. :)

carrie said...

Aww thanks guys! And a rocket! sounds so fun!

Jackie said...

Oh 4! I know it well, as my own 4 yo is a ball of wonder but everything is on her own terms. Such a lovely piece!

Lynnjefferson said...

Wonderful as always little girl. Your kids are so lucky to have such an amazing momma!

carrie said...

@Jackie- yes four can be a challenge lol. But it is also kinda fun because they are finally noticing the world around them.

@Mom- thanks mom...lol