Pressing Matters

Pressing, iron, texting, mother, sonI call my son Sean on his cell phone, at work, 11 a.m.

I don’t usually call my boy during the day. After all, he works, in the big city, in a big high-financing job that I understand absolutely nothing about. I hear his explanations of investing, solar, banks, corporations, tax credit, energy, but to be perfectly honest, at banks and tax credits my brain gets fuzzy and my eyes roll back so I just nod my head and say “Ohhhh!” as if I’ve understood every fast-speaking, super-intelligent thing he’s said.

But today, I just want to hear his voice. I miss that, now that he’s not the little boy who absolutely and completely loves his mother, buying her flowers when he’s driven her close to distraction, and offering a huge smile and hug every night until he leaves for college.

My son is MINE until he meets his match, his sunshine, the chink to his armor, the woman he’s dreamed of before he ever met her — his wife.

Now he’s hers, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, the way I want it to be.

Until I call him at 11 in the morning and he doesn’t answer his phone, and I think, “Sean doesn’t have time for me right now.”

mom, son,family,children, love

Before pressing matters.

The truth is, he doesn’t, not now that he’s married and the father of three little boys and commuting to the big city and worrying about bills and pre-schools and property taxes and how to celebrate each anniversary (at their third, he discovered the traditional gift is leather – and by god, he bought his love … a leather bracelet).  By the type of man he is, the husband he is, the father he is,  I know I did good. But I just want to hear Sean’s voice and let him be my little boy just for a minute.Please!

But five minutes after I call, I receive a text. Let me explain that I am at work myself, so I’m happy to see a text, since I really can’t take the time from work to talk then anyway – ah, the vagaries of motherhood.

But the text takes my breath away.

Here it is.


“In meetings all day. Can we talk tomorrow? Anything pressing?”


“Like an iron,” I text back angrily without thinking.

When, oh when, did I get to the point of being a person in my son’s life whom he has to find a schedule for, whom he can only talk to if it’s “pressing,” whom he…

“You’ve been married too long to dad,” he texts back.

I smile. My man is known in our family circle as a frequent (though not necessarily accomplished) person-who-puns.

I pause. Sean did text back soon after my missed call. He did make sure I was okay, then asked if we could talk later.

son, baby, family, love, mother

Sean with one of his pressing matters.

I text him a funny face  :+)  and let go of my loss.He’s still my son, but he’s not my little boy.  He still loves me, but he’s expanded his heart to love a wife, three children. He’s made a life, a family, and where do I fit in?

I’m his mom.


Illustration thanks to Pam Rubert,