My Son: Making the Double Helix His Bitch


We are in the car, today.  It’s dark by 4:30, and the day has been long and bone-tiring.


I am mentally consumed by a never ending and slightly terrifying to-do list.


And from the back seat, from my heretofore quiet seven year old boy,


“Mom, you look tired today.  And pretty.  Pretty and tired all at the same time.”



You can argue nature vs. nurture till you’re Smurf blue in the damn face.


But I’ll tell you right now, there is nothing in this kid’s makeup or in his experience that would lead him to say that.  That would make him perceptive enough to to read my mood and level of engagement.  That would make the leap from thought to words, that he found something or someone beautiful.


Boy, you take my breath away.  You are truly a triumph over genetics.  And I love you.



13 responses to “My Son: Making the Double Helix His Bitch

  1. What a sweetheart! Little boys can mend your heart so easily.

  2. That’s a fine looking kid there Ginny, good work. And i’ve begun to notice that little boys have a knack of saying things to their mothers that make their day, i’ve watched Kid A do it and he blows me away with his timing and eloquence.

  3. careful, ginny…careful. enjoy the moment, but, never never let your guard down. did you check the back seat? did he spill something? did he break something back there? did he set something on fire?

  4. One of the best moments in my (what, on some days, seems interminable) career as a mother came one day when my boy, our oldest, was 16. We had been through a year of hell with him — a year that proved that he was my genetic material beyond a shadow of a doubt. (The whole year long, I could hear my dearly departed parents snickering at me that karma really is a bitch).

    But somehow we got through it, survived the attitude and the testosterone surges and an occasional run-in with the cops and many run-ins with other parents. (Why, I ask you, would any mother of a 14-year-old girl allow her daughter’s boyfriend to spend sleeping in the same bed with her kid? Almost a decade and two teenagers later, it is still beyond me.) The point being that, when I say it was a year of hell, I’m not exaggerating.

    His emergence from the cocoon of adolescence happened over a long, slow, cold winter. By March break, he was almost acting like a normal human boy. Then one sunny day in June, I was outside on the deck watering my plants, and he came to me and said, “Mom, I know I was a pain in the ass and I just want to tell you that you and Dad did absolutely everything right. Thanks for hanging in there with me.”

    Not everything has been peachy between us every minute of every day since then, but whenever we have a fight I try to hang on to that moment, because it was one of the most perfect moments I’ve had in almost 25 years of parenting.

  5. What a sweetheart. And thumbs up for the new layout.

  6. BTW, that girlfriend whose mother was so casual about her daughter and my son spending nights together — I ran into her in the mall a couple of years later. Sure enough, she was pushing a baby in a stroller. When she asked how my boy was doing, and I told her he’d finished high school with multiple scholarships and was working on his Bachelor of Science degree, she said (with a smile and not a hint of sarcasm): “I bet you’re glad your son broke up with me.”

  7. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww baby.

  8. Gotta love that.

  9. That is pure awesomeness.

  10. So sweet. 🙂

    Your second to last paragraph is so eloquent. However I would have to slightly disagree that he didn’t inherit any awesomeness in his DNA. From YOU!

  11. My italics tags were supposed to only italicize the word “any”. Can you fix that so the proper emphasis is indicated?

    I should also mention that this framing of the perils of genetic inheritance indicates that your prayers to Darwin have been quite effective, no?

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