It’s time again for a Sluiter Nation Recruit to be inducted into the Nation. Don’t know what a Recruit is? Well, read here.
I don’t even know how to find the words to describe this week’s recruit, Sherri of Old Tweener.
She is one of those bloggers who I found through a blog and through a blog and connected on twitter and…well…she is probably one of my favorite treasures that the internet has given me.
Sherri and I seem to be counterparts in this thing called motherhood. Both of our first borns are sons. Hers just graduated from high school and mine is about to turn two. Daily Sherri reminds me of what I should treasure and what I have to look forward to. She gives me perspective on being a mom of a boy. And she is a role-model to me.
And she tells me that I remind her of what the toddler age was like. What she can still see in her son if she looks hard enough.
She is my future (I hope!) and I am her past.
And at the same time? We have become wonderful friends.
I am so honored that she is here today. Grab a box of tissues, though. This one is that lovely.
Sometimes I think what I miss the most is the voice.
That little-boy voice, following me wherever I went; talking to me constantly, asking questions with no apparent answers.
Or at least none that I can come up with quickly.
Even through the bathroom door.
I first heard his voice as a sort of purring sound, when he was placed on my chest right after birth.
I thought it was the best sound I’d ever heard.
As he grew, we encouraged language and reading in our house, and he soaked it up.
We talked constantly in the car while driving around. I would tell him where we were going, what we would get while we were out, and when we would head home.
I pointed out landmarks and familiar places, neighbor’s homes and favorite playgrounds.
We sang the crazy kid songs; told silly stories, and read books so many times I could probably repeat them to this day.
Goodnight stars, goodnight air…
We named animals, imitated their sounds, pretended to be pirates, recited Dr. Seuss and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. Over and over.
We encouraged him to talk and boy, did he.
He didn’t stop for 16 years.
And now, in all of his teenagerishness, the talking isn’t as frequent.
The voice is deep; traces of man are evident in the words that come out.
Responses sometimes seem harsh, even when they aren’t meant to be.
If I close my eyes, I can still hear the little boy in there, but just barely.
I haven’t been called Mommy in more years than I care to remember.
I think back to how many times he would rattle on and on about something only he found interesting; like which time periods certain dinosaurs lived in or whether or not polystyrene was recyclable.
And I know I didn’t always listen. I nodded my head, tried to stay focused and enthusiastic.
But that didn’t always work.
Like the time we drove all the way to Grandma’s house one hour away and he spent the whole time telling a story.
One story. One hour.
Pretty sure I drifted a bit during that one.
The conversations we have now are different. What time will you be home? Who are you going with? Is there enough gas in the car?
The answers are never long enough for my mind to wander.
I find myself wishing for a long story, a difficult question, a little-known fact, or something else that takes more time than a simple answer.
Wanting to hear Mommy, maybe just once more.
In that small, little-boy voice from so long ago.
See? Sherri is the BEST!
If you are not following her on twitter, you must! She is funny and lovely and a great conversationalist!
And you MUST read her blog, Old Tweener! Here is just a sampling of some of her loveliness. But head this caveat: There will be swooning.
All that Remains of the Toothfairy (honestly? the tooth fairy part of my new job description scares me)
Exit Interview (oh how this one gets me)
Driven to Insanity (ZOMG! Driver’s Training???)
Photo Finish (grab a tissue before reading this. And then don’t say I didn’t warn you)
If you have a second? Both Sherri and I (and many others) have posts nominated for BlogHer Voice of the year. Please take a minute to go through the list and vote for your favorites. The winner gets to read his/her post at the Keynote Community speaker. HUGE honor.