Cambrian: Opinion

Looking ahead to my son’s new life

Diane Brooke
Diane Brooke

The day this column comes out is the date of birth of my second child. That, and I will be on the road in the opposite direction on a rockhounding trip to the desert that has been planned for a year. That, and the “opposite direction” was from witnessing the marriage of my firstborn son, up in Portland, Oregon.

At the moment I’m still here, writing this, snuggled in blankets and in the presence of my growing family, watching the sun come up over the snow-laden backyard of their new house. … Forgive me if I ramble more than usual — call it sensory overload. And I’m not complaining in the least.

How could I when I was blessed with spending the holidays with my sons and their gals? How can I be when the world is reopening before me — an expanding family (whether there will be grandchildren or not in my future/their future is of no consequence to me, but just having more young people in my family)? It is easier to be hopeful now. I could be cynical, but that’s not my way.

Our conversations have been lively: of politics and cultures (my new daughter is German — it’s been absolutely delightful and enriching listening to her, her mother and sister), friends and family stories. … I am so rich. I even got to go shopping for the bridal gown with them, an honor for mothers, sisters and BFFs.

Yeah, I was honored.

I wish to rework (for more family consumption than the internet) something I wrote before I left for the great northwest:

This is a time when I’m glad I live by myself. My shoulder has been killing me since I got back from Hawaii two weeks ago. I had a marvelous time, one of the best Christmases ever. But the pain has been verging on excruciating for some unknown reason. One massage last week was not enough — the second one is coming tomorrow. I have great hope for healing. Perhaps, however, what I need is a swift kick in the ass to knock things loose. I’m still in misery.

Tonight, I recalled a nice bottle of Port stashed in my cupboard. “That’ll surely soften the discomfort.” The truth serum almost made me call Woody on the phone, the father of my first son, my companion on this past holiday trip to Honolulu where my younger son lives.

Watching Barack Obama’s final speech as president probably did not help my mental state. What a class act.

I hung up after one ring. The tears were not to be shared in such a way!

Doggone it! Our son is getting married in four days! It just hit me like a slow-moving, 200-car train of molasses. Ouch. For a month, his little face, then framed with often sun-bleached hair and always a curious eye, pops up regularly in my head. Even now, sitting here writing this, moves me back to the brink of tears, to remember him as an innocent, eager, unjaded (not that he totally isn’t now at nearly 30 years of age) child with the future before him. I’m jealous of him. And his younger brother. They do have so much to look forward to, to plan for, to work for.

Me, I keep making lists and dreaming up things. Things as simple as writing a book. OK, that’s not necessarily so simple but, not that complicated. But, geez, time moves so much more quickly than when I was a teenager on the road or a 22-year-old just moving to a small rural town from the metropolis of L.A. Heck, I can’t even remember to pay my bills sometimes, they get lost in the shuffle of “important” papers on my computer desk. Sigh. It’s worth it to them to invest in real estate. For me, just a pain in the butt to try to keep up with. I’d wanted a family compound. …

Really, I’m happy. Probably happier than I’ve ever been. But, also, more confused. I don’t think I’m coming down with dementia but, at a loss about what to do. What’s my purpose? Sure, I’m blessed to have a profession that makes people feel good, feel better. But, a purpose! Ever the mom, that’s how I took control over the holidays. Woody mentioned that. “You just took control and guided everybody along.” Sigh.

There is something about all of that, not being cramped on the airplane on the way home, but the emotion, that’s stuck under my wing. I know this pain is something in my head, not so much in my body. It just manifests that way. My heart is so full of love for my boys, so full of love for life in general. I’m going to see my first born married this weekend.

Great — it’s hard to see the screen when you’re crying.

No one said parenting was going to be easy. Relationships aren’t easy. Life isn’t easy. But, boy is it gratifying when your child is smart, independent and happy in love. That is the best. I think he has already made many better choices than I ever did. I know he has.

I miss my mom. Funny, I can type that with my eyes tear-filled and closed. Of course, I can type all of this without looking … but … my mom would be so happy, just as happy as I am. And proud.

We did OK, Mom (I know you’re looking over us!) — you and I and Woody and Craig and all the whole cast of characters who made Miles’ life possible, added some grout here and there, a coat of paint, shored him up with a little plaster — and lots of love. He may not ever even remember it, but I know.

My son is getting married this Saturday. The final chapter in the book of Letting Go. Please don’t forget me, my dear, sweet, bright, amazing son. I love you.

In closing, my favorite quote from, I don’t remember whom: “A child is God’s wish that the world should go on.” I’d better pull up my bootstraps and get to work, making sure this place is a happy, healthy place.

Dianne Brooke’s column appears weekly and is special to The Cambrian.