Friday, August 22, 2014

fleeting...


Ellen DeGeneres


Leave it to Ellen to sum up our days lately, with a keen sense of humor.  













People often ask, "So how are the boys doing?'

Sometimes, the answers of "they're fine," truly suffice.  Other times the answers smack you in the head and you wonder why you didn't see it all along.

It started with the simple line uttered by the school day photographer...

 When she went to take Nolan's  8th grade school photo, he was out of the range of their camera.  While there were footprints for the kids to place their feet in to align with the camera, Nolan had to step outside of the feet, way outside of the box, as he simply didn't fit.


He stands eye to eye with his father.  We haven't dared compare more officially- Nolan might be a tad taller already.


"Are you sure he doesn't belong in high school?"  The young woman jokes.  Nolan just grins for a second than its back to his sober face for the pic.  He doesn't really want to be in these pictures.  

But she is more astute than she knows.  Nolan has faced a long period of time now, of finding where he fits.  In so many ways, not visible to most, our boys have had to adjust to so much.

I can so relate to that struggle.   I did start high school when I was 14.  My own Mom was busy at work, and I had to register myself.  I had to make sure I had everything I needed from gym clothes, to school clothes, to supplies, to everything that went with it.  I rode my bike everywhere I needed to go, to the "Holiday Mall," to find jeans at "Stevensons", and make up at Alco, or if you were really lucky, Merle Norman.  I had to maneuver around all the hours I babysat in the summer earning money to pay for everything.  The weight of it all felt enormous.

Nolan's different in that, mostly, he still has me at home to help.   Even though he pushes away, more than he seeks out, my help.  And I have to remind myself, its normal for him to be that way.

He has taken his first job, too.  He is working at a hockey camp, and loves being with younger kids, while still receiving coaching from those he works with.  He is also committed to his training regimen, and often goes to the rink, by himself, looking to keep his skating sharp.  

But despite a full day, he doesn't stay still at home for long.  Adventure beckons him, and he is off to find one of his buddies, and a place to fit, outside of the comfort of home. 

Picture after picture shows up in his private instagram feed.  The one account for some of his friends, and me, his mom.  The mom, who loves it when a photo pops up of him tubing in DL with his friends- the three of them smiling so huge- there's those dimples after all.  Or when he gets invited to spend a weekend up by Duluth, and does every boy-loving thing in rapid-fire order.  The times a friend picks him up in his car, and they go for a protein shake. Or the nights he goes cat fishing with another good buddy, and he proudly shows the fish he's landed.

Its difficult when your mom has cancer, to be able to invite your friends over.  We long to add on a teenage-friendly space on the back of our house.  One in which the boys don't have to make their friends face how their mom may be looking and feeling. But until we figure that out, he has been ousted out of the family space in the basement, in lieu of Rick's office.  His tiny bedroom, his only refuge.

So the boy who didn't like leaving the house at one point, adjusts to going out to be with his friends these days.  I thinks its important that he has a change of scenery, the freedom to be a teenager, to get away from the cancer and its chronic treatment that limit what I can do, and therefore what he can do. It’s all  I can give him and I hope it reassures him. All shall be well.

My mother's heart thumps with joy each time he is asked to go.  Each day he is doing "normal," teenage things.  Each day, he can escape the reality of his mom, and her life lived with one foot firmly entrenched in Cancer world, despite how "normal" she looks.

For both the boys, I want them to be with friends old and new, having fun and trying new things. There are so many physical activities I can no longer do with them. Yet we look forward to many new things coming their way- achievements, laughs, and experiences- a world of moments to live full.

Just a few nights ago.  Nolan asked if I could go with him out for Chinese food.  We had just the gift card for it.  Just him, just me.  Instead of going to play baseball with his friends, he chose to have dinner with me.  And he talked.  We talked.  About his hopes, his worries, his dreams.  

At the end of dinner, his phone beeped.  I got a shy smile and a request.  Could I just drop him off at his friends to play a little baseball? I could, happily I could.

He leans down and hugs me as I turn to leave.  

He fits.  As fleeting as these moments between him and I can be, its the one place he will always fit.











26 comments:

  1. Vicky, this all seems so normal to me, kids leaving home to become who they are meant to become. Your situation may have forced him out of his comfort zone, but in that, he is going to be even more prepared for the world that awaits. It is not a scourge of any sort, nor a disadvantage. It is him having an opportunity to grow and find his way in a way that would not have been possible under other circumstances. It's God making something that isn't always good, good. And to clarify, it's not you from whom he's running; rather, he's running to the life meant for him and then coming home to love. What could be better? Well, health, yes, but you are so solid in so many ways other children can't ever wish for. I admire you so much and love how you are filling your children with so many good, meaningful things. I don't think you even realize how big it is and what you are doing. Hugs...Roxane

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  2. I always appreciate your wisdom through experience, Roxane. I know you've been there! Thanks for the encouraging words- I respect them so and they give me hope that the foundation we've tried to lay as parents, will be enough to send him off! I consider your kind words very high praise, considering how much I know you do for your crew in this manner!

    Love to you friend- thank you! I'm coming to visit your blog soon!

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  3. Spreading his wings a bit but still safely tucked under your wings. It sounds normal. That's a good thing. For Colton, maybe tuck away campkesem.org for next summer? My boys are still talking about their week in bits and pieces at the dinner table. Space... I so understand!

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    1. I will have to check into the camp, Marcy, thanks for that suggestion. How are YOU friend? I haven't seen a blog update in awhile and I pray you continue to do well! Hugs to you!

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  4. He is probably learning more lessons in compassion, acceptance and appreciation than you might ever expect.

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    1. I think what you've said is true- and something I don't always think about. I pray this is the case and that someday I'll see that for myself :) I hope you are well!

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  5. Lovely Vicky,

    you are the best mum a boy can wish! You make it wonderfull and perfect. I send you a big hug and I imagine your feelings. My boy will be 18 in october and I cant believe it. My heart is so full of love for him and he gives me so much back, although he dont live with me since 2 years. Now I feel me nearer than before!

    Love you and send you many Bussals!

    Mimi

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    1. Mimi- I am so happy to hear about your rime with your own son! I know how hard these past two years have to have been- and now to think he will soon be 18 and that you are closer- that is so sweet to hear! Thank you for sharing that with me- much love and many Bussals back to you!

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  6. I came here, I read, and I smiled ...you did it again... your word's that hold such reality and truth. I love that you know...his teenage normal! for he is wonderfully normal. And yet, I wonder if maybe he is a tad bit better then 'normal' for your boys do face the fact mom has cancer... and some of the changes such as friends not coming over like everyone wishes...also includes those rare hugs and moments when he speaks from his heart..if there was no cancer..would it be the other way around? friends over 24/7 but the hugs even rarer and speaking from the heart...not as often??? one will never know because the 'whole of it' makes him who he is... you all are doing amazing 'despite cancer' in your families life...you handle things with such grace, respect and true understanding..not hanging on...just being there and allowing him to be him..who he is now...that is beautiful... praying that maybe, somehow a game room can be accomplished down the road....a space to be with friends and home. and prayers for all else as well. Much love ...and oh yes, what lovely pic's..you look VERY beautiful and healthy! plum amazing! and those boys of yours..are growing right before our eyes. love to you!

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    1. Such a great perspective Peggy Sue- yes- there are perhaps lots of opportunities that occur when its just us here. Thank you for your gracious words- they soothe me so. I promise we have our share of normal not so graceful and nice too, but I am trying to be gentle with those times and focus more on when we get it right, versus when we don't. Much love to you friend!

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  7. Jeez, you look beautiful, Vicky. Really, just wow. Love those pictures of you and the boys - and I can tell you that at 18,my son has suddenly come to realize he really likes his moms company and seeks me out more often than not. Until recently, he was NEVER a mama's boy in any way..... very independent from the time he could walk, which was about 11 months. Beautiful post, your writing is extraordinary -

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    1. Karen- thank you- your words come as high praise to me- I'm humbled. I appreciate you sharing about your own son- it has to feel good to have that now, no matter how long its taken for him to want that :)

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    1. Thank you Maddy Christine! Goodness, I need to come and visit- I hope you are well!

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  9. I always hear love in the words that you share.

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    1. Susan- that is such a generous compliment to me- thank you for saying that. Blessings to you!

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  10. oh goodness, dearheart. as i read these words, i think about my own son, driving himself 10.5 hours to start his second year of college. he and nolan are alike in many ways.

    i wish i could wave a wand and create an addition to your house where the boys could entertain, but i believe that God is using the lack of space to force nolan out into the world so that he can find out that it's not such a bad place.

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    1. Oh gosh Jenn, my mother heart aches for yours. So necessary to let them "fly" and yet hard to let them fly so far away! We would truly utilize that space for both Rick's work and the rest for a family room/kids space. We've always dreamed of it… but we'll see if we can make it happen!

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  11. Your words always are so heartfelt and introspective that I always save you for the last of my blog crawling. I want to totally listen because you have so much to say. I'm sure that Chinese dinner will live in both your hearts forever. He is so lucky to have a great Mom like you and I'm sure the feeling is likewise. God bless, sweet Vicky.

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    1. Thank you Katie- such gracious words that touch me so. God's blessings to you!

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  12. Oh my dear friend,Vicky,
    I LOVE that picture of you with your tan arms and beautiful white top with jeans.
    And the pictures of your boys...priceless!

    And about Nolan...Ahhh....boys in their teens. the push and the pull. The desire to individuate and find out who they are and yet they are pulled in by the magnet of caring, even though the words may be few and far between. Nolan has been on my mind and heart and in my prayers. And I am thrilled that you had a dinner, just the two of you and a talk, and a hug. A blessed hug that will stay in your memory bank forever.

    While I know you wish you could section off a part of your home so they boys had more space, I am also glad that they see your jouney. Not in full, but in part. That they see the courageous Mama who adores them. Who cannot do all she did before, but is HERE, alive, fighting the good fight, to be there for her family.

    You are such at treasure, sweet Vicky. Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us.
    God Bless you and loves and prayers, to the moon and back!
    Linda

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    1. Thank YOU, Linda, for wanting to come and share in this journey with me! It boosts my spirits so as I rest and see each comment come through and I feel, once again, that I am still being supported with prayers and love, after the past 3 years. Your words are so kind, gracious and uplifting to me and I appreciate the time you take, to be here! Love you sweet friend- to the moon!

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  13. Love that Ellen quote - that's probably true for so many! Ahh, the push and pull of parenting and when is too much, too little. Sometimes I think the kids are so resilient and then I wonder if they're just keeping the pain internal. So hard to know! I agree with Roxane (your first comment) - this is all normal but with an added layer of difficulty because of your family situation. I have to believe that God gives us extra grace as we parent and extra grace to those boys as they navigate through this life.

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  14. Loved reading this slice of life post, and seeing you and your handsome boys. And I absolutely adored how you ended it--with the phone call (so totally normal) and you saying yes. :) :)

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  15. You, Vicky, are a wonderful mother. Really. Truly. Amazing.

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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