With my college son working at a camp in Mississippi during the summer, I’m home all day with my dear husband, who works most of the time in his home office and son #2 who works on being a teenager. All day. ALLLL DAAAY.Â Not that I don’t love every second of being surrounded by their male company.
My darling family is a joy, but let’s face it, we all need a break sometime, so when Hubby announced he had to go out of town for a weekend conference and asked if our son would like to go with him, I answered for him and said, “YES! – YES!- YES! HE WOULD LOVE IT SO MUCH I’LL PACK HIS BAGS NOW!”
As they pulled out of the driveway, I did the happy-Mom dance, lined up my chick-flick, boo-hoo movies, pulled out the box of nail polish, glitter and unicorn stickers we girls love to play with and readied myself for a few days of relaxing girly-me time.
And then . . . someone knocked on the door.
It was my big, giant, handsome, middle-of-the-woods smelling son! He drove all the way from Mississippi to surprise me! Oh, joy! Hallelujah! I missed him so very, very much, but . . .
“What have I told you about surprising us? You can’t just get in your car and drive hours on end without me knowing where you are. And besides, you never know if I’m going to be decent or not. Calling ahead has its benefits, you know.”
“Mom, it’s ten o’clock in the morning and you already have on a dress and heels.” “Well, I almost twisted my ankle trying to put my shoes on so quickly. It was a really stressful moment for me. Two minutes earlier and you would have caught me without pearls. You have to be careful about these surprises.” The truth is, if he’d arrived much later, I would have had a green cucumber mask on my face, mineral enhancing gel in my hair and a drink with a little umbrella in my hand. This is the stuff that leads a young man to counseling.
The dogs ran in circles around his legs as I adjusted to the idea of rearranging my girly-girl plans.
He could only stay for two and a half days, so he would completely miss his Dad and little brother. There was no food in the house suitable for a giant hungry college guy because I had planned to eat nothing but chocolate covered berries and tiny pimento cheese sandwiches cut into triangles, so we made a run to Piggly Wiggly and spent a hefty chunk on buying manly meat, potatoes, sausages, pizzas and Lucky Charms. We also bought the first full-sized gallon of whole milk we’ve had in the house since he was home for Christmas.
Cars full of his friends began to arrive, and I began to cook. The TV was never tuned to romantic scenes set in ancient castles. Instead, only science fiction, sports and loud explosions blared from the screen as college kids laughed and screamed in sheer happiness.
In between visiting with his friends and taking long naps, my son and I ran errands together and actually sat and talked. He’s growing up so fast and turning into an excellent young man I’m absolutely crazy about. A few days later, when he pulled out of the driveway to return to Mississippi, I was thrilled to have had him home and couldn’t remember the last time I had him all to myself.
Moments after I had finished cleaning the kitchen and putting away the laundry, my husband and youngest son rolled in from their business trip. They asked, “How was your weekend? Did you get to relax?”
“I’m exhausted, but wouldn’t have traded one moment of it for all the chocolate coveredÂ berries and chick-flicks in the world.”
This story first appeared in the Gulf Coast Newspapers.