I know this all runs together, it will be split up into different categories within the chapter. You are getting the very rough draft here peeps so bear with me!
If you know nothing about raising boys, nothing can prepare you for the way a son loves his mother, absolutely nothing! Andrew was the first boy on my side of the family in 17 years. We only had experience with girls so nothing prepared me for raising a son!
Andrew was always a happy baby, toddler, child and teenager. He was just busy as hell as a toddler and young child. And how many have heard of a happy teenager? They are a rare breed like the unicorn and white stag!
As a baby I would hear him laughing and having a great time in his crib like somebody was in there playing with him. Even in the middle of the night in the dark, before his sister made him afraid of the dark that is. Older siblings are great aren’t they?? We would hear him laughing and carrying on like his stuffed animals or something else were playing with him.
I raised my daughter to be independent. When she went to preschool she was 2 years old, she spoke in complete sentences and was potty trained. She had not been around other children, so at 2 years old I thought it was time for her to be around kids her own age. Elatia and I worked together since she was 5 months old delivering newspapers. I was 19 when I had her and I wanted to make sure I was the one who was there for her first words and first steps so delivering newspaper allowed me to be there for those momentous events in my daughter’s life.
Elatia had never been away from me for the first 2 years of her life. Her first day of preschool she went in sat down and asked where her breakfast was! It was me that had the tears & needed to be escorted out! I was happy that she was independent but it was tough on me. I use to make fun of the kids that would cling to their mothers crying hysterically. I thought “How insecure are those kids?” Yea, I shoulda kept my mouth shut! Because I was going to have one of those clingy hysterical kids myself one day! In about 8 yrs!
Andrew on the other hand was not ready for preschool at 2 years old. I couldn’t understand a word he said at 2yo, or 3 yrs old! People would ask me what he was saying and I would reply, “Hell if I know!” Then they would inform me that being his mother, I should be able to understand him. Hey, I didn’t so don’t be judging!
He was not potty trained at 2 either. He wasn’t until the week of his third birthday. But that wasn’t until after he left a “tootsie roll” in my sister’s friend’s hot tub at my niece’s First Holy Communion party! Timing is everything people! Oh I will get even one day!
My sister’s friend is also our mortgage broker and I brought it up last year when we refinanced & Andrew was with me. Ahhhh the time has come and it only took 12yrs! *insert evil laugh here!* Yea, I’m one of those moms that never forgets! The funny thing is, my sister’s friend did! She did NOT remember Andrew doing dropping deuce in her hot tub! I have to say I was really relieved! I wanted a good mortgage rate! Now that I think about it, I think she did remember! Andrew just thought it was all pretty funny. Of course boys always think that poop, farts, boogers and snot are all funny!
Andrew was attached to me like flies on you know what! Honey! Teehee gotcha! He was attached so much so I had to have several exit points out of my house that I could sneak out of! He was my shadow, such a mama’s boy. Elatia would have to distract him while I made my quick get away and waited in the front yard for Martin. We had to make sure the blinds were closed as well. If he saw me leaving, we would have to literally pull him off me! Dunno what it is with mothers and sons, but I do know it’s powerful! I mean, Elatia and I were very close when she was little & now, but this? This knocked me for a loop!
You can imagine what preschool was like! Yea, it wasn’t pretty. I would stand there with my arms and legs spread out as they tried to pry Andrew off me. Then he would run to the big window in the class with his big crocodile tears and we’d share a window kiss. That was the procedure, we had to do it everyday. That was just the beginning of a long line of procedures.
I also actually thought he might be slightly retarded. I didn’t admit that until one day when Andrew was in kindergarten and another mother from his class asked me if I thought Andrew was slightly retarded when he was younger.
Well, I wanted to know first why the heck she was asking me that question before I admitted anything! Did she notice something about Andrew? What was she getting at?
She too had a daughter that was a bit older than her son. Her daughter was a head in a lot of her development when she was a baby. Then she had her son and she also thought he was slightly retarded. Phew! So it wasn’t just me that thought that about their son. We didn’t think they were fully retarded, just ever so slightly is all.
I discussed this with a client of mine and she said she had her son first and when her daughter came along she just thought her daughter was a genius! I guess it’s all about perspective.
Because of the age difference I wanted to have another child but when Andrew hit 2 years old and Elatia was 12, I was in parenthood hell!! One kid in terrible twos and the other in the throws of puberty! What was I thinking!? OMG! It’s amazing I have the amount of hair I do!
TOUCH OF TOURETTES
We noticed one day when driving Andrew home from preschool that he was making odd little noises that only can be described as a baby alligator when they hatch. Of course we didn’t know that’s what it sounded like at the time. Steve Irwin wasn’t on TV yet.
Funny enough, the preschool teachers didn’t notice it in class. So we didn’t know what to make of it. As he got older we noticed that he was getting facial ticks as well. It didn’t get really bad until school became very stressful for Andrew. By the time he was in fourth grade where they stuck him in a behavior problem class because the class he needed to be in was full, it was becoming more extreme. So much so Andrew said he wanted to go to a doctor because his neck was getting sore from the severe ticks.
The teachers in their infinite wisdom, decided to punish him for not being able to sit still, he would rock in his seat, and the noises, because he wasn’t “officially” diagnosed with tourettes. We told them the reason was 1. We didn’t see the need for it since we were NOT going to medicate him for it. We were working on helping him to deal with stress through meditating. AND 2. We had no insurance.
That is one of the reasons we pulled him out of school at 9 years old during Winter Break. That, and the fact public school was killing his Spirit. He was a very outgoing child from the start! He talked to everybody everywhere we went. Whether it was a big burly biker dude that looked like he ate kids, he’d say “Hey Buddy! Hows it going?” or the cranky looking old woman eating lunch at McDonald’s he asked “How’s your lunch? Is it good? Do you like it?” Or the 2 black women bickering in the mall parking lot that he said with a HUGE smile, without missing a beat, “HI! How’s it going!!?”
Something very cool happened at that moment he talked to these people. The burly biker dude now looked like a big ole teddy bear. The old woman looked like a nice grandma now. And with those 2 women, they stopped bickering, looked at this little white boy asking how they were doing, smiled at him and said they were doing fine. They ended up laughing and chatting with each other as they went into the mall.
Andrew was very young when he did these things, about 4 or 5 years old. He talked to absolutely everybody! There was a commercial around the holidays at that time that said “would your child go off with a stranger?” I said “In a heart beat!” To Andrew, everyone was his best friend, no one was a stranger to him! That’s what I loved about him! He had no fear of people like I did. It was such a beautiful gift he had, he brought a smile to everyone who came across his path. I tol him it was an amazing gift he had and I didn’t want him to change!
But school was changing him. I saw the amazing Light that he was, was starting to fade. He was walking with his head down, not talking to anyone, there was a sadness creeping in. So we pulled him out of school.
Soon after we did, the tourettes was calming way down to only noticing it when he got excited about something like, oh I don’t know, Christmas and his birthday! As he got older even the baby alligator noises faded away to nothing.
We were at the mall a few months after being pulled out of school when he runs up to hold the door open for me. A gentleman walked in before me and Andrew says to him with his big grin, “Hey, how’s it going??” Then he looks at me, gives me 2 thumbs up and says “I’M BACK!” Yes, he was! ANd it was good to have my happy son back!
Andrew had a touch of OCD as well, not enough to be a problem mind you, just enough to be a big help to me around the house or think he was gay. LOL He folded his shirts just so and put them in his drawer nice and neat. When he cleaned the house, the coasters on the table had to be just so as did other things. I think he’d let his room get messy just so he cold clean and organize it.
His friends loved having him over when they had to really clean their room. Andrew would come over and totally organize & their room for them. I believe it was our last trip to So-Cal when he was 15 years old, I had an open mic in which Andrew was left home alone at my friend’s place. Daniel, my friend’s son was else where and his room was a disaster! We couldn’t see the floor from all the stuff on it.
We come back from my open mic and Daniel’s room was immaculate including the closet! The room was beautiful! Down to the stuffed animals being organized on his bed. Andrew said he was bored, he loves to organize so he did.
See? Just OCD enough to be useful!
VOICE OF AN ANGEL
Like I said, I didn’t realize just how much boys loved their mothers. Here is a perfect example of just how much. Burger King use to have that commercial with the Minnie Rippleton song “Loving You,” I use to sing it to him, even the high notes not even coming close to hitting any of the notes, slaughtering them really if the truth be told, almost to the point of ear bleeding. When I was done with this obvious horrendous rendition of the song, Andrew would say to me “Mommy, you have the voice of an Angel!” Even when I sang it to him in the hospital, he told me “Mommy, you have the voice of an Angel.” Bless his heart! Even at 16 years old he humored me! He is so good to me!
Upon that he called me his “Little Raisin,” his “Butter Cup,” his “Princess,” and when he got older I became and remained his “Pretty Mama.” He would always ask me, “Who’s the prettiest mama in the world?” I’d HAVE to say “I am!” He’d reply, “That’s right! Don’t you forget it!” And I never will!
Andrew came to me when he was about 8 years old wondering why he couldn’t levitate. He was quite upset that he couldn’t, he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t. I explained to him it was because he was on a dense planet so it makes it very difficult but not necessarily impossible. I told him that if anyone could do it it was him. I thought he could master it but it would take a lot of practice.
As the years wore on and he learned how to surf the internet, he found out that the Monks were able to not only levitate but do other cool stuff too. He started to study them. He became very fascinated by them which lead him to become interested in Buddhism. That is what he spent his last year here doing, studying the Monks and Buddhism. Now he gets to do ALL the things he could never do here, levitate, shape shift, bring objects to him, travel at the speed of thought! He is loving it!
Halloween was Andrew’s and my holiday. I get dressed up every year and took him out. We would always go out together, just he and I, no friends, and every year he would tell me how much fun he was having and he loved going out with me.
His first time out he was 2 1/2, I dressed him up as a punk rocker because it was the easiest thing to do without him putting up a fight. Just spike his hair, throw some color in it and some make up on his face and he was ready to go. That year I dressed as punk rocker as well so we matched. It was our very first and only chilly Halloween we’ve ever experienced too. It’s usually hot on Halloween but this year it was in the 50’s! Brrrrrrrr! It’s usually in the low 80’s and muggie so this was nice.
Andrew was really nervous, being his first Halloween out, he didn’t get the concept. He wouldn’t go up to the door and knock. So I would do it and try to get him to say “Trick or Treat.” He’d finally say something but not sure what it was. By the 3rd door he was getting the hang of it and beating on the door! LOLÂ He realized if he banged on the door he would get candy. Now he was excited! SO that began our tradition of spending Halloween together.
When we moved into our current neighborhood, Halloween was a bit scarce. Hardly anyone in the street which was a little creepy. That’s what we get for moving into a retirement area. We never went through a whole bag of candy, unless we left it on our door because we were else where, like a neighborhood filled with kids! Regardless of the circumstances we went out under, Andrew said “Mommy, I love spending Halloween with you! I’m having so much fun!”
Every year we went out, just he and I and every year he had a blast. There were a few we missed together. One year I was hosting the Witch’s Ball and we missed going out together. He was willing to wait for me too! I explained it would be too late to go out by the time I was done. I woulda had more fun with Andrew than hosting the Ball!
Our last Halloween together he was 15 years old and our plan was to go out like we had been doing for a few years, in his friends’ neighborhood. Three of his close friends Cory, CJ and Pat, all lived there. It’s loaded with kids and the neighborhood is hopping!
Andrew sadly told me that we can’t go out with Cory this year. Well, with Cory usually being in trouble, I asked “Why? What did he do now?” Andrew replied, “Nothing, he said that no parents are allowed to go out with them this year, so I’m not going with him because you and I always go out together.” Andrew was going to blow off going out with his friends just so he could go out with me!! I said “You don’t have to do that Honey! You can go out with them.” He replied, “No, I want to go out with you! It’s our tradition! I love going out with you!” He wasn’t even concerned about being made fun of by his friends for wanting to go out Trick or Treating with his Mommy!
So I made a compromise with him. I told him that I would be out in the neighborhood with Cory’s little 3 year old brother, Cameron and we would meet up a few times while we were out. He agreed to that and we did. Now Cameron is my Halloween date.
The best thing about Halloween was the big business of candy trading. You put your candy into piles and negotiate to get rid of the candy you didn’t like for the ones you did. Andrew loved Skittles and Star Burst, I did not, I was going for the chocolate candy! Me, Elatia and Andrew would sit and candy trade and just have the best time doing it!
Andrew and I had made plans for last Halloween. He was to have 2 weeks home before his stem cell transplant. He would be home for Halloween! YAY! SO we made plans for costumes. He was going as a hospital patient so he could wear a hospital mask, gloves, and hospital gown. We were going to put catchup on the front of it for blood. I wanted him to be protected while we went out so we decided on a costume around the mask and gloves. I was going as a Witch Doctor with my typical Witch outfit and a stethoscope. We were looking forward to that and Thanksgiving in October since he would be in transplant for Thanksgiving.
But we didn’t get to do any of that, Andrew left 9 days before Halloween. I did spend Halloween with Cameron again though and we went out. We’ve gone out the past 2 years, Cameron and I. I went as an Angel instead of my original outfit. Andrew’s friends made a pile of Andrew’s favorite candy out of theirs for me. Halloween will never be the same for me again.