A short digression off the Tao.
This morning. 7 AM. Middle is late. He must leave for school right now if he is to get a parking spot. He has not made a lunch. He pulls out his wallet and mournfully examines its emptiness. He thumbs the leather as if searching for some hidden bills.
Silence. I look at him pointedly. He does not meet my eyes.
I say, "Oh, all right. Go get some lunch money from my purse."
As he picks up my purse, the faintest glimmer of a smile curls his lips.
I say, "Hey, for your information, I am completely on to you. Do you think after nineteen years of mothering I don’t know when I am being manipulated?"
And my sly Middle responds with just a tinge of wonder in his voice, "And yet you have no defenses against it."
There are consolations that ease the losses here at the end of motherhood and one of them is that, after all the years of being the most important thing in their lives, they tease you.