I was cleaning out my closet today. I’m embarrassed to say I think it’s the first time in 20 years. Yes, there hung 20 years worth of sweaters and skirts, jeans and t-shirts, handbags and shoes. Well, no. Not shoes. I’m not big on shoes. Not that big, anyway. So there was probably only about 3 or 4 years worth of shoes. Still. Ridiculous. I filled 13 giant, green, leaf bags that the Purple Heart has graciously agreed to rid me of, and 5 other bags that will join the rest of my garbage out on the curb come trash day.
There, hanging from a bar at the back of the closet, I found a belt. I knew it wasn’t mine, and never was I might add, because it was about 18 inches long. I held it in my hand and smiled, thinking, “This belongs to my little boy?”
Thing is, he’s not so little anymore, but do you ever stop thinking of your child as anything other than ‘your baby’? I’m starting to think not.
But, he’s not. My baby that is. He’s all grown up and drives a car and has a beautiful girlfriend and a job and he’s – ah – all grown up.
And, now, he looks more like his dad than ever.
He’s a kidder, like his dad. Grows a beard, like his dad. Has a kind heart, which he wouldn’t admit to having, like his dad.
It’s been 15 years since dad passed away. We’ve kept him in our hearts, and we think of him all the time. It doesn’t seem that long. Maybe that’s because I can feel him nearby. Does that sound creepy? I hope not, because it’s true. At night, when I let the dogs out, I find the brightest star in the sky, smile and say “Did you see our son today? He’s the best, is he not? We done good.” Every day now, I look at my boy, and I see his dad. I think how proud he would be. I look at my son and think he’s not my baby anymore. He’s a grown man, handsome, smart, kind, and funny. Just like his dad.
Love your writing Gemma! You made me smile, thinking about my son… who is now 43!!! (How did I ever get this old?) He too looks just like his dad and shares amny of his fine qualities. But he also has some of me in him, as I’m sure your son does too… so you can be proud of the job you did in raising him, as well. 🙂
Keep writing… I’m “listening”!
Nancy, We are not old, we are wiser and seasoned to perfection. Even if no one ‘listened’ I would still write because it feels good. But I thank you for hearing my voice. I’m thrilled that you check in. <3. When I was twelve someone told me I'd be prettier if I didn't talk so much. Maybe writing was the way to go all along 🙂
I remember him just like that….
We had some great weekends hanging out, did we not?
I can’t look at a can of Chock Full of Nuts coffee and not think about being
there. You guys made the best coffee on the planet. I could use some Korean egg rolls right about now…..
God I loved it when you guys came to visit. Do you remember when Joe used to go on the roof of the house when you visited (and lots of other times too) and it would make me so angry? I would tell you, “BUT YOU’RE COMPANY!” and you would tell me, “That’s Joe. That’s who he is.”. You loved him unconditionally. A lesson learned.
Dangsin-eul salang ❤
First of all, nothing will ever be cuter than that first day of kindergarten picture. Move over, Cupcake, there’s a new cutie in town. Secondly, as a serial, OCD closet-cleaner, whew! – thank God that’s over with! And most importantly, what you said about your boy is SO true. He definitely got the best of his dad and the best of his mom with a little of the best of Jeff thrown in for good measure.
Yes. Thank God for Jeff. And my ‘little boy’ realizes that too, which is so cool!