Written June, 2014. Ready to share~
To my left is a wax mold of my son’s hand, done on his birthday when he was just turning 8, ten years ago. I touch it, and hold it in my hand. It is not his hand, yet, exactly the mold of his eight-year-old hand, and it sure takes me back. Some souvenirs and items saved are simply an open door to the past, to some wonderful memories a parent would love to revisit. Are they worth remembering? You bet!
In ode to all the current movies focused on time travel, such as the latest X-men movie and the latest Tom Cruise movie (I didn’t even remember the name of it, just knew it as the latest Tom Cruise movie with a heavy sci-fi influence and part of his huge pattern, in which he, of course, wins the audience over despite his usual cockiness), which I found out is called “Edge of Tomorrow” when I bought the ticket. Sorry for the run-on…..it’s just coincidental that there are so many excellent time travel movies right now, when my son’s high school years have ended and that long-awaited graduation has occurred, and he is spending a summer growing as a human being far away from me. The passage of time has confounded me. All of which has prompted me to think back, think forward, just think, of my son and the years that have flown past us.
He is away right now, for the summer or longer, and so, I have time to do this and do it fondly. There are no teenage mood swings in the house at the moment. I have had time to do things I wanted to do for a while but had put off due to concern about getting him places or keeping him fed. Things like trying hot yoga, doing regular volunteering, and getting out late for dancing one night.
But I still miss him, I miss the boy he was, the moody teen he has been, and the man he is becoming. Kids don’t get why we like to keep all these souvenirs of their baby days, their toddler years, their youth. I think I have learned that we do this because it all flies by so quickly. So I hold this wax hand replica and trace the details. The chubby fingers, bigger than mine but shorter, the meaty hand that reminds one of the paws of a puppy that just hasn’t grown into them yet, but is destined to grow much bigger and taller, leaving its puppyhood behind. I recall those years so well. He was getting taller, but not really tall for his age, just average. Yet he’d had a growth spurt and was all legs and skinny arms. Not much fat on him at all, yet he still had those adorable chubby cheeks. Some may call that an awkward stage, as it was, but it was so adorable to me!
Funny enough, one of his favorite movies that he loved to watch and rewatch, sometimes countless times in a week or even a day, was Back to the Future, from age 7 to 10. He loved the concept of time travel and really had an imagination for the same kinds of movies that sparked my interest! This brings me to my next open door item, found while cleaning up his room to find old un-needed items for a yard sale. Boy, this takes me back, to a different kid, when we lived in a different house. I was even a different person then. It is a once blank journal, which he undertook to fill with chapters and chapters of an amazing, you guessed it, time travel book! Being a teacher of English whose hobby is writing, you can imagine how this pleased me! It is titled “The Book’s Been Under the Chair for a Long Time!” It stars Tom and Huck, who happen to find a time machine and go back to World War II (one of Austen’s favorite eras) and forward to 2007. He wrote a start date of 2003, going up to 3003. He even used dialogue, and he gave every chapter a name. Extra points! In the front, he wrote: “Who does this book belong to?” and wrote my name. Did he perhaps know I would always want to keep it? He got up to Chapter 21 (short chapters) and, wouldn’t you know it, the book has now been under something or stashed away in the back of his closet “for a very long time!” My guess is at age 10 or 11, when puberty started setting in. And isn’t that how it goes? We start to consider old hobbies or goals to be childish and no longer useful to us. We hide them away, in exchange for video games (most boys I know), facebook (these days) , or trips to the mall (that was the young me)….
I don’t know if he would understand how much it meant to me to find this. I am so proud of him for so many things. He has quite an interest in conspiracy theories and could write on that topic. He excelled in Senior English and probably wrote great things I won’t see. I am proud of his word skill and where it may take him. I look back, and I am proud to say it was always there. I hope that, upon his return home, whether it be for a temporary or extended amount of time, that he will think back on the memory of this undertaking fondly, and understand how it warms my spirit to look through the pages. Perhaps it will take him back as well, warming his spirit with glimpses of a child with confidence and hope. I plan to encourage him to continue the story!
Shared today at “Meet and Greet,” http://dreambigdreamoften.co