Saturday, November 29, 2008

Boredom and Young Adulthood

My son has been in northern Virginia since Tuesday evening. And until an hour ago, I hadn't seen him since Tuesday evening when he left my home to go and play basketball with his father. My last words to him were, "don't let those old men shove you around."

Tonight, yes four days later, he stopped by just to check on me. He promptly announced that he's bored, and he can't wait to get back on campus. I offered to rise from my comfortable spot on the bed reading a book, dress, and drive him back to campus. My earnestness in getting him away from boring northern Virginia quelled his sighs and moans for an hour. In that hour we chatted. I got a little information out of him, not much. But I do know that although I hadn't seen him since Tuesday, he needs me to take him to rent a tuxedo tomorrow for the winter ball! Now, I told him about time management, asked him what has he been doing since Tuesday, and queried him as to why hadn't he secured a reservation for a tuxedo already. He had an explanation, but the bottom line is that he wants me (yes mom) to go with him to pick out a tuxedo. Oh, he's still my baby after all.

All is quiet in our hood. My best friend's father died on November 25, 2008. I've blogged about how diligently my friend has been caring for his father since this past May. My friend's tenacity is amazing to me. He is alarmingly quiet now, but on some level I know that the quietness is due perhaps to a disbelief that he has nothing to do. These past few months my friend had grown accustomed to providing for his father's basic needs and care, nearly around the clock. A nurse came in three days per week for a few hours to bathe his father. However, often my friend was dissatisfied with the nurse's care and would go behind her to improve his father's cleanliness and comfort. I know that witnessing his father's slow demise has altered him in some way. Perhaps when we see each other, he will share some insight with me.

I was spared watching my mother die. She always felt that death was a very private affair, and she died very privately in my father's arms. The closest that I have come to witnessing the dying process is when a very close friend and former paramour was dying of brain cancer. I went to the hospital to visit him. I found him half his normal weight: thin and fragile. His hearing was impaired somewhat, so I had to resort to writing on a notepad what I wanted to communicate to him. We spent a few hours scribbling notes back and forth. This was the last time I saw him alive. I recall that he wanted to give me power of attorney, and I couldn't assume that responsibility because he had three children, two of whom were adults. He couldn't explain to me why he did not trust either one of his children with his affairs. But I perceived that something was amiss and I did not need to get involved. Nonetheless, despite my reservations, his desire to give me power of attorney signaled to me that after all those years of knowing him and although we had broken off our romantic relationship (we remained friends), he trusted me completely with making decisions about his medical care and handling his business affairs. But we both knew that if he were my attorney advising me (and he was always my attorney who gave me excellent advice) he would have advised me not to get in the middle of that "mess." I took his unspoken advice and stayed out of his affairs.

So my child is bored. I dread going back to work on Monday. And it's too cold for anyone to be outdoors right now. Perhaps sometime soon I will finally blog about AFRICOMM and Obama's cabinet. But until then, it's the holiday and I'm not engaging in any real thinking until Monday.


Anonymous said...

To the very "end", Mom did it her way. Those familiar with the words to Sinatra's "My Way" will fully understand. From the moment we learned of her illness, Mom hardly missed a beat. There was no slow demise for Mom. Sure there were some psychological battles from time to time for both she and I as we continuously searched for and relied on holistic remedies instead of chemo/radiation. But there was no physical deterioration of Mom. Her heart suddenly stopped as she rested in my arms seconds after looking me straight in the eyes to tell me how much she loved me and that we had had a wonderful life together. Simply stated, there was never a prevailing scene or prolonged scenes of "watching Mom die"! Yes, to the very end, Mom did it her way, on her terms and very private. Momentarily, her sudden passing without any forewarning was traumatic for me, but in retrospect, I would not have wanted it any other way. She always deserved the very best and at the end, she was afforded the very best. She was a remarkable person with whom I'm still in love.

Her Husband & Best Friend.

Letitia said...

Yes, youth is bored easily. A cure to boredom is "getting a life" and it sounds like your son has got a life at school; he misses it and wants to return to it. He's not trying to find interest there in Northern Virginia. As a motivation coach with a special interest in boredom, I could coach him to find Elements of Interest with you even in Northern Virginia, if he was willing. But his main Element of Interest is probably peer interaction, and you can never be that.

I empathize. My baby just left after spending Thanksgiving with us, and now he's gone back to his more interesting Northern Virginia..

Please take a look at my blog:

Thanks. Letitia

M.L. Simms said...

Dad, thank you. Letitia, I will check out your blog.

E. said...

(sigh) Makes me miss moms a bit Michele.

But I'm encouraged by the caring and thoughtfulness,
for sure.