Friday, October 7, 2011

teenaged archeology, social media + dust

my son is coming home for a LONG weekend.

i just want to shout how happy i am from the rooftops of houses in providence. 
this is a HUGE big-ass dealio. 
i have been missing him, but wanted to let him have some space. 
he got a little homesick somewhere after the big joyous drop-off happened. 
only he was happy that day.

my husband was sniffling and crying
no front photos due to the waterworks.

i tried to hold it together, and did only marginally better than my husband. 

 if i am honest, i think the boy ran off to be "with his friends" 
so we would not see his emotional response. 

i know he is pretty emotional too, since he is studying to become a nurse. 
most 17 year old boys do not have enough empathy
 to put the toothpaste cap back on the tube after using it. 
and i know because, he had a job last summer in a local hospital. 
he wiped antique tushies, mostly female...
cleaned and properly placed dentures for patients in their mouths, 
fed them, 
changed their sheets, 
bathed them after accidents, 
folded ward laundry,
answered phones and took messages well, 
and cared for people he never would likely see again. 
and he never whined about it. 
if pressed, he might share... or volunteer, 
but he generally kept most of this stuff to himself. 
each day, he rose to cheerfully go to the hospital again and again. 

and why pray tell is he interested in being a nurse? and not a doc?
well, he thinks that nurses do most of the caring for patients. 
he enjoys being a bigger part of the solution. 
he likes people. 
generally speaking. 
some remain buttheads, but still..
he is a good kid. 
even with the pay grade differential, 
he feels he will be well compensated enough to enjoy a good lifestyle. 
he is really happy that he will likely have a job when he graduates too.

all this adds up to the concept that he is 
 good future husband material. 
he's a guy that is used to women going off. 
i am the prototype for dealing with the crazy factor. 
still he has empathy for people. 
he enjoys the heck outta kids too. 

the novelty will wear off surely,
 as he is dealing with more and as time passes. 
youth is really good for being more relaxed about things 
when you are an easy going person. 
only life can really wear you down.
and that is only if you let it. 

he may switch off and go into med school 
or follow his current dream of getting a masters in nursing. 
he hated middle school, 
as anyone with half a brain would. 
he tolerated high school with all the idiotic teachers he had. 
i met them. 
they were really on the whole, quite falliable. 
he suffered them by dispelling their potential values at home. 
i am convinced, that he suffered. 
and now, as his younger sister is following him at this same school, 
i feel his complaints were minimizing the experiences.
i had a few interchanges with his teachers to find really bad attitudes on their parts. 
if not for the uber-fantastic kids that go to that school, 
none would get anywhere in life or education beyond their tutelages. 

ok, so why did i take this long way to extoll the boy's wonderfulness quotient?
cause i am now cleaning his room. 
oh my god. 
nothing can compare to this experience. 
i may have to go to a big box home improvement store soon. 
i need some filtering masks. 
there is so much crap in his room. 
dust, dirt, dog hair, and crap.
i was both too busy with my own interests and shows, 
that i was unwilling and more than a little terrified to try to clean it after he left for college. 
in fairness, i can see he didn't want to do it either because it is really overwhelming to do. 
of course, keeping up with this task is a better solution to deferring the terror. 
i just did not have the time or the heart earlier. 
so i am in the weeds. 
i pulled his bed from the wall to find the usual suspects there. 
candy wrappers. 
pens and pencils. 
papers from school. 
and yes, and errant screwdriver. 
he has kept almost all the boxes from purchased sneakers. 
theoretically to replace the shoes in to keep them sorted somehow. 
i put all of them into a basket. 
and now, with a huge drumroll please ...
the empty boxes are going into the trash. 
as are many many many socks... with heel holes. 
and tape balls{????????}
odds and ends
old used up i-tunes cards
tags from new clothes purchased years ago...
remember how i hate to clean and i have many phobic moments over findings when i do?
well the number one enemy is dust aggregation
it is aggravating. 
i have asthma. 
it rarely comes into play in my daily life. 
this is bringing it on though. 
and the number two felon in the mix is the ubiquitous dog hair. 
there is not enough of the doggie's hair to create a tough time though. 
he is also a little skeptical of spending happy times in the boy's room. 
so there is less of him in the mix. 
now after a quick grousing, 
i have put my skirt on and am going back in. 
my jeans pushed my thermostat way out of whack with the gorgeous 
october temperatures that i have been enjoying. 
must keep on an even coolish temp for best experiences until the mantle of hot flashes leaves this body. 

the best thing about this room and cleaning it, 
is that i get to witness a parody of a time capsule. 
there was a day when if i could
i would try to traverse the floor to kiss the boy good night. 
it was a minefield of gravitationally bound items. 
one night in particular, i was itching to watch a pivotal and
 promisingly scintillating episode of the
"West Wing"
on tv. 
i tried to get the boy into bed so i had the plan go into action. 
it failed epically. 
he was cold and could not put his covers over him. 
i asked why and found that he had too much crap in his bed. 
not ordinary kid crap either. 
so i tried to help him out. 
there was an inventory there to curl my already naturally curly brown hair. 
he had at the side of his pillow, 
a pair of tin snips. 
if you are unfamiliar with them, they resemble large 12 inch scissors, and used to 
as you must guess, snip tin. 
he had been using them in his 10 year old world, to cut up soda cans. 
he had read an article in "Readymade" magazine that showed how to cover light switch covers with the harvested sheets of metal. 
cool graphics and covered light switches dominated all areas of our house. 
they still do. 
vestiges of a happy boy.
so i was a little understanding of how they got where they were. 
of course, there were pens and pencils on the floor too. 
two fistfuls of them. 
 then there were the batteries. 
everywhere imaginable 
and every size imaginable. 
finally, the one that made me go cuckoo, 
was the uncollected group of screwdrivers. 
when i say i had tears streaming from my eyes, in laughter... believe it.
there were 13 differently sized screwdrivers in my hands. 
from the itty bitty ones that are used to fix eye-glass temples, 
to ones used to affix light switch covers to their boxes, 
there were big ones, 
small ones, 
flat ones, phillips head ones.
i could not believe it. 
he really had quite an inventory in that little 8'x10' room. 
no wonder he had no room in his bed to sleep. 
it was pretty full. 

 as i mentioned, this afternoon, i spent in his time capsule. 
he had the prerequisite batteries remaining, 
but more than not, a sincere collection of wires and the like. 
frankensteined to his usb cables. 
along-side of the batteries of course, 
are lots more of head phone cables,wire elements of unknown origins(to me) and small fans. 
the collection of paper bits included sales receipts for his funky baseball hats. 
price tags had been dropped to where the pencils and pens used to fall. 
now as more computer note taking has happened, fewer of the fists are filled. 
the writing utensils only fill one of my hands. 
it is a changed world there. 
 the archeology of my son's floor
 reflects this and the social changes of a teen boy. 
gosh i miss his mess. 
{sort of}
 i am now done with the coughing spate i experienced earlier. 
it is time to put my electrolux to the test and make this dig, 
a bedroom for the weekend. 

he is home for a few days to celebrate his older sister turning 20. 
she is too busy to come home. 
so i get to greedily keep him to myself and share with my younger daughter. 
if i have to. 
i know tess is feeling the same way. 
she can be bribed with candy to share him. 
my husband remains in the wilds of NH with his new toasty sleeping bag
and tent
and still unread copy of 
the last of the mohicans. 
tomorrow, when 4 out of 5 inmates is in situ, i will surely be begging for today's 
sentimental quiet and calm. 

time to bond with my vacuum. 
let it get all the dust it can suck and those little itty bitty annoying rubber bands from the braces that are now a thing of the past.
i am hopeful for no mechanical malfunction. 
just a big post sister in boston hug from the boy 
and his funny little sister. 


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