A boy at 16…


“You need a haircut,” I tell him almost daily. He barely acknowledges my comment as he brushes past; making clicking noises and maybe sporting a small smirk. Unconsciously his right hand lifts to ruffle through his thick mane to “see” and then he’s gone.

Last week he earned service hours at our parish Fish Fry, clearing tables and talking with folks. Several people approached his father and I, many which haven’t seen the boy in some time; all anxious to tell us about him. “Wow, he’s gotten big!” Said one. “He actually resembles an adult,” said another, which made me laugh at the irony. “You know what I mean!” She said.  Of course I do! The boy’s physical appearance has changed tremendously over the last few years. Standing at about 6’1″ he’s also quite broad and looks a little like a linebacker. His face has elongated and now sports facial hair. He’s also determined to grow sideburns, regardless how crazy they curl about on his face. On the surface, he does look older.

“I’d like you to disconnect from the Internet tonight and come out and hang with me tonight,” I told him yesterday.”Why?” He asked, sporting a put-upon face. “Because I miss you Bay…” I said. “Um mom, no offense but you’re boring” he replied. Feigning offense I closed my mouth and said “I could say the same about you. But I won’t. Whaddaya say? Let’s hang out!!” “Umm I’d rather not,” He said and walked away.

I stood there for a moment, trying to figure out if he was being a brat or simply a teenager or both. My mind jumped back almost 17 years, to the time when the pregnancy test I had just taken displayed a positive result (for a change). Seven years of trying and failing, I wasn’t used to seeing the positive sign and excitedly took two more tests for confirmation. A smile crept across my face when all the feelings of elation at finally being pregnant came happily flooding back.

I was so overjoyed to bring this sarcastic, sometimes moody, hard-headed boy into this world. I used to tell him I should have named him Payne–because he’s a pain, but he’s my pain; a pain I’d never ever give up.

On the way to school this morning he was unusually quiet. “What’s going on in that head of yours?” I asked. “I’m thinking it’s about time I get my temps…” “Scary thoughts there Bay” I replied with a smile. “No more scary than your driving on a daily basis mom” he replied and laughed just before  exiting the car. Then he stopped turned and said “I love you Momma!” Before closing the car door and walking into school.

I love you too Bay! Happy 16!




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