Time Machine

Last night past midnight I couldn’t sleep. I kept scrolling through my phone looking at pictures. In the last year or so the mask of masculinity had settled around our son. Even though you know it’s a phase… the bravado, the posturing, learning to be in their strong new bodies, the hormones… Following the lead of whatever role model fits the image of who they want to be.

Looking back on the photos, all of that was gone. All I saw was the sweet little boy who looked up at me and grasped my hand in the hardware store when he wasn’t even four yet… All I could think about was the time he was in kindergarten at a summer camp and lost a watch his father gave him and I came to pick him up he was so distraught he ran into my arms sobbing, something he never did with me… And I cradled his body wracked with sobs and we went back to the park and we looked and sifted the sand together…. It was the time that I knew that he trusted me — The path of a step mother and son can be tricky sometimes…. It all came rushing back to me when I was suffering from infertility and he was so little — he was probably seven or so and I was teaching him something about gardening and he asked me why I wanted a baby because after all he was my baby

And then the girls came — one to his mothers house in 2007 and Zoe and 2009… And there are 1 million things I want to do over. Million times I could have been kinder. So many things. I just want a Time Machine.

I have been hard on him lately. Just for little things. The kind of shenanigans a handsome 14-year-old boy in this world these days can get into. And lately he’s been coming to me afterwards saying I love you. Which was sort of unheard of. I love you too kiddo I would say.

G broke my heart in the ICU when he turned to me and said “all we had to do was to get past this phase of bravado… risk-taking. This phase of jumping on roofs and 4 feet onto countertops feeling so strong and so big in this new body of his. That’s all we had to do just a little bit more time and we couldn’t do it”.

Someone contacted W’s mother and spoke to her yesterday in the ICU and they wrote this piece:

G said — could you mention about the jackass shit, the risk-taking behavior that the whole culture that informs these young boys and the chances they take. But of course that was more than the short news piece could handle.

On his phone. Beautiful and handsome. Cruising on a late summer night talking to a girl.

I want to go back and tell him more often what a good boy he is not just the corrections. I would tell him a million more times how I loved him. I would not be so shy.

G wrote to a friend:
I’d work all day every day for the rest of my life for a time machine that could send my kid back in time to just before he left the house that night

Yes. Yes. Yes.

At 9 o’clock this morning they will give him the CT scan and may try to extubate him.

love to all of you who are thinking about us and writing, going to the site and all the support. It’s invaluable.




5 responses

  1. Thinking of you, Pam. Remember that you made the corrections because you do love Willi—I believe that Willi knows that. Sending positive thoughts and love your way. xo

  2. I think that deep down kids know that those corrections are demonstrations of parental love.
    I hope that you know that this was an accident and not the result of something that you did or didn’t do.

    This is a somewhat trivial thought but, probably thanks to our experience with my brother’s accident, I’ve always wondered how people can maintain the standard line about how hard it is to raise girls once they hit the teenage years. Hormones make the teenage years difficult for EVERYONE but their effect on boys is frequently life threatening.

    I conitnue to hold W in my thoughts.


  3. I’m listening and reading and thinking of you so much. SO MUCH. It’s 1.03am and I’m off to bed and when I get up in the morning I’ll light candles with intention for Willi, like I do every day. I whisper words to your heart every day Pam. Love Topcat xxxxxxxx

  4. It’s taken so long to write and tell you I’ve been thinking of your family and wishing hard for recovery.
    We are a brain injury family. Fresh out of cancer treatment for a brain tumour. She’s very disabled now and I know how hard. How so very hard it is. Also I’m a her step mom. And her bio mum isn’t in the picture. It’s all so very hard. Much love and strength.
    Feel free to email if you’re ever lacking in support.

  5. My son is only 6, but he and his friends ran careening around and around a steep yard yesterday at a party, while the mothers periodically yelled “be careful!” There is a recklessness and feeling of invulnerability in young boys, especially in teenage boys, as I remember with my brother, that can be so difficult to temper. As parents, we do our best, you know? And I know from reading you over the years that you have done your best, and how much you love Willi. Please don’t beat yourself up. You are one of the kindest and most thoughtful mothers around. (((hugs)))

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