The Best Thirty Minutes

by | Sep 4, 2017 | Parenting, Teenagers | 13 comments

The call came on Saturday night around 9:40pm.  “Hi Mom” the familiar voice said.  I stopped, smiled and without thinking found myself gravitating towards his bedroom, a place that once kept him safe every night and cocooned him from the world. But now- as a college sophomore- he had a new home, a new nest, a new place to lay his head every night. I looked around his old room, laid on his bed, wishing desperately that he was laying there next to me asking me to scratch his head or rub his back.
“How was today?” I asked. This began the best thirty minutes of my week.

Usually, we text…almost every day– to just check-in or be sure he is eating enough or getting enough sleep, about his draining bank account, his upcoming papers, next quarters classes or plans for the weekend. Usually, we just talk business.

But this call was different. Neither one of us had anywhere to go or any place to rush off to so we just settled in and talked. He told me stories about where he lived, the crazy dog that lived with him for the summer, some new friends he met recently, his failed attempts at cooking dinner. We laughed and shared.  And connected. It was unfiltered and unedited. It was the way we used to talk and I found myself laying on his old bed all choked up.

I realized that night how much I missed him. I miss his hilarious laugh, his good-mornings and good-nights, his silly grin as he told stories, his interest in my day, his playful interaction with his little sister, his never-ending question “what’s for dinner”, the sound of his size 15 feet lumbering down the hall towards my room to tell me something, and most importantly, I missed his voice. Texting keeps us in contact but talking actually connects us.

There is great value in talking to each other but texting has taken the place of conversation. People don’t talk, they type. We guess people’s emotions because we can’t hear them. We connect through words, not voices. But LOL doesn’t compare to actual laughter or an emoji doesn’t make my heart smile the way his husky voice does. And hearing him tell a story, complete with voice fluctuations and emotion is like medicine for my soul. It soothes me.

Hanging up that night I felt full. It was a better full than Thanksgiving night. I was full of love, not food. I had talked to the little boy who made me sing to him every night as a little kid, the little boy who said his prayers out loud, and the little boy whose voice called me mom for the first time. Hearing his voice brought it all back and even though I missed him terribly and he was still living somewhere else, I felt closer to him than I had in a long time. I gave him a hug with my words and hearing him say “Love you mom” before he hung up filled a void in my heart I forgot was there. It was the best thirty minutes because for a brief time, it was as if nothing had changed.

13 Comments

  1. Mercedes kirk

    Hi Kelly,
    Love your new blog! I’m reading this as we drive our sophomore to college!
    Thanks for your insightful words of wisdom.

    Reply
  2. Tina

    The hard part my friend is realizing what was will never be again. Every time an eaglet leaves our nest, we have to find the new normal. How on earth am I going to be an empty nester? I loved my nest being full of eaglets.

    Reply
  3. Tracey Keller

    Congratulations on the blog! I sit here crying and I can visualize each step you took in this 30 minutes. Kooper is amazing! That’s a true reflection of you, Kris and your family! That’s for sharing! Keep up the great work!!

    Reply
  4. Julie Stasko

    I so love “our” Koop. He is an amazing young man and I’m so happy he is apart of our family. I know that my daughter is safe in his arms!

    Reply
  5. Pat

    Kelly you did your job as a wonderful parent. You raised Kooper to be a responsible adult.

    So glad you had such a happy phone call with Kooper.

    Reply
  6. Pat Homans

    So glad you had such a happy phone call with Kooper.

    Reply
  7. Kelly

    Love this.

    Reply
  8. Cindy

    How truly insightful!! Thank you Kelly for putting our “Mama thoughts” onto paper!! We are gifted by God to be called Moms

    Reply
  9. Kim Stephens

    I was just telling everyone last night that I had just gotten off a 38 minute 9 second phone call from my son! It was as you described – so healing for my soul. I felt like all was well in my little world. Even if only for a while. His voice was the ‘medicine’ I so desperately needed. It had been too long. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting texts from him – I live for them, hoping each day that I hear from him. I miss him so much but we’re trying to give him his space. He’s a freshman from Orangevale CA away at school in Prescott, AZ. He has found his niche/his people, his place to learn and grow. He’s doing what we raised him up for…. But it’s hard sometimes. Your article hit home with me. Thank you!

    Reply
  10. Kelly oakes

    Thanks for making me cry…I MISS KOOPER TOO!

    Reply
  11. Kris

    Love this article Kelly for so many reasons! B called last weekend and I about panicked thinking something was wrong because it was not a text. He just wanted to talk, that’s it!

    Reply
  12. Sandy

    Nothing like a good conversation to give assurance that everything is OK. Mother’s can tell by the tone of their voices how things are going. To hear the voice of someone who loves you unconditionally heals almost anything. I still miss hearing my Mom’s voice, it made everything feel better.

    Reply
  13. Sandy

    Nothing like a good conversation to give assurance that everything is OK. Mother’s can tell by the tone of their childrens voices how things are going. To hear the voice of someone who loves you unconditionally heals almost anything. I still miss hearing my Mom’s voice, it made everything feel better.

    Reply

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