When I found out that I was pregnant again, I hoped for a son. After three girls, the thought of having to do ponytails for another daughter was more than I could bear. It was already taking hours for me to get everyone out of the house on a Sunday morning, after combing hair for what seemed like forever. Besides, I deeply believe that boys grow up to have special relationships with their mothers and girls have that special bond with their fathers. I wanted to experience that special bond with a son. So I admit that I was relieved when we found out through ultrasound that we were having a boy. That was ten years ago.
Chaz is smart, funny, shy, and very sensitive. He hugs me more often than either of my daughters ever has. He tells me he loves me numerous times a day, every day. So far I can still kiss him (as long as my lips are dry). Sometimes he says things that make me think he really is an old man in a ten-year-old boy’s body. Nothing excites him like finding a new electronic gadget to pine over. He was asking for a cell phone before he started kindergarten. Not because he had any phone calls to make, but because he thought he should have one to go inside the briefcase that he also wanted.
This past Christmas my husband brought home a tin of chocolate candies that a co-worker had given him. Since he’s not a big fan of sweets, he told the kids they could share them. Translation to Chaz’s language: Chaz can have them all.
On Christmas Eve as we were about to leave for my mother-in-law’s annual celebration, Chaz decided to share with his dad that a few of the chocolates had liquid centers. Well, I don’t know why but, this information really peaked my husband’s interest. He started asking Chaz about the chocolates and whether they had all been eaten. Chaz told him he hadn’t eaten them all because he didn’t like them. When his dad asked how many there had been in the tin, Chaz told him maybe six.
My husband went to look for the chocolates and found the tin was empty. This started an inquest as to who had eaten the mysterious liquid-filled chocolates. Chaz’s sisters told their dad they had no idea what he was talking about. I quickly confessed that if I had known about them I probably would have been guilty, but this time I was clueless about the existence of what sounded like a delicious treat.
Again, I don’t know why, my husband became infuriated that not only were the chocolates gone, but no one would confess to eating them. He stormed upstairs threatening not to go to his mother’s for Christmas Eve, leaving me and the kids standing downstairs in silence.
After a few moments, I looked into Chaz’s eyes and quietly asked, “Did you do something with the chocolates?” He immediately dropped his head and the tears welled. “I’m sorry Mommy.” was all he could muster. It turned out that Chaz had not eaten the chocolates. But when he discovered that they had a liquid center, I guess it was just cool to empty the liquid out of the chocolates and then throw them away.
He couldn’t bring himself to tell his dad what he had done, but one look into his eyes from Mommy and, ta-dah! It came pouring out. This is a tiny example of the special bond that I had wanted and hoped for with my son. Chaz cannot look into my eyes and withhold information. My daughters would have taken that little secret with them to their dark damp graves!
Chaz was in state of despair. Since his dad was upset, he was ceratin that he had ruined Christmas for everyone. I know he felt that way because through his tears he kept saying, “I’ve ruined Christmas for everyone!” and occasionally, “This is the worst Christmas ever!” I consoled him for thirty minutes, assuring him that he hadn’t ruined Christmas and that it was all just a big misunderstanding from the start. Finally he calmed down, and after I explained so did his dad. We all went to my mother-in-law’s and had a great time. I thought the entire episode was over and done, but I was so wrong.
When we returned from his grandmother’s, the residual of the chocolate drama must have still been with Chaz. It was late when we got home and we sent the kids straight to bed. Chaz couldn’t go to sleep. This sent him into a state of panic because he knew that Santa was coming and wouldn’t be able to stop at our house if he was still awake. It snowballed from there.
He started to cry because he couldn’t go to sleep, and then he couldn’t go to sleep because he was crying. He became hysterical with the worry that Santa might not bring him anything. This time it took over an hour to calm him down and get him to doze off to sleep. This was extra difficult for me because I was trying not to let him see me giggling at his overreaction to the evening.
Of course, Santa did come and leave Chaz most everything that he wanted. Christmas morning wiped away all of Chaz’s concern about ruining Christmas and he never spoke of it again. But I look back on it and think it will likely be one of my fondest Christmas memories. It’s one of many stories that I hope to share with him when he’s older and especially when he has his own children.
When Chaz was born, I promised myself that I would not baby him, or spoil him, and have him grow up expecting that his girlfriend or wife is like his mother. I vowed to raise my son to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, to know how to cook, and to know …
Sorry girls, truth is he’s going to be a mess. I tried, but he’s just so adorable!