Sunday, May 17, 2009

The First Goodbye

I'm kind of missing my boy today.

Being the sick and sort of grumpy mama I've been lately, I acted a bit like a two year old yesterday when he came to ask if Jesse could come over.

No! No! I don't want him here. I don't feel good. I can't deal with extra kids today. Don't ask me! Gahhhhhh!!!!!! I then wanted to bury my head in my pillow and moan for a while.

He took it pretty well, actually. Regarded me with rare detached amusement and disappeared from view.

A few minutes later, he approached me again, phone in hand. "Here, Mom! It's for you!" he said with false cheerfulness and shoved the phone into my hand.

I pulled my head from the pillow, glared at him as I took the phone and asked rather loudly who the hell was on the phone before putting it to my ear and hearing giggling that was a prelude to a guffaw.

Jesse's mom recovered herself presently and explained that she completely understood. However.

Jesse's mom is a single mom to a 10 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. She's a teacher in an unfortunate educational climate at the moment. After teaching highschool math at our newest highschool, budget cuts put her out of a job. Already struggling, she got a job in the next state and commutes there every day. She didn't want to leave because she loved Jesse being in his school and she loved Jesse having friends.

And she told me that as soon as the school year was over, they would be moving to Nevada because the job opportunities were so much better there. So really, if the boys were going to see each other, they had two weekends to do so. Even sick, grumpy mom can't hold a candle to that so I agreed that ZBoy could go play at Jesse's for the afternoon - which turned into a spend the night.

When I called around noon to see if I could come pick him up, I was begged to allow more time, which I did. A free afternoon to blog, catch up on laundry and work! Hurray!

But I'm sitting here missing him bumping around here, grousing, complaining, watching SpongeBob and moaning about school tomorrow.

It got me thinking about saying goodbye.

In two weeks, ZBoy will be saying goodbye for real for the first time. He's never lost anyone before. No one's died (but my grandmother, but he was so young he doesn't remember) or moved away like this. He has uncles who come and go but they always return for holidays at some point so it's not like he'll never see them again.

But this. This is going to be hard. Z loves his family and his friends with passion. He misses them desperately when they go away. He missed me this past week, even though I was passed out in the room next to his the whole time. You should have seen his face light up when I picked him up from school Friday. So I know the devastation that will sweep over him when the last school day ends and his friend leaves town the next day.

I have two weeks to figure out how to handle this. But will I have to? Z is already on the computer talking to his friends. Could this be the beginning of a new kind of relationship for him? Back in the stone age, we called this being pen pals. Today? Kids are just as likely to email, IM or Facebook as they are to pick up the phone. They play online games together and don't have to be sitting in the same den in front of the same TV console to play together.

I, myself, chat with friends I've never even met - in Australia, England, Seattle, Houston. I don't feel the lack of physical friends. I feel well connected and emotionally cared for... and isn't that what friendship is?

So ZBoy's first goodbye may not be goodbye after all. Just a morphing into a different kind of friendship.


Mel said...

I hope it does just morph into an internet friendship. That would be the best possible outcome. However, if it doesn't turn out that they communicate much, I have to say that maybe this kind of goodbye is the best, and most gentle, introduction for Z to the idea that sometimes people leave our lives.

Janis said...

Saying goodbye to a good friend is so hard at any age. Hopefully they can still maintain their friendship through the internet. So it won't be so bad after all.

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

Um, Sugar-pie? Need I remind you: Like mother like son?

Yep. 'Cause how many friends do you have through the internet?


Your precious Z is growing up!!

margaret (the misanthrope) said...

You know...if I could have been guaranteed a kid like Z, I might've had kids ;-)

I am sure that Z and his buddy will keep in touch. True friendship knows no distance. Glad to see you up and posting again!