Susan's Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ha B.B.

Habibi, ya nour el ain
My darling, glow in my eyes
–Amr Diab

Habibi (Click it and get your sound on and your mind open. This one will make you get up and dance.) is one of my secret nicknames for Ben, whose initials are “BB.” It sounds like BB and it means “beloved” in Arabic. I would never, ever tell him this because he hates all things sentimental, or pretends and acts very consistently that he does, so either way I can’t. I suspect it is kind of an act. I sang some of it today and he said, “Mom, don’t you know that there are like one million people in the world who hate that song?”

I said, “Really? One million?”

“Well, at least one.” Beast!

I think Ben needs to feel tough because he’s the youngest by far in this family and because he is just “average” size for his age. His brothers were always among the tallest in their classes. Where does Ben’s smallness come from? I guess Ned’s mom is short and my sister is “petite,” which to me means “small-boned and below 5’3”. So there is some precedent.

I have been very sensitive to B’s changes because I see now that all three of my boys are really, truly growing up. There is less and less of me that they need. And I just kind of fill up and overflow and then I don’t know what to do with it. These days it goes into my running and my writing. But I never thought this time in my life would really come. Nat is a moody, distant teenager. Max is a moody, distant teenager. Ben is a busy, vivacious nine-year-old. No one wants to do anything with Ned and me anymore. Not even bake. I cried on Sunday when Nat refused to bake with me, and then he relented. So he’s a good Jewish boy, who responds well to guilt trips!

But seriously, I am working hard on the concept of Letting Go, but it is one that has so far eluded me. I still think about my best friend from high school and how I would love to see her again. I still think about my first real boyfriend, when I was 13 and he was 16, a Cape Cod romance. I still remember boyish Ned, as if it were yesterday. And my babies…! They were the cutest little boys imaginable. When I see new babies these days, I just get all shaky. I can’t believe how exquisite they are, and how much more I appreciate their loveliness, now that I’m — well — not in the market anymore. (Really it’s Ned who is not. I’d have another in a second. Or so I think.)

Yesterday B came in my room while I was reading and he said, “So Mom, when I go off to college, what’s going to happen to all the Legos on my floor?” His voice broke on the word “floor.” He looked down, so that I could not see all the emotion in his face.

“Well, Benj,” I said (OH LITTLE B, LET ME KISS YOU, I thought), “I suppose I’ll just keep them in their drawers or out on the floor for when you come home on visits, right? Why would I do anything with them?” Why indeed? Who needs a floor, anyway?

He dashed from my room, saying, “Yup.” All better.

I still cling to it like a leech, as Bruce Springsteen would say.

5 comments

See? your little toughie isn’t so tough after all. By the way, did you want to be seen with your parents when you were a teenager? 🙂

— added by gettingthere on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Gawd I know that feeling..not the Letting Go one…but the baby thing. I know I am going to have one more one of these days, before I’m too old. (I’m 33.) I just got to hold my friend’s (almost) 2 month old today. I miss the grunts and sighs so much. She got less than 2 hours sleep last night and still had me over for mushroom and bleu cheese pasta that she made. She even busted out espresso. Well, I can see the Letting Go in my 2 year old already. It comes and goes in waves, I guess. But that is so dang sweet, Little B. I think he is going to learn to love you the way you need when he gets older. -Tina G.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 10:45 pm

My baby is 6 years old today – and I’m blown away by his gifts – mostly his gift for expression. Thomas tries to be stern-faced, but it’s so delicious went his little scowl melts into giggles.

Thomas looooves his brother, and endeavors to teach him things. “No, Jared, like this” Thomas congratulates Jared when he spells words – S-T-O-P, J-U-M-A-N-J-I. My youngest is also very skilled in his diversionary tactics, giving my oldest time to score whatever booty is available in the kitchen. Even if it’s conspiritorial, I love it when they work together.

I don’t worry about them not needing me, I’m 41 and still need my mom.

— added by Lisa on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 10:38 am

Yes . . . they do grow up and lose interest in us don’t they. And after all that work!

Hope to see you next Thursday.

Woof.

— added by John Elder Robison on Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 7:35 am

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— added by Anonymous on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm

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