Tears in the corner of my eye

Last night I spent the evening with my daughter at her brownie troop meeting.   The girls made mothers’ day cards out of construction paper and the moms met about what we were going to do for the summer with the girls.  These women are so young and energetic and they happen to like being with the almost 50 year old broad which is moi.  The girls enjoy being with each other and the moms do also. 

Today, Saturday, I spent the day with 2 of my children in body and the other in spirit. My older son had his final presentation at UC Berkeley’s HAAS School of business YEAH program and my middle son had his second to the last soccer game of the season.  Because of the timing 10 a.m. in Berkeley and 11 a.m. in Tracy and the fact that I knew my middle son would not want to miss his soccer game I asked his best friends mom if she would pick him and take him and then let him stay with them until I came back from Berkeley.  She said yes and I felt comfortable. This woman is another young energetic woman who has 2 smaller children.  Her son and mine really have become fast friends in school and now being on the same soccer time is like adding gravy and butter to your mashed potatoes. Yummy!  

We arrived at the campus and it was a-buzz with activity as usual.  There is something always going on at the university.  I dropped my son off at the building and then went to park. It was 10a.m. The presentations were to begin at 10:30 a.m.  After parking my daughter and I walked the block back to the campus.  It was a beautiful day in Berkeley and here you see all manner of people and animals.   In some cases the people look like animals and the animals are just confused as the look at the people. The program began on time. Around 10:45 my cell phone vibrates it is my ex.  He is late of course and calling me to find out what building we are in.  I immediately became irritated. First of all this is the very first time he has ever come to anything our son has done other than graduate from 8th grade for the past 2 years.  Actually he has not come to the boys’ basketball or soccer games, never attended an awards ceremony of which there have been several between the three of them and now this is the very first time he has attended this event ever in 2 years and he has the nerve to be late and then not to know where we are and to call me during the time when he knows the presentations are taking place.  I whispered to him to ask someone on campus. I hung up. About 10 minutes later he calls me again and has the nerve to be irritated with me. I then get up and go outside and really I wanted to cuss him out! I knew however that if I began this my voice would carry and everyone in the building which happened to be built out of logs would hear me and that would be too embarrassing to my son. Not me, of course I would find it an enjoyable and uplifting experience to get a little bit of irritant out of my throat. (smile) Anywho, I told him to come to the log cabin. He did.  Then once he arrived he proceeded to talk to our son a little too loud and I asked them to step out side. I mean really!

My son was wearing a black and white thin pinstripe suite with a red shirt and black and red Nike’s and he wears an afro – he look fabulous and I told him so.  He smiled and made the motion of brushing his collar!  His group’s presentations are always good.  He opened up the presentation and as soon as he spoke I felt a tear coming up in m eye.  This is the kid that can’t remember to pick up his underwear in the bathroom or to close the refrigerator door however here he is wowing the audience and me with a wonderful presence and a comfort of being on stage that is welcoming. His group came in second place.  He was proud and I was proud.  The tear was there it didn’t come out and for that I am glad.  I didn’t want to appear to be a blubbering crybaby of a mom.  Even though I wanted to let the tear fall.  I had my son next Friday, May 15th some 15 years ago.  He came out of my body that day and the joy has never left since then.  He was a joy to hold and to take care of and he was the baby that would let anyone in the family hold him. He seemed to know right away that all of these voices that he recognized instinctively were there to protect him and to love him and he gave that baby love back in return for their sincere family bond. My middle son called me to say that his team won 3-2.  He was so excited and I was too.  A friend that was with me remarked that I don’t have any losers for kids. I agreed.  Not just because of what they do are they good kids, they are good kids because of who they are.  The protect me when they can, they love me even when I am yelling at them, they write me notes, they make me pictures, they make up their beds and brush their teeth.  They are my life and I give them what I can to make sure that they have a chance of a better future than what I had. Now I had it bad, it was and still is an actually good future, I want them to be able to experience college the way that I did totally and 100% engrossed in living the campus life and getting to know who they are as young adults and discovering their individual passions.  The tear in my eye this day is one of pride and contentment and thankfulness to God for blessing me with children who are a joy to have in your presence.

Yolande Barial, mother, writer and sensually inspired poet.

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