Some Distance Now Required shares a touching story about my son, David, growing up. The sudden change from ‘sweet little boy’ to a ‘standoffish young man,’ at the start of seventh grade caught me completely off-guard. Some Distance Now Required is in A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons, edited by Colleen Sell, Adams Media.
Somewhere between finishing sixth grade and starting seventh, my only son transformed from a sweet little boy into a standoffish young man. Okay, maybe "standoffish" is a little harsh, and in truth, he was merely a teenage boy coming into his own. Either way, it was a bit difficult for me to embrace. As a mother of two older daugthers, I fully understood there would be a transition from elementary school to junior high, yet I was caught completely off guard by the changes that had appeared seemingly overnight in David.
It all came to light on the first day of seventh grade, when I told David I would walk him to our new bus stop. Living in the outer fringes of the Twin Cities, the designated stop is a on a county road where the posted speed is 50 miles per hour. It was a perfect September morning, the early-morning dew still clinging to the tall grasses lining the ditch as the sun inched higher in the eastern sky.
"There's where you should wait," I instructed David, pointing toward the shoulder of the roadway. Since no other kids get on at our stop, I wanted to make sure he wasn't too close to the busy commuter traffic.
"Don't stand by me," he suddenly ordered.
"I'll wait here until we can see the bus."
"No, you can leave." His cheerful attitude from minutes earlier suddenly disappeared, and his eyebrows came together in a frown.
"I'll cross the street," I suggested.
I crossed the street and walked about a house-length away.
"Farther, Mom!" he called without looking at me.
The full story is available in "A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons", Edited by Colleen Sell, Adams Media, 2005.