His large feet shush across the carpet toward my bed in the dim rainy day light. I can hear his hesitancy as he approaches and know he must be wondering if I’m awake, or even alive. I’m tangled in and out of covers and sheets after another restless night. It must be time for him to leave for school and he’s come to check on me since I’m not downstairs. For a second I wonder if he thinks I’ve forgotten carpool duty on my one day off.
“Morning, Doog,” I mumble to him before he turns around to leave, trying to sound more awake than I am.
“G’ morning, Mom,” he responds in a voice with a Friday lilt. I can sense that he has drawn closer to the edge of the bed and is standing there, most likely trying to decide just how he might give me a hug. But I’m not perched on my usual edge. Instead, I am sprawled across the middle and not quite reachable for a 15-year-old who more and more seems to find the business of hugging awkward. I find myself wanting to erase his discomfort.
“Are you ready for school? Do you have all your things together?” I ask even though I asked last night before bed, and even earlier after his homework was complete.
“Yes. I’m ready.”
“Do well on your tests today, okay?”
“‘Kay. And I just wanted to remind you that I won’t be there to pick up after school ’cause I’m going with W,” he tells me, already headed out of the room.
“It’s not my day, Doog. Don’t forget your book for English so you can read today,” I add unnecessarily, as that, too had been discussed last night.
“I won’t, Mom.”
I hear the weight of his still growing body on the stairs as he heads down, and a few muffled words with his father as he clicks the lock on the front door to leave, his backpack banging against its frame. It’s 7am and his car pool is most likely waiting outside. “Bye, Mom,” he calls.
“Bye, Doog,” I say, never quite loud enough.
“See you later, too,” I finish.
I wait to hear the car pull away before I drag myself from bed and shuffle down stairs to take care of the animals.
It only takes a second to notice that he has left the book I reminded him about. It’s on the floor right where he drops his backpack each day.
I sigh and am glad that I have resisted learning how to text message. What good would it do to remind him of what he’s forgotten unless I plan to drive the book to him? It would just remind him that he just can’t seem to get the details of school right. Besides, when it’s time for him to need his book, he’ll remember that I reminded him, and that yet again, he has forgotten. He hates it. But he also seems fairly incapable of fixing the problem.
I head into the kitchen and tell the MoH. Annoyed, he tells me it isn’t too late to call the RT to let him know he can’t go to his friend’s after school. I make a mental note to not tattle on the RT unless it’s important, because it doesn’t solve the problem. It just sends the MoH off to work on a Friday morning with a less than buoyant attitude about his son. It all feels a bit Ward and June-ish to me.
It isn’t that important. What is important is that he takes the time to say good morning to me before he leaves for school on a Friday.
I’m left wondering when the last time was that I told him I loved him. I pick up his forgotten book and place it near his calculator which he has also not taken to school today.
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