On this, the day of my 1000th post, I spread my pale and freckled arms and pull you all in for a hug.
A platonic, writerly hug.
Except for you – you’re cute. You hang back after the others leave, yes?
A thousand posts! What started as a “hey! I wonder if I could blog…” has turned into a daily obsession, a link to friends, and even a way to maintain my grip on what is real and what is not.
I blog, therefore I am.
You’d think I’d have something special for this most auspicious of days, wouldn’t you? Ahh, but you’d be wrong. Today is just another day.
And this is just another post.
We went through a phase, my son and I, right around the time he hit 13. Suddenly, he was wearing saggy pants, making inquiries regarding diamond earrings, and developing a taste for rap.
And not just any rap, but heavy, bumpin’ braggadocio with topics ranging from drugs to love-making prowess to bitches, hoes, and other things that sound like they’d be found on a farm but are not.
Naturally, I was against it.
Not that I’d say that.
“What are they saying? What are they saying?” We sat on his bed while I examined the small print on the CD covers.
A particularly ribald bit of poetry slid past my eardrum and into my brain.
“Whoa! Boy, did you hear that? Wonder what his mom thinks, huh?”
The Boy didn’t say a word.
“Hey, you wanna dance or something? Come on! Dance with your ol’ mom!”
“MOM!” The Boy is trying to work up some indignation but is having a hard time with it. “That’s not how you dance to this.”
“Well show me how then!”
It is right around this time that I begin to notice the downward creep of his pants. I snuck up behind him in the kitchen one day, grabbed his boxers and tugged.
“Hey!” He whirls around, backing up against a wall.
“Oh, I’m not supposed to do that?”
“Then why is your underwear hanging out?”
The Boy sighs heavily. “That’s just the way it is.”
It’s hard, raising a mother.
The next day, however, is the same scenario. Music thumping, I step into the kitchen to find him frying bacon and eggs.
“Didn’t we hear this song yesterday?”
“Mom, this is new.”
“Weird,” I murmur. I pause for a moment. “Hey, did I ever play that Buddy Rich/Gene Krupa album for you?”
He stares at me.
“Seriously. When this –“ and I wave my hand at his boom box “—is over, let’s go in the basement, hit the turntable.”
“Mom,” he shakes his head, almost sadly, perhaps wondering why it is that he’s just now noticing how dense I am. “No.”
Feigning sorrowful resignation, I walk past him, only to notice that his pants are, once again, sagging.
I stick my index finger in my mouth, make a great deal of noise getting it wet, grab the back of his tee-shirt, and quickly slide my finger down the crack of his ass.
The Boy jumps as if hit with a bucket of ice water.
“MOM! Gaaah! What are you doing?!!!”
I am laughing. “Boy, you keep wearing your pants like that, I’m going to have to jam my finger down your butt crack.”
“I’m sorry,” I say, wiping tears of laughter off my face, “but that’s the way it is.”
The Boy scooted around the house for the next couple days like a dog with an itch, careful that his back was never to me. He ate less. He took to muttering under his breath. Dark bags formed under his shifting, wary eyes.
I got him a couple times, despite his heightened awareness, usually after shouting “Hey! Come here a minute, would ya?”; and soon all it took was the sound of me slurping on my index finger to send him skittering out of the room, yanking at his pants and grumbling something about Child Protective Services.
It was a Friday, I believe, when his friend Sean came over. Sean, too, had discovered his inner gangster, and between the two of them they were a matched pair of saggin’ drawers, oversized tee-shirts, and “yo-yo-yo”s.
Shortly before they are set to leave for Sean’s house, I enter the kitchen.
Sean is bent over, his face deep inside in our refrigerator.
I can feel the look steal over my face. Inside, I am laughing crazily. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it…
Grinning maniacally, my eyes are on Dylan as he walks in from the living room.
“Hey,” I say quietly. I lift my right hand, make a show of folding my fingers to leave just the index remaining, put it in my mouth: thhhhhhhhhhhppt. Holding the wet finger aloft, I take my first step toward the unsuspecting boy at the fridge…
Sean never knew how close he came to having my wet finger crammed down the crack of his pants.
And it was shortly after this incident that I noticed The Boy had stopped wearing his pants so low.
Perhaps I’m imagining things, but I like to think I had a hand in that decision
Five in Five: Tuesday, January 23
5 hours ago