Quiet around strangers, highly intelligent, quirky, extremely fashionable, a homebody, king of sarcasm, technical genius, singer, perfectionist and lover of his black skin.
My son, Justus, now 16 years old.
Friday, August 14th at 9:30 he had all four of his wisdom teeth pulled. After his six month dental check up, he was referred to the oral surgeon for a consultation. They wanted to pull them before they grew in and messed up his beautifully straightened teeth. Three years in braces, homeboy was like, the sooner the better.
The night before the appointment I think I was more nervous than he was. When it comes to anything, Justus is all about the facts! He wanted to know what was going to happen. What medications would be given, and what the sides effects were. He chose the date for the procedure based on his work, and school schedule...because, priorities! I scheduled my PTO accordingly.
The day before his procedure, I filled all of his prescriptions. He had antibiotics, a pain reliever, and one single pill that he would take one hour before the appointment to help him relax. That one pill y’all, that one!!?? Lawd, had my son high as a damn kite.
I may or may not have taken a video or two.
Morning of the procedure, walked him in, signed some paperwork, they took him back and told me they’d call me in about an hour. I went back home (it was five minutes away), painted my toes and anxiously awaited the phone call. Less than an hour later, they called and he was ready to be picked up. I drove back, pulled up front and they wheeled him out. He was completely out of it, with both hands bloodied and holding his face. The young man who brought him out said that he kept grabbing his face and trying to put his hands in his mouth. He was absolutely correct! The entire five minute ride home I was constantly taking his hands down.
When I picked him up, I was reminded of the day I brought him home after he was born. I was reminded of how once you left that hospital, you were completely on your own. Yes, they give you tips and instructions, but that baby is all yours. I was also reminded how helpless you feel when your child is sick or in pain. Yesterday, I was THAT parent.
We got home, and thank God my oldest son hadn’t left for work yet! I called him, he came right out to bring his little brother in the house. Watching the interaction between the two of them almost brought me to tears! My oldest son came to the car, asked him if he was okay, then told him he was going to help him in the house. Now, before the awwwws, while he was genuine in his actions, he also had a hidden agenda, homeboy wanted some funny videos lol. He got him in the house, being ever so careful. Got him to the couch, and stuck around for a few to make sure I wouldn’t need anymore help, before leaving for work.
Justus laid on the couch. Hands still bloodied. Mouth still bloodied and packed with gauze, fast asleep. I got some wet wipes and cleaned him up a bit. Wiped his hands. Wiped his face, and he never woke up. I went to the other couch. I sat. No TV playing. No noise in the house. Just him sound asleep and me watching.
As I sat watching him, I remembered how I watched him sleep as a baby. I did it with all my children. I would sit and just watch them. I would watch them in complete awe. Amazed at this tiny human that I grew inside me and brought earth side.
Yesterday, even at the age of 16, I watched with the same amazement. My once infant son now a bearded young man. An independent thinking young man. An opinionated young man, but yesterday he was simply my baby, and I was his mommy.
It can be a strange space when you go from parenting toddlers, to parenting teens and young adults. When the conversations go from stranger danger to are you having sex? When you shift from the first day of kindergarten to first day of college. When you go from Blues Clues bed sets to talks about first apartments.
Yesterday I was reminded of how fast time flies. I was reminded of the importance of valuing ever single minute and milestone, because one day, that little baby that you brought home from the hospital will be a full grown adult.
But yesterday, I watched my baby sleep.
Until next time...🦋