Ghost Boy

Relationships. Everyone has one or more. Your relationship with your dog. Your relationship with your child. Your relationship with your mailman (mine’s seen me naked, by the way). Your relationship with your parents. Your relationship with your neighbors. The lady who sells you coffee. The men who empty your garbage. The woman who lives across the street who you’ve never spoken, too. The old man down the road who scoops popcorn straight into your child’s trick or treat bag.

I’ve always been really great at relationships, for the most part. Every blue moon I get one tremendously wrong, but for the better part of my life I’ve built relationships that were long and lasting.

I am still friends with my best friend in first grade.

I am very close to the five major boyfriends of my life, starting with the first when I was 15.

I send Christmas cards to my childhood nanny.

I’ve spent 12 years with a man who loves me despite the fact that I talk ALL THE TIME, a good portion of which includes copious amounts of self-flagellation.

But still, I stumble.

Yesterday, I was standing on the edge of a major freak out, when I extracted my son (the Bub) from school for 40 minutes to get him sealers at the dentist. My son, who spent the entire time worrying (outloud) if the laughing gas he was huffing would get him in trouble at school. It seemed we were gone for the mere blink of an eye, but upon our return, I was informed that the Bub had missed being in the class picture and even though the photographer was still in house for two days, the Bub’s teacher was not, so there was no way to redo.

Now, why as a mother, I would allow this to crush me, I have no idea?

But it did, kinda.

I do everything I can to get everything right with him, and considering he has not missed a second of school all year, I thought it absolutely insane that the 40 minutes he would miss would be the 40 minutes that would include being immortalized in his class picture. The photo that would cement hours of future Facebook fodder.

So, I called my husband (the Hub). And cried. And that, somehow, turned into a fight. I hung up. I walked. I cried some more. I turned my phone off. I followed our relationship down the road. Wondering what I could do different. Wondering how I could make him change. How I could make myself change.

Thinking about my little boy, the ghost missing from the picture.

The day pressed on. I felt better. The HUB arrived home and all was discussed and solved. The dam spackled. Make up kisses.

I slept and woke up determined to always be courteous. Always be better.

I dressed the Bub in a swanky navy turtleneck… I walked him to school. I marched right up to the photographer and asked if he could take a picture of the Bub and Photoshop it in. I watched as the Bub stood smiling, standing at the corner of an empty set of bleachers flanked by the American flag and the Texas flag.

Say cheese.



Everything can be fixed.


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