Did I tell you that I love you? I did!? Did I tell you twice? I did!? Well, let me tell you one more time: „I love you!” Though you're giving me a hard time. It hasn't been like this in the past. There was a time when you were my little boy. You came to me with your boo-boo and I had the power to heal every bruise by blowing it off. There was a time when we sat together on the floor playing with your Matchbox cars. Once I was like the superheros in your comic books: I scared away the monsters living under your bed by simply looking at them. I definitely was like Cyclops, with the difference of fully controlling the power of my eye-beams.
Now it's different. You're still my „little” boy, though you're an inch taller than me; but you put on the plaster yourself and we sold your toys at the flea market. All the magical powers I had are gone. The title of my favorite book comes to my mind: „Gone with the wind”. I still feel like Scarlett O'Hara, I still live at Tara but „After all, tomorrow is another day!” is no longer valid 'cos you somehow live in another time frame now; another universe. There are no „days” in the place you spend your time now. There are sections of time at best: measured by the length of an average TikTok clip; the hour-long podcasts from those morons as I name-call them; the „waste of time” you call school. I moan about the days I didn't spend with you, 'cos I was busy with my own stuff. Last week I flooded the living room with tears watching „Mamma mia” on Blu-ray, when Meryl Streep started singing „Slipping Through My Fingers”. I looked the song up at Wikipedia: „The song is about a mother's regret at how quickly her daughter is growing up, and the lack of time they have spent together, as the girl goes to school.” Sounds like I'm not the only one. I loath Wikipedia, I loath ABBA, I loath Meryl Streep but foremost I loath myself. I loath to wallow in self-pity. - Did you ever notice how close „loath” and „love” sound phonetically?
I was warned it would be like this. All parents know about this. But I had no clues it would be this harsh, this sudden. A discussion I had with Thomasin comes to my mind. About what people with no children really miss. How incomplete they are, as the extremes sleeping inside them will never surface. About the capability kids have to bring out the best and worst of you. Nobody taught me about myself as you did: Pushing me to the edge and then mercilessly giving me the fatal kick - watching me falling in anger and disbelieve, screaming at the top of my lungs … helpless, ready to strike my first smack.
The day I gave birth to you I swore I would never - never ever - raise my hand. Yesterday you laughed at me when I was at the point to make the gesture. You won, I lost. I feel ashamed. Looking at you I'm watching myself - 32 years younger. May I quote from Cat Stevens' „Father and Son”? „I was once like you are now. And I know that it's not easy”. And I know Yusuf, as he is known now, cannot compete with Harry Styles and his „As It Was” or Glass Animals or Ion Miles, Siraone & Bhz - though today's songs sound all the same to me.
It made me smile when you came all excited to show me a music video which looked: „… so retro, so 80s, you'll surely like it”. It made me smile watching Kate Bush in her dance routine to „Running Up That Hill”. I didn't tell you that I danced to the very same song. Later that day I was floored to learn „Running Up That Hill” has smashed records as it topped the UK charts 37 years after the song was first released in 1985 and peaked at No 3. Apparently, Bush's song plays in the first episode of season 4 of the „Stranger things” series. I'm so glad I never subscribed to Netflix to watch a series set in the 1980s. Too many memories. An unbearable number. You think you're listening to „your” music, unaware of the fragile bond that ties our „centuries” together. You're listening to music, you're no longer listening to me. How I hate those Bluetooth headphones … when you wear them at dinner … the only moment we share during the day.
Actually, those in-ears are mine. „May I have them for a minute?”, you asked. As I stated above, time seems to be an abstract concept for you. I'd like to have them back. Buy your own. Your pocket money costs me a fortune as I try to keep up with the cash the rest of your mates get. I wanna listen to the 80s, the 90s. Wanna listen to Baz Luhrmann's „Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” time and again. The lyrics are based on an essay by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and sum up just perfectly what I'm trying to convey to you: „Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked…”. Silly me. Your grandma gave me the old photo albums after cleaning the basement during the lock-down. I didn't clean anything: Not the basement, not the bookshelf, not my convictions - nothing. … I didn't dare opening the album with the blue cover and the faded sunflower. You know, the one preserving my childhood in time. Just the thought of opening it scared me to death. Granny noticed it; gave me a very strange glance and then smiled. It scared me even more. Do you notice the little wrinkles around my eyes? She once said one has to be brave to get older. I’m starting to realize what she was talking about. You for sure are fearless or shall I name it careless? I'm not. I don't wanna loose you. Don't wanna remain all by myself. Alone. Home alone. I'll let go. You. Promise. Because ...
Did I tell you that I love you? I did!? Did ...