Life’s Great Lessons on a Rocky Wall

rock wall, life's lessons, father-sonWe sit out on the deck on a perfect late spring Saturday, drinking gallons of lemonade and munching on turkey subs. The three of us – my man, mydaffodils on rock son and I – have been working for hours in the garden planting, snipping, weeding, watering, and for the men, moving rocks.

The father and the adult son have little to say to each other most times – it’s that time in their lives when the father can no longer tell the son what to do, and the son is no longer willing to listen to anything the father suggests anyway. But when they take their shirts off in the hot sun and push and pull 200-pound rocks to remake a 100-year-old rock wall, then, then they love each other. No talk, just grunts, a curse now and then, and suddenly a spurt of laughter.

father and son, rock wall, spring

Father and Son on the Rocks.

When the food is gone, my man goes back to rebuilding the stone wall, and my son and I sit quietly, companionably, not wanting to move from the warmth and relaxation.

“What are you up to, mom?” he asks suddenly. I never talk with him about what I’m doing. I’m too busy asking him about his life, his plans, his philosophy on life. I’m the questioner and the listener. But now he insists that I talk about me.

“Just the usual,” I reply. “Working, teaching, writing, not much, I guess.”

He looks at me with blue eyes as clear as the sky above and says, “You must be kidding.”

“What?” I ask.

Tuesdays with Morrie“You could write anything. You could write something like, what’s his name, the guy who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie.

I laugh. “This from the son who doesn’t read my stories.”

“Yes I do,” he retorts. “I read your stuff. Some of it.”

“Well, what should I write about?” I ask kiddingly. But he ponders the question seriously, thinking.

“Well, a book like Tuesdays with Morrie but about being a mother. You could write a great book about being a mother.”

I examine his face, one-day growth on it, intense eyes, no smirk.

He means it.

I want to cry. Instead, I hug my son, and he returns to the rocks.

And me? I return to my writing…

writing, books, Tuesday with Morrie, mother and son

35 thoughts on “Life’s Great Lessons on a Rocky Wall

  1. Wonderful, Pam! Sons are such sweeties….and he’s absolutely right! You have a Mother book in you, I’m sure, plus many more! And I look forward to reading them 🙂


  2. So is this wall that your men were building in Mass? Great story…fathers and sons are so different from Mothers and daughters!


  3. Aw what a beautiful moment. Thanks for sharing something so personal. And I think he’s right you can write anything you set your mind to and do it really really well! 🙂


  4. Awww. I love it how kids can be so self-involved most of the time (and I was too at one time –so I get it), but then can have a moment where they say the sweetest things. Nothing can melt your heart like one of your kids saying something like this. 🙂


  5. if your son said that, you must be very special for him. I enjoyed a few of your stories today. I am from Myanmar and none of my family members speak English at home. But I learnt in a hard way, reading 10 words from dictionary each day and although , I love writing, Grammar is still a big obstacle for me. I am hoping to learn from you how to write properly. Anyway, thanks for inspiration. I love Tuesday with Morrie too. Morrie is someone whom we frequently refers to.

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    • Welcome! Thank you for reading my blog posts and commenting. Your English is quite good – excellent, considering you’ve learned form a dictionary. I think reading blogs is another wonderful way of learning how to read AND write. Plus, you get the added bonus of learning about how others live and love. Keep it up!


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