When I entered the house Friday, following work, I found the boy in his usual place, molding the couch cushions into his body. “Hey how were your last two exams? I asked. Thinking back to the day before when Mary Alice and I picked him up from his school’s early dismissal; we were two minutes from home when the boy spoke aloud what he was thinking “I’m a little nervous about my English exam tomorrow…you know because of the need to know dates and stuff”. “Well bay”, I began, “At least you have this afternoon and evening to study”. “Well not really, considering I left all my notebooks and class paperwork at school.” “OMG! Do I need to turn around and take you back to school to retrieve your stuff?” I replied very perturbed. “No Mama…its all up here” He said pointing toward his head. “Well, you know the deal, right? Ace the exams and I won’t bug you for the rest of the year.” I said. “Oh I know, I’m counting on that deal” he said as the conversation dropped.
“Well?” I asked him again. A sheepish grin crossed his face. “I don’t know, but I feel very good about the exams..” He replied as I approached to sit next to him on the couch and congratulate him on making it through one semester of high school. Then he smiled and said, “But you will appreciate this Mama”. Sitting up, he reached across the coffee table and grabbed a gift sized paper bag and handed it to me. “I was given this present from a friend of mine”. Setting the gift bag in my lap, I looked in and smiled. Pulling its contents out for a better look I asked “Who gave you this?”
“My friend, Alexis. She’s just a friend…not a girl friend…” He was quick to explain. “Is she in some of your classes?” I asked trying not to pry, but wanting to get a better picture of this girl. “Yeah, she’s in some of my classes and sometimes we sit together at lunch…but as friends only!” He replied. Laughing I said, “Well whomever she is I want to give her a big hug!” The boy laughed and said, “Point taken Mama…”
Later that evening we checked his grades online and lo and behold he Aced all his exams, save one…which hadn’t posted yet. In fact on his English exam he scored a 97. Happily clapping and jumping around at his grades he came up gave me a hug from behind. “And you can’t get on my back for studying the rest of the year!” He exclaimed. That’s right! For the rest of the year” I agreed. Still holding me in a hug from behind he said, “School year right?” Smiling I replied, “Um, I seem to recall the bet was for the year…I never said school year”. He tightened his grip on the hug and said, “You know Mama, that’s mean. “Bay, really, as your mother, did you really think I would give up that much power?” Relaxing the hug he replied, “I was hopeful…but you’re right, it wouldn’t be you if you couldn’t complain about something.” “Exactly….I think” I replied, giving him a genuine hug…very proud of his accomplishments…and very happy he would be wearing deodorant from now on.