Like most teenagers, my men-children spend their weekends out and about with friends, in preference to being at home (especially if the “rents” (parents) are about!). We are lucky if we even find out when they are leaving the house, let alone where they might be going, with whom, and when they’ll return (normally for dinner – after all a bloke’s gotta eat right?).
Their logic would no doubt be “got a mobile, you want to find me, call it” or some such pragmatic but utterly unthinking response. And on school mornings it’s much the same – out the door they go. It’s only good fortune if they happen to pass you and grunt a farewell as they make their exit. I of course always make a point of loudly saying “Bye (insert name)” so they get the message – subtle aren’t I?
So on a recent trip interstate for four nights, it was interesting to observe the different farewells afforded to me. Man-Child I headed off with friends on the weekend, and was apparently reminded to say goodbye to me before he left by his father. As I was on the phone myself I got a cursory wave from my son as he talked into his mobile – yep, CYA! Wow, impressive huh? More than a little underwhelming, and actually a little surprising from him.
Man-Child II headed out the door a few hours later. As he saw me he muttered “CYA” as normal. Then I reminded him I was going away for four nights and to “be good for dad and kind to your sister”. My heart positively leapt as he walked back in the door and gave me an awkward hug, and said sweetly “Bye Mum, have a good trip”. OMG, he actually hugged me, voluntarily, and wished me luck. WOW! There should be more of it – definitely. It warms the cockles of the heart.
I rang Man-Child I later on his mobile just before I headed off to the airport. When I commented on his earlier farewell, he admitted he’d only thought about my extended absence when he got to the tram – that was when he realized what his father had been banging on about! Clearly one needs to be very specific with teenage boys – they just don’t connect the dots sometimes do they (or is that a bloke thing also)? Anyway, he then wished me a great trip and assured me he’d be good.
So I left Melbourne feeling like I would be missed just a little, and confident they would all survive my absence (a couple of freezer meals ensured they wouldn’t starve at least). Of course my darling daughter gave me 500 hugs before I left, because at seven years old they still believe you are the most clever, important, wonderful person in the whole world. 🙂