Tall Oaks

The author David Everett once wrote ‘Tall oaks from little acorns grow’.

I’m sure all mothers can relate, but I still see my thirteen year old son, His Awesomeness, as if he were the 4 pound 1 ounce space alien looking creature we brought home from the hospital, swaddled up in flannel blankets, in August no less, looking for all the world like an even more miniature version of Yoda…without the green skin. Himself and I had a grand time swaddling that kid up and mimicking characters from Star Wars (Luke, I AM your fah-ther!!). It’s probably why the boy is warped to this day, but it was rip-roaring fun at the time.

Today, the shrimp can look me in the eye and I no longer confuse him with his sister when he answers the phone. I have to resist the urge to say ‘Oops, sorry, wrong number!’ because surely that deepening voice is not that of my little boy…never mind that he’s no longer little and can look me dead in the eye when I scold him. Geez, but I really miss the fun of towering over him. Bad mommy.

He’s an uber-cool know-it-all , terribly in love with Jennifer Lawrence of ‘Hunger Games’ fame and thinks the Beach Boys are the most awesome band in existence. Yes, the Beach Boys. He listens to their CD every night at bedtime. Personally, I don’t think I could drift off to ‘Surfin’ USA’ or ‘409’, but hey, whatever works, right?

Today, after dropping them off at school, I happened into his room. No, not to snoop. I did that ONCE and have since cured myself of ever doing it again. Don’t ask. No, I just wanted to make sure he’d actually made up the bed like I’d asked. He had and after I got over that shock, I noticed what was front and center on the bed.


The top quilt is the one my mother made him when he was three, the bottom one from me he got a couple of years back.  I’d show you the stuffed animal on the pillow, but I won’t.  That poor thing’s been through doctor and ER visits, loved and cuddled and treasured..unless there’s a friend staying overnight and then it’s relegated to the dark cavernous underbelly of the bed.  Surely, the mere mention of ‘stuffed animal’ as it relates to a thirteen year old male is embarrassment enough should he ever be bored and mosey over and read his mother’s blog.  Which he won’t, so I’m safe.

He’s definitely outgrown the top one and is pushing the limits of the other.  My quilting and, as it turns out, my mothering instincts are hard-pressed to keep up with him as he seems to be growing (and somewhat maturing) at a rapidly accelerating rate.  I love that he’s growing up and becoming more confident in himself.  I’m now being asked questions that I can’t easily answer or pawn off on Himself to handle and I realize he’s not my ‘little’ boy anymore.  Which is what I want because if he weren’t growing it’d mean I’d eaten him in the intervening years between birth and now (which is what I would’ve liked to have done on more than one occasion, but restrained myself).

He’s got chin hair.  And lip hair.  And more leg hair than me in wintertime.  You probably didn’t want to know that last bit, but you could’ve stopped reading before now so it’s all on you.  Some days I don’t know quite what to make of him..he probably, no scratch that, he definitely feels the same about me and my weird ways and ideas.  You know, like personal responsibility, regular bathing (using soap and shampoo, not just gazing at the bottles in passing) and oral hygiene.  Stuff that’ll one day help him get a job (yay!) and a girl (hmm..).

The top quilt’s worn and the fabrics are outdated…but it’s still loved. 


I can’t help but see those two quilts as if they were my son and I.  Look at the top picture again…see, the planes on the quilts are going in opposite directions and it reminds me that he’s growing up and doesn’t quite need me the same way he used to.  Which makes me sad, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it, to grow up and go out and make your mark.  So, I stop snivelling and look again.  Sure, they’re going in different directions, but the new quilt has a border of planes encircling those in the center.  No matter where life takes him, I’ll always be around.




  1. My only response can be Awwwee. My boy is 28 but has been gone from me since he was 14, the year he decided to go live with his dad. Devastating! But he still loves me and I still marvel at his every time I see his face, hear his voice, and know that he too was my little 6 1/2 pound baby who shook with cold even when the heater was up to 85 in the house. He has survived so many calamities it’s a wonder he lives and breathes. I never cease to wonder that he is mine.

    • Mine got behind the wheel of a vehicle and took it for a short spin yesterday. All I could say was oh em gee. I’m not ready for him to be driving…or shaving!

  2. They grow up so quickly , but it seems to go twice as fast from teenage-hood. Enjoy every moment because in the blink of an eye he’ll be heading off to college or something and you’ll wonder where the time went.

  3. Very profound. Try to remember this when he starts telling YOU how to drive or tries to sweet talk you out of ignoring curfew violations. I raised three of them and I loved ever minute of it. I adore the men they have become but I still miss the little boys who whispered things like, “You are the prettiest mommy in kindergarten.” And, “I am gonna grow taller so that I can reach everything for you when you are old.” They did but they moved away!!!

    • Yeah, he does say sweet things…just not in public anymore. Fortunately, we’re not quite to the point of him walking twenty paces ahead of us to avoid being embarrassed by his way uncool parents.

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