Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend Alone

I have the weekend to spend with my son Zachary. Jeanine took the other two boys to a family event out in Indianapolis. Zachary and I get to have some special alone time.

I forget sometimes, what a great sense of humor he has. Too often Ben and Jake are fighting with each other, vying for center stage, and Zachary, such a middle child, stands clear.

A very smart middle child.

Last night, after his baseball game, he asked if we could get Burger King for dinner. This is not a meal I ever allow for dinner- ever- but since it was the two of us and 8:30pm, I said okay.

Why not.

When we got back to the house, he asked if he could call his brothers. When he got them on the phone, I heard him say, Yeah, Mom has me doing all these chores and stuff. It’s a big drag.

He paused for a moment and then said,

Yeah, right. We’re watching TV and eating Burger King for dinner.

A big smile crossed his face. I watched him eat up the yells from his brother Ben on the other end of the conversation. Clearly Ben could not believe that I, evil rule enforcer mother, would ever let anyone do that.

I did.

Partly because I knew if I said no, I’ll make something at home, he would have shrugged and said okay. He’s easy going, for the most part although a little stubborn at times, he doesn’t push back unless it’s important to him.

But the transfats feast happened because I know he so often stays quiet when he doesn’t want to. He sacrifices a great deal at times to try and keep peace between his brothers. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him not to give up his voice- because I do, often- it’s his nature. He’s a sweet kid.

When I asked him if he wanted to go to Indianapolis with his brothers or hang out with me, he jumped at the chance to be alone. He loves his family out there- as do I- but the two of us both love our quiet time, too. For me, it’s about over stimulation- big crowds are exhausting whether it’s family or going to the grocery store before a holiday weekend. For Zachary, it’s the chance to be the center of the world without raising his voice.

When the boys all have the ‘where I’m going to live when I grow up’ conversation, Zachary always says, somewhere warm, far away.

The other two have the misguided notion they can live at home forever, minus a brief break to go to college. I smile and think, not a chance.

Can I come visit? I ask Zachary.

Sure, he nods agreeably but adds, you might have to stay in a hotel.

I nod. It’s okay. I might want to stay in a hotel.

We press fists in agreement.

I understand he’s saying he wants his own space, his own world and complete control over it. I appreciate deeply his understanding of himself.

This weekend? Zachary is the center of the world. I’m sure he’ll get me to laugh out loud, go to the ice cream shop, and order unhealthy food for dinner more than once.

I can’t wait.


Blogger Chuck Tanowitz said...

This is one of the sweetest things I've read in a while.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Great post! Very sweet story.

5:12 PM  
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