A conversation, 5 years ago…
“Hi, Mom,” Brad casually said as he climbed into the car.
“Hi. Everything okay?” I asked.
“Yeah. I’m good.”
“Alright. Good. Just wondering. You are a little later than usual. I just called your phone. Left you a message.”
“You’ve got soccer practice. 5 ‘o clock.”
“Ah. I wanted to go to Jared’s house.” He looked at me, hoping I’d allow it.
“Nope. You are going to practice. You made a commitment.”
“What?! Can I go over there before practice? For a few hours?”
“I need to call him. Make sure it’s okay,” he stated.
“Call now. While I am driving that way.”
“I don’t have my phone.”
“Use mine,” I said.
“I don’t know his number. It’s on my phone.”
“Well, I am not going to drive home, wait for you to call, then drive all the way back.”
“Are you kidding me?” he raised his voice.
“Seriously. I’m not.”
“I don’t get it!”
“I am not going to spend my time driving there, here, and everywhere. Forget it!” I, too, raised my voice.
“I will just ask Liz or Roberto to take me over.”
“Good luck with that. They are both at work. I’m sure they are not going to tell their bosses they need to leave to take you to a friend’s house.”
“I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?” Brad continued.
“Keep it up and I will not take you to soccer practice, either.”
“I don’t care.”
The air could be cut with a knife.
I pull into the driveway.
He jumps out.
Slams the car door.
As he walks toward the front door he kicks the soccer net that sits on the pavement, waiting for some attention.
Attention it got.
A big thump!
Parts of the piping disconnect.
I gather my things.
I open the driver’s-side door.
“You are so rude!!”
I shove my house-key into the locked bolt.
Brad barrels his way into the front door.
I follow, slamming the door shut behind me.
For a second I thought I broke the door off its hinges.
“You are acting like a little brat,” I yell.
“That’s it. No soccer. In fact, no nothing all weekend!”
I am so frustrated.
Yet, I don’t care.
“Whatever,” the little stinker says.
“I see now. As long as I do what you want everything is awesome. Tell you no, the fangs come out!” I bellow, loud enough that should someone be walking by they would hear my anger.
“Now I know you hate me!” he says, testing my reaction.
“And you must hate me!”
I slammed some pans onto the stove.
I was determined to make the spaghetti I had planned for the evening.
I’m almost certain no one will eat it.
But who cares.
I follow through on my goal.
Brad plops down on the couch.
“Don’t you dare turn on your PlayStation. You cannot play any games,” I state, matter-of-factly.
“I am going to sit there. Drink my tea.”
I plop my butt down on an over-sized chair.
He leaves the room.
Goes to the kitchen to eat an Oreo or five.
He takes his cookies with him to his room.
I watch a recording of Grey’s Anatomy.
I allow myself to breathe.
It’s 5 ‘o clock.
Soccer practice time.
“I’m taking a shower!” he yells from down the hallway.
I know this is his way to call a truce.
To say something normal.
To apologize without apologizing.
I ignore him.
I thought I was going to have a nice late afternoon with my son, watch him practice instead of walking, like I usually do. I’d develop some photos. And maybe rent a movie. A relaxing Friday evening. With my youngest kid.