I spent Sunday celebrating sons.
My friend Jessica and I traveled to Osceola for Visitors Day at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation. Her son Addao joined Boy Scouts a month or so ago, just in time for his first-ever experience away from home and either parent.
The drive to Bartle reminded me so keenly of the Family Day visit to Bartle when my own son spent his ten days there. Though the name of the day has changed — presumably in deference to the fact that some boys don’t have families — the spirit felt exactly the same. Addao with his wide grin and Class B T-shirt pounced on the Prius with the precise energy that ten-year-old Patrick approached the Dodge Ram, fourteen years ago.
We ate food from similar tables, and after lunch, we went to the Trading Post and into Iconium. Jess and Dao hiked to the caves, a similar hike to the one that I took with Patrick all those years ago, though we went to the Point and anywhere that Dennis could go in his wheelchair. Patrick wore his Class A shirt, serious, intent; but the feel was the same.
We made it home in time to eat a quick carry-out dinner. Then Jessica went off to carve wood, while I settled into a chair to follow my own son’s live-tweet of a camped-up SyFy movie, as the movie’s main character — part of his summer internship. I followed the movie, his tweets, the tweets of others presumably associated with the show or fans of all things Sharktopus. I even sent a few tweets of my own, and drew a “favorite” from whoever was managing the Twitter feed of Roger Corman, the legendary Hollywood producer for whose company my son is interning.
When the movie ended, my phone beeped: Patrick texting thanks for my presence in an audience of thousands. I found myself grinning wildly as I dialed his cell phone. Odd that technology gives us such connectedness — all of us, mothers, sons, massive cult followers of B-movies, bearers of good news and bad.
Now Jessica has gone to Toganoxie to help her parents move, and my house again resonates only with the echoes of those who have tread on its wooden floors. I rise early and think about the sons who have played here, and the mothers who have consumed cups of coffee and tea at my table and on my porch. Those sons have grown into men and gone into the world. We mothers stay behind, pleased with ourselves, with the men we have given to wives, lovers, bosses, and the virtual world.
Jessica will take her place soon in this company of women whose sons have left home to make their own way, and her sisters will welcome her to our fold.