Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sleep deprived ponderngs about sons and mothers

Christopher at the beach in spring

I have decided that sleep deprivation is something mothers deal with all their lives, beginning the first night after a child is born and continuing until... who knows. My own mother stayed up worrying about her children after they were grandparents. Sigh...

Christopher was again on campus late studying for a big test, calling me around Midnight to stay on the phone until he reached the car. Under different circumstances that would seem a rather strange thing to stay up for with a young man who will soon turn twenty.

However, there have been multiple armed robberies, numerous assaults, and a couple shootings on and near campus this semester. Except for the occasional assault, such things were unheard of until recently... and those past assaults usually had a lot to do with excess alcohol and parties.

The car was parked away from campus, behind a building, and near a dark alley, which causes even a six foot tall guy to be uneasy. (Instead of fencing this year, he is taking martial arts classes once a week. A wise decision.)

Once I knew he was on his way home, I brewed both of us Lipton's Bedtime Story herbal tea. I poured his in the slightly heavy porcelain mug with matching lid that Stephanie bought me when she was in college. It keeps tea nice and hot.

It must be that sleep deprivation was the reason I walked in the living room this morning after the alarm went off at 6:15 and stood in front of the sofa (in the dark) wondering why there was no black and white ball of fur waiting for me... it took a few seconds to remember.

I woke Christopher up with the words... "I am too old to get six hours of sleep or less two nights in a row". That is far better than, "Your mother is losing her mind".

Other than lack of sleep and remembering what it is like living with two melancholic men, I've enjoyed having Christopher home again this semester. One evening he plopped on the dark green swivel chair in the living room with his laptop, asking me what I knew about Frankie Schaeffer. I told him all I could remember, including the op-ed piece Os Guinness wrote to refute Frankie's latest book where he made such scathing remarks about his parents.

It seems the latest d.i.g.g. (sp?) headlines that day were all about statements Frankie had made in an interview, which he had me listen to for a few minutes. He was wondering if what he said about his parents (Edith and Francis Schaeffer) were true.

Once again, I shared with him my opinion on how the youngest of the Schaeffer kids could not only stray so far from the faith but become such an outspoken critic of evangelical Christianity and all things conservative.

Since he struggles with his own doubts... not about Christ but the Church... it was a great opening for discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly... about Humanity. As we do so often, we both had computers open with dueling Google searches. I missed that when he lived in town. :)

I always told Stephanie when she was growing up that I was raising my own best friend. That has proven itself true when we get together a couple times a year and have such fun as well as cell phone calls which continue conversations as if they had just happened instead of a week having passed.

How lovely to have another human being who shares the same passions about life and books and decorating and cooking and... well, you understand... as well as a shared history. (My poor son-in-law, he is long suffering, a special crown in Heaven must await him someday.) I always remind Christopher when he is interested in a young lady to look at her mother for that is most likely whom she may be like as she grows older. Thankfully my son-in-law's mother forgot to tell him about that. But I digress...

What surprised me was the same thing happening... in a slightly different way... with my boy. Most likely a result from years and years of homeschooling, he enjoys talking about books and ideas with me. I always call good homeschooling one continuous conversation.

Sometimes we don't agree (he can't stand Glenn Beck), other times he knows me too well (as in telling me I'd enjoy the latest X-men movie because I can watch Wolverine for two hours), then there are subjects in which he'd rather talk to his father or sister or brother-in-law. I don't know why most of them involve math or logic.

I am looking forward to the day I have a sweet daughter-in-law but I'm also hoping to receive a phone call which begins, "Mom, what did you think of...?".

Sigh... I need a nap.


Betsy said...

I can relate to this with my oldest a college freshman this year!

Get him a tiny can of mace that hooks on his key ring. That will protect him even more than mom on the other end of the cell phone. :)

I also feel more at ease when my son arrives home...or better yet...just stays home for the evening! (but that hardly ever happens!)

Mrs.Rabe said...

What an awesome relationship.

I agree with your assessment about homeschooling - one long conversation!


Anonymous said...

Brenda, I completely relate to "raising your own best friend"!! I have six grown children now, and my daughters and I are such good friends...I so enjoy them! So interesting to me as I did not have sisters growing up and found boys much easier to relate with. Not to leave my sons out....my youngest just stopped by my little office to bring me coffee after his morning class at the community college (he's 17, and completing his homeschool education at the college). What a treasure we have! What opportunities to deepen our relationship with our kiddos through homeschooling....I know you can relate. Your writings and ramblings are a blessing to me:) Thank you.

Faith said...

I am not where you are yet...I have a 13 & 7 year old..but I think we are about the same age..I would like the relationship you have with your son, with my oldest son. maybe someday hun? He is at that age....he knows everything.
and hey I like Glenn too.....enjoy your posts..

Nita in South Carolina said...

Oh, I completely understand! My son will be 15 in December - just started high school. After Friday night football games, our church has started an "after party" with games and refreshments at our church. The youth pastor gives him a ride home. Friday night - sorry, Saturday MORNING - he came in at about 1am. I go to sleep at 9:30pm!! Can't complain, though, since I know who he's with and what they're doing, and it's CHURCH stuff :)

Anonymous said...

Some years back in grappling with the reality that our middle one is an athiest and against all we are, one of my dear friends said to me: "Well, the same persons raised your other 2 as well and they are Believers, etc. "

I later read that the MOST PERFECT PARENT of all had rebellious children. Sometimes we forget that NOTHING we go through will surpass what GOD already has gone through and understands so well. I went to read some other remarks on Franky Schaffer (as I was not aware of his stand, etc). And basically it was pointed out that all of us...EVERY SINGLE ONE of us, are flawed, imperfect human beings. The people who cannot understand this or remember it, cause the greatest grief to the rest of us, in my opinion. Were the FATHER not so merciful, we would all already be toast!

Anonymous said...

Concerning Franky Schaeffer, The Wittenburg Door (a satire magazine) did a cover story on him over 20 years ago. It pictured a little boy dressed like him, throwing mud. It looks like Franky is still doing it and I grieve for his mother. It's really hard having children who reject their parents' values, but it must be excruciating to have a famous son who does it. And I can think of a lot of parents in that situation: Adam and Eve, King David, Samuel, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, Frances & Edith Schaeffer, ...

matty said...


Having a son is so different, isn't it? John is 26, 27 in 2 days, and is home until he leaves for the Air Force on Feb. 8. We cook, walk, and talk together. Seldom are we without something to say. We know each other very well!

I miss him when he stays with friends on the weekends. I hope he marries a woman who won't mind his special connection with Mum! Enjoy your son while he is home!

Get some rest!


Tracey McBride said...

Brenda, as always, your writing evokes memories, empathy, deep thought and laughter. You have said it all so well. Mothering does not stop...ever. My own son (now 24) often 'phones me with the same question "Mom, what do you think of..." and thus a long discussion (and, sometimes, debate) ensues. Always friendly, always thought provoking on both sides, and always a pleasure (at least on my end). How blessed your children are to have you for a mother. As for the Schaeffer (sp?) question, I can only say the Edith Schaeffer's book "What Is a Family" has been one of the strongest, most valuable influences in my life. I first read it when my son was a baby. Over the decades, her wisdom and shared experiences have been, and are, evoked in my thoughts and referenced almost daily. They have been a strong guiding light in my life--as a mother and a wife. C.S. Lewis refers to many of the arguments within the Christian community as "minutia" and warns us to not be caught-up in it--doing so only diverts us from focusing on the brightest truths. Long ago, I made a point to never pigeon-hole someone because of the church they did or did not attend. Instead, i try to focus on what we have in common. As a result, I've been soo very blessed to know a diverse group of amazingly good souls that it is an honor to befriend.
Thank you so much for sharing your life and your wonderful thoughts and writing with us all. You are such a blessing and a pleasure to read.
Love from your friend,
Tracey. xo

hmsclmom said...

I have 3 sons, all of whom I am very close to. The hardest time in my life was when one of them was in basic training with the Air Force and could not call us for weeks on end. I wrote that boy daily and he so appreciated it. Now that he is done with basic he calls nearly every day just to check in and say hi...:). My oldest son had been engaged to a girl who did not understand how close our family is, was very jealous of the time he spent with any of us and tried to seperate him from our family as much as she could. I am thankful that finally saw her true nature and that they are no longer together. My 3rd son just got engaged to the most wonderful young woman. He was so funny when they were first dating and he would call and say "Mom, she is just like you and that's a good thing". ;) I told him I hoped she didn't have some of my less desirable traits though. ;) I am blessed to have 3 sons and now a daughter-in-love (law) to be who all are such wonderful and interesting people and who really do enjoy doing things together as a family. And yes, we home schooled which I do think has a lot to do with our closeness because our family was falling apart before we home schooled. My DIL to be was also home schooled and she shares the same close relationship with her parents and brother and they have all welcomed my son with open arms and hearts into their family. :)


Anonymous said...

Brenda, I saw an on TV for Nutella yesterday!

Friend Debra

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I loved this post. Christopher looks so handsome. I love to hear about sweet and loving relationships. Our world is so full of families that are either fussing or don't talk to one another that it is truly a blessing when we have love and enjoy each other's company. My daughter is almost 38 and we are best friends. We talk on the phone at least 8 times a day. I feel very blessed. I will be praying about the crime. I agree with Betsy...mace is a good thing. It's a shame we can't feel safe everywhere we go. Some of your readers may disagree, but I feel these are the last days. trish

Raquel said...

Wow! You have pretty much described the relationship that my son and I had when he was growing up. Now he and I diverge much more, but that bond is still there. Get some sleep, girlfriend! Much love - Raquel XO