I got home late Wednesday night from a full day of activities. Completely exhausted but too wound up to sleep, I took a bath to relax and began to read a book. I’m not really not sure what time I finally went to sleep, but when I woke up at 7:15, I had a massive headache and my body felt 20 years older than my chronological age.
I willed myself to wake up and put my contacts in my eyes. I threw on some clothes, ran downstairs and prayed that the coffee would make my head feel better. After my quick trip to the gym coupled with the cup of coffee, I was closer to feeling human. That’s when I got the call.
My 25-year-old son, who lives in Columbus, had been at home for a week recovering from Diverticulitis. A strange disease for a young guy, but painful just the same. He had been diagnosed a week before and had done nothing but lie on the couch and sleep. I believe the days were getting long and lonely.
Anyway, I asked him how he was feeling and he said, “the same, maybe a little better.” I was hoping for more than “a little better.” He asked me if I could come in to visit with him. He then repeated this statement multiple times. There I was, sitting at my desk, with a million things to do. My appointments had canceled a couple hours before, and I impulsively decided that this was a sign that I should just go. I ran to change my clothes and left for Columbus.
I believe he called me two times during that car ride. Each time, he didn’t really have a good reason for calling. When I pulled up to the townhouse, he was sitting outside waiting for me, so excited and happy that I was there. On pain medication and unable to drive, he was relieved to get out of the house and go to lunch. Over our meal, he decided that I should make him some homemade soup. I took him shopping and picked out the foods that he could eat. He said it felt good to be walking and moving through the store instead of lying on a couch.
We went back to his place and I made the soup. He talked to me the whole time and helped me cut up vegetables. He repeatedly told me how much he appreciated me taking him out and making dinner. We watched TV together for a while until I announced that it was time to go. He kept insisting that I should stay but I knew he had a friend coming over soon. Instead, I suggested that he come home with me, but he insisted, “This was his home.”
When I heard this, my first feeling was hurt but my second feeling was pride. He had built a life here and had become independent. This was the way it was supposed to be.
On the ride home, I was thinking about our conversation. I had asked him what I should write about this week, and without missing a beat, he suggested that I write about how kids always need their moms. He said that it doesn’t matter how old you get, how independent you are, or how tough you are, there are certain times in your life when only your mom can help you feel better. I think he’s right.