Yup – Got ‘er Done!
“Yup” is most often the laconic response I receive (usually in the form of a text message) from Joe to my variety of queries in numerous formats. I want details whereas Joe likes to operate in brief and sufficient terms. There is a yin and yang to my mother/son relationship that differs greatly from my mother/daughter relationships. There are thesis papers to be written about that but I am not going to go there now. This is about celebrating Joe’s accomplishment and wishing well for his future. I stand at the Mother Ship watching him leave this orbit path.
Joe is all about the road less traveled. He is about using the bargaining chip until it is worn to a nub. Deadlines and due dates are for those who are going to remember to meet them. “No” has never been an acceptable answer. His perception can be so searing it burns a hole through rock. Joe has taught me how to pray.
When Joe was four years old, he wanted me to let him climb on top of the refrigerator. He was convinced that if he could just be allowed up to that perch he could fly from there. No amount of admonition about broken bones, landing on his head and knocking himself unconscious or , worse case scenario, unbalancing the refrigerator to the point that it would topple over him and crush him to death, would dissuade him from his belief and desire. We had the conversation many times.
One evening, I was folding a load of laundry in my bedroom when I heard a quiet plea from a distant space.
“Could you come out here?”
“I’m busy, Joe. What do you need?”
“Mom! Please! Just come out here! Please!”
I knew that voice. The last time I had responded to it, I found him standing in the basement summoning every ounce of strength he could muster into his four year old biceps to keep a TV set from crushing his skull. Tonight I followed the voice to the kitchen. There, on top of the refrigerator, squatting like a big fat toad, was my son Joe. He wore a look of semi-terror that said: I know you told me not to climb up here and I did anyway and I’m in a world of shit for that but could you please just not make a big deal out of this and get me down now? (Yes, Joe is capable of saying all that with one facial expression.)
I stood bemused for a moment and then I asked:
“What are you doing up there, son?”
“I don’t know”, came the plaintive response, “I just magicked myself up here!”
Well, fourteen years and countless escapades and discussions later, it is more likely to be me summoning him to help with some physical task beyond my capability and what I want to say today is this:
Joseph Meade Mahoney – may you always know your magic!