Saturday, September 01, 2007

8 Cups of Nothingness

It's Cameron's birthday today. September 1. Born on the 'unofficial' first day of Spring in New Zealand. My hospital room was filled with the most beautiful and vibrant colours from spring flowers this day, 18 years ago.

Cameron is on the home stretch through his final year of college (high school)...he's allowed to vote...he's now driving...he has more in his savings account than I do....and today he can go into the local liquor store and purchase alcohol for his party this evening. Next year he starts University.

I was going to give him a rice cooker as part of his birthday gifts this year. Yeah, you read it right...a rice cooker. If there's two appliances I know Cameron will want when he moves out of home, they'll be a rice cooker and a blender. The kid could almost live on rice and fruit smoothies alone. And while I know he's not moving out tomorrow, I also know that day is going to come a lot quicker than I'm prepared for.

I wanted to buy him 'big people' presents you know? Something to show him I understood he's grown into a fine young man...officially an adult. Something to prove to him that I was ok with this day he will definitely be leaving home...I wanted to show him that I was ok with all of it...he could go and I would survive the tear in my soul.

In theory it stacked up great. What a brilliant mummy I am, I thought...look at me, permitting him to go out into the great wide world without me...look at me, encouraging him, giving him a gift to help him along the way no less.

Patting myself on the back, I went into the shop and stood staring at the various brands and sizes of rice cookers. I stood there for the longest time...just staring at them all. I knew he'd understand the significance of me being the one that gave it to him.

I could picture him in some student flat kitchen measuring out rice and adding water to it. I started picturing him eating the damn stuff with his flatmates...sitting around on unmatched furniture, having a laugh and chatting, watching telly, whatever. As the peripheral vision in my mind panned out further, I could see what was holding me back from reaching out and taking the appliance off the shelf.

It was the lack of myself in the picture. I was missing. Excluded.

I walked out of the store and came home feeling emotionally spent. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to buy it. Who knew that one small and inexpensive kitchen appliance could strike such fear into one's heart? Who knew that under all the smiles and bravado that the very thought of him leaving makes me want to shrivel up inside? I feel the ache of grief constantly today.

I am trying SO hard NOT to let my hormones get the better of me right now....and after reading over the above, it's a tad obvious to me I just failed at that rather miserably. *sigh*
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