The Boy, as we refer to my One and Only Son, thinks his rent money doesn’t go far enough. Given that he has lived at home since leaving college four years ago, I have to agree with him. It doesn’t.
For some reason, he believes, in that grinning way that the well-loved son has, that his meals are included. They are, of course. But does he have to expect them the way he does?
“Mom,” he says the other day, “You forgot to fix my bed.”
Then he laughs and scratches my head, a common gesture in our home of thick-haired (and possibly thick-headed) folk.
It’s hard to keep your hands off your children, impossible for me to pass by him without pulling his hair gently, scratching him behind the ears, or putting a hand on his shoulder. He will lean his back against my hand with an imperious command: “Scratch.” I do, of course. Not only because he’s my boy and I love him, but because I appreciate the gleam in his eye when he says it: a request couched in a demand and wrapped in the knowledge that I would do it anyway, whether he asked for it or not.
I did it to myself.