I go on and on about my son. Probably gets old hearing about him, right? Too bad. Coco and Lou. They are my light. They are what makes my life right in this world. Always have been. Always will be. Certain days, I cling to them. Right now, yes, I find myself clinging to them. And, they provide me with the very best incentives. This was yesterday’s….
Coco asks me to bring him lunch to school. Which is great. You see, it isn’t just about the delicious, horrible for him, meal I will bring. It is also about spending time with me. At school. In the middle of the day. Surrounded by his friends.
I brought him Five Guys. A big, greasy, bacon cheeseburger and overly salty fries. That is what we both had. Lou elected to have a grilled cheese. We sat, the three of us, alone, at one of the tables in the cafeteria. Coco can choose to invite a friend to eat with us. He has. A few times. Invited a friend to join us. More often than not he likes it to just be us. That was how it was yesterday.
So we sit, Lou, then me in the middle, then Coco. We talk about his day. When I drove past the playground I didn’t see him playing basketball with his friends. So, I ask him where he was. He says to me, “Mom, I was playing kickball with “Pierce.” I ask him, were “Garrett” and “Matthew” playing with you also? Coco tells me, “No.” I find this interesting. Coco has been playing with Garrett & Matthew all school year. Although Pierce is a boy on his baseball team, and, they live fairly close to our neighborhood, and, they have been getting close with one another, spending time with one another, I am still a little surprised that he wasn’t playing with his friends from all year. So I ask Coco about it. I ask him if he had fun. He tells me, “Yes.” I then ask him why Garrett & Matthew didn’t play kickball with him. He says, “I didn’t ask them to.” OK. I ask him why not. Coco says….
“Mom, you told me the other day that who I associate with and spend my time with will determine what people think of me. The type of person they think I am. Well, Garrett & Matthew have been hanging out often with “Ben” and “Barry” and Ben and Barry are not good influences. They make bad decisions and get in trouble all of the time. I am concerned that Garrett & Matthew are making bad decisions. Garrett did something just the other day, that he normally wouldn’t have done, and got in trouble. I don’t want people to think I will make bad decisions and be like them. So, I’ve decided to not be friends with them anymore.”
Just like that. That simple. He took my advice, listened, first and foremost, and then, applied it in his own life. I am proud. Proud that he listened. Proud that he applied the advice. Proud that he cares what people think of him. In a good way. That his character and the person he is, and the choices he makes, matter so much to him. At least at the age of 10. Or, perhaps, more so, already at the age of 10.
Then, he proceeds to rest his head on my shoulder; I rest my head on his. I turn and kiss his cheek, and feel his light. The light he provides to me. The peace he gives to me. The love that he gives to me; quite frankly, that I need. And then he moves. We switch spots. I rest my head on his shoulder; he rests his head on mine. And I ask Coco, “Do I embarrass you?” He responds, “Not yet mom. But, when I am 11 or 12, you might.” I smile. And remind myself every time he asks you to come to lunch….you find a way! No matter how busy you think you might be, or what you have going on in your life, you find a way. Time is so very fleeting. Before I know it, this time will be gone….I need to remember that. Today and everyday.
Originally Written 20May15