It was just me and LT over the weekend. Lamont and Kiddo had embarked on a father-son overnight camping and fishing trip, a trip they go on at least once a year. While they had been gone, there had been heavy rain showers at the coast resulting in texts like “It was a monsoon” and “it turns out that our tent is only 95% waterproof,” messages that amuse me to no end, especially as I sip my wine, comfortably on my couch, while watching a chick flick, foreign film or similar typically vetoed movie selection.
I certainly felt that we’d gotten the better end of the deal as the weekend progressed. LT and I attended a tea party where he’d pulled on an over-sized straw hat, proclaimed himself a cowboy, and then shouted “Yee-Haw” to other guests (“use your inside voice, LT” x 100). LT had gone in search of waterfalls with his Nana and to a friend’s birthday party. I just knew Kiddo would envy the fun (and dry weather) we’d had.
I was wrong. When Kiddo and Lamont returned, I asked my boys if they would like to swap roles the next time. Did Kiddo want to stay with mom while LT went with dad? Kiddo looked at me like I was speaking another language. LT, misinterpreting the question and his brother’s answer into meaning that only one kid could go and Kiddo was it, practically threatened to secede from the family in protest. “Wait a minute, LT, didn’t you have fun?”
Even though I am happy enough to have some me time, the sound rejection stung and a little hurt must have shown in my face. “It’s not you. He is just afraid of missing out,” Lamont consoled me.
Later, after the kids were in bed, (or at least should have been bed – LT has been rather,… shall we say,… bedtime adverse over the last several days so it is hard to say for sure) Lamont stood outside waiting for Her Royal Highness to finish her evening’s business (by all means, Ms., please take your time). A bright, full moon shone overhead, illuminating exactly how little HRH cared about our impatience.
“We’re supposed to be able to see Mars,” I commented to Lamont as I joined him on the porch.
“Yeah, it’s by the moon.”
I looked where he pointed. Sure enough, there was a large brilliant orange dot in the sky. I ran inside (I’m a bit of a space enthusiast) and collected Kiddo’s telescope, a basic children’s starter model. I was able to locate the spot in the telescope’s view finder, but no matter how much I adjusted dials or re-positioned the lens, I was never quite able to capture a clear shot of the planet in full with all its peaks and valleys. I would have to be content instead with what I could see with my naked eye.
“It was even brighter at the beach.” Lamont informed me as HRH finally deigned to make her way back inside.
As I returned the telescope to its regular resting place it occurred to me that if the sky cleared long enough for Lamont to get a clear view of Mars, the trip hadn’t been the total washout his early texts would lead one to believe. Those texts were only snap shots from their weekend together, mere grains in the hourglass of their time. I also knew I’d only miss more as there were more journeys away from mom.
And that’s okay.
I could insist on joining them at the beach, but instead, I am looking forward to the excitement in the air, second only to Christmas, prior to their trip and the joy on their sun-browned faces as they tumble out of the car on their way to greet me on their return. I am looking forward to hearing the stories they collectively are suitable for mom’s ears and confronting Lamont with a smile when one of the boys accidentally shares something mom doesn’t need to know. But, as much as I love and will miss them, I am also seriously looking forward to a few moments to myself (like the occasional bathroom break).
I don’t need to see all the moments to be content. I am not afraid of missing out. I just want a clear sight when it comes to the moments that matter.