Gargle…clear throat…and complain…

Maybe he had a nightmare.  Maybe he was just confused by his brother’s door being closed early on a weekday morning.  Whatever it was, J was all atwitter this morning.  He ran up and down the stairs; he went to the basement level; he turned on the ceiling light and nearly killed his poor mother of a heart attack…    I really don’t enjoy mornings like this one.

It wasn’t that J was UPSET or UNMANAGEABLE…it was that he was slightly off-kilter and we’ve become accustomed to his being “on kilter.”  Is that even an expression?  You know what I mean…we have grown used to J being more amenable in the mornings, and today he just wasn’t.

With a flutter of hands he indicated he wanted his brother’s bedroom door open.  After ascertaining The Great Gonzo’s presence (evidenced by a grunting lump on the bed that turned towards the light and reacted as any vampire would,) the fluttering started ebbing away.  Here and there J tried to confirm that this wasn’t one of those occasions when I’m leaving the house with them because those usually mean medical appointments and a jarring of his daily routine.

I made sure I stayed in my robe and didn’t make any sudden moves towards my makeup bag.  J rubbed my shoulder to corroborate the absence of a bra strap.  While he put on his coat and grabbed his bag, I had disappeared momentarily into the nether regions of the house, and met them in the small foyer that leads to the garage.  J, who had climbed into his seat in the car, opened his eyes widely, almost in horror, and I pulled my robe to the side, exposing the bra-strap-less skin.  I’m not going anywhere, I said.  There was a definite look of relief in his handsome face, and he smiled, waving happily.

These little things, along with the fact that the pantry and fridge were empty and it was shopping day, have thrown me off.  I am the one who, right now, feels like I need a Slinky and some boxing gloves, or -at least- to curl up in a corner.  The other night, in a moment of monumental and uncharacteristic whininess (a word?,) I sat on the steps and complained that J is sick and tired of me, and other people need to put forth the same effort I put in…  And I think I also pouted while I was doing this.  No, it’s not PMS.  It’s peri-menopause.  It’s probably stemming from the fact that -at seventeen- J sees me in much the same way his brother saw me at the same age: “aw, MOOOOOOOOOM, come OOOOOooooon!”  I can tell when I am being humored.  J is humoring me.

So, in a couple of hours we’ll be walking home and J will grant me the grace of his company for a while.  He will smile congenially and grin conspiratorially if I say something that should be amusing.  He will kiss my cheek and then run up to his room to do whatever it is that entertains him most…

I’m cool with that.  I can deal with it.  I can be the mom that doesn’t take it personally…

Turning the ceiling light on at 5:30 in the morning…well, that’s another thing entirely…

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