Monday, June 25, 2012

A Milestone, A Button, and a Poll

The Milestone...

Balthazar, pulling a face, & Goth Mom
So, my baby graduated high school this weekend. On August 11, I move him up to college for a pre-semester workshop, so he can acclimate to studies at the college level and start building his circle of friends and fellow miscreants.

This whole year I worked with him on the college search and application process. He filled out all his applications online, I looked them over, helped him revise his essays (OMG, SO MANY ESSAYS!!!!!), paid for the application and associated fees, etc. (His dad, from whom I am divorced, chipped in for half.) My point in mentioning this is that I've been aware, for some time now, that my little birdling is poised to fly the nest. But that future is now really, really near. Like, seven weeks away, near.

Holy shit.

I have to say, I hardly ever see The Kid anymore anyway; now that he's done with school, he's almost always out with his friends (he suggests this is his way of helping me to prepare for when he's away - he's all give, that guy). I've been on "stay-cation" the past few weeks and, spending so much time at home, became aware of how very quiet the place is when he's not around. At one point, my eyes fell on the picture below and I remembered other quiet moments, first thing in the morning, when he was a baby...

Baby Balthy
I'd awake and tip-toe to his bedroom. Invariably, he'd be wide awake himself, contemplatively sucking on his pacifier, either lazing on his back or standing at the rail of his crib, his gaze directed toward his window. Then I'd inadvertently betray my presence with a creak of the door, or a clumsy footfall, and his head would swivel in my direction. He'd smile so wide his pacifier would fall out of his mouth (and often, onto the floor) and he'd throw his arms out to me in a wordless demand that I pick him up. Or, as in the picture, he'd scrabble up from his reclining position, to make sure I knew he was awake, and do the demanding arm-flinging whatsit then. He was just so damned happy to see me. The memories conjured by this picture struck me vividly, the silence around me swelled, and sobs overwhelmed me for the next couple of minutes.

Thank God he didn't catch me crying, else he'd have treated me to his typical smart-assery. The other day, as we passed each other, I planted a kiss on his cheek and told him I'd miss him when he went away. He patted my shoulder, saying, "There, there, Mother. There, there." Little tosser.

But enough about him. Let's move on to:

The Button and the Poll...

So I've been toying with the idea of creating a blog button, should any of my dear readers feel inclined to grab 'em for their blogs/Web sites. Here's what I've come up with:

#1 - Asymmetrical Blog Button

#2 - Symmetrical Blog Button

In the poll over on the upper right-hand side of the page, please cast your vote for either button image #1, #2, or choose option #3, "Something else altogether." If you select #3, please be sure to list in the comments section of this post any suggestions for a "Some Dark Romantic" blog button. The poll won't be open for long, so please vote soon. Thanks, y'all!

Edited to add: I see #2's in the lead - is it because of the alignment of the words or the color of the pic?

32 comments:

  1. There, there. I voted but did not see the results. Ah, well, just wanted to tell you #2 was the better of the two.

    College apps! As a teacher, I have that period every year where I assist my graduating students with their online apps and essays. It can be a nightmare because they often do not take my advice to submit them early.

    Hey, look on the bright side, you'll have plenty of free time to write!

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    1. You're right on both counts - even just checking out the application and requirements early in the game is a smart move, so you're not caught last minute, scrambling for this, that, or the other required document. And yes - one thing in the back of my mind this past year is the idea that I'd have a bit more of my life back, as it were. It's just "change," after living a certain way for so long, you know? :-)

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  2. I remember a similar thing with my baby girl (all growed up and living up your way now), but not the first thing in the morning. Her dad was the one who got her up, since he had to go to work and wouldn't see her all day. But getting her up from her nap, or out of the playpen, I got the same big smile with the pacifier falling out and the arms flung out. You brought a tear to my eye. Sniff.

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    1. Their cuteness as babies - that's how they GETCHA! ;-)

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  3. Leave it to me to be the one descending vote on 'something else altogether'. I love the asymmetrical look of button A but the sepia tone of button B, so my thought was sepia tone asymmetrical.

    And BTW, you don't look old enough to have a child going off to college. ;D

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    1. Hmmm, that's an interesting idea, JoJo. Right now it's a split vote - if folks don't weigh in on either side, I may tweak as you suggested. Too, it occurs to me that I can't really be a dark romantic without a bit of mist swirling around in the pic, now can I??? ;-)

      And thank you for the compliment!

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  4. Awe it sounds like you're going to miss him. Still, it's a good thing you're letting him go. :-)

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    1. I reckon I will...though I anticipate that as moving day draws closer his surliness will increase exponentially, giving me the happy release of a desire to get him outta my hair! ;-)

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  5. I'm stopping by to let you know that you've been tagged in today's blog post.

    http://warpednerdiversity.blogspot.com

    Oh, and I like the 2nd button better.

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  6. Congrats on him graduating and good luck (to both of you) on adjusting to him not being home! I love that he says his being out a lot with friends now is to help you.

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    1. Thank you. And yes, he's very considerate that way. :-)

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  7. It's times like this that I am glad I'm not a parent. I don't think I could handle it. LOL! Congrats to him for graduating and furthering his education. I'm sure you are proud :)

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    1. Thanks, Heather. Yeah, parenting is truly not for the faint of heart...and I honestly don't know how I made it! :-)

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  8. aw this post is very touching. There's a real dilemma because Jax is such a pain in the arse sometimes I want him to grow out of it but then you also want to preserve him cute at times and the seven year old is already going on 17. Just one step closer to becoming a disaffected empty nester I guess.

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    1. Well, we can't preserve our kids, but our memories (and cameras, and blogs!) can. :-)

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  9. Aww how cute a baby. I just want to pinch his cheeks!

    I like both blog buttons, I like the b&w image but prefer the text alignment from the second :)

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    1. Thanks, Dina - and yes, those cheeks were under frequent assault when he was little. :-)

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  10. Congrats to you and your son on making the transition out of the high school years. It all gets better from here. Adorable baby pic - I'm sure he won't mind all of us cooing over it.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. The time since middle school's been rough, but every age had its beauty and I've taken great pleasure in watching him grow into himself. Know what I mean? :-)

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  11. My children are 3 and 6 so I have a bit of time before they fly the coop, but it's already on my mind. It's a big step for the both of you, so congratulations! And I must say I love the top picture you and your son. You both look amazing.

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    1. Thanks, Elise! Photobucket's a lot of fun to play with! :-)

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  12. Oh, I feel for you. I dread the day my children move on. And with my oldest, we've already hit the smart-assery stage. But he's still pretty sweet. I'm holding onto it while I can.

    Meanwhile, put this angst into writing.

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    1. Excellent advice, Ms. Milstein. Excellent advice, indeed. :-)

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  13. Been woefully behind in my blog visits, so just seeing this now.

    I really liked this post -- it was extremely moving, Mina!. Wonderful job conveying the mix of emotions that takes place when you're teetering on the brink of being an empty-nester. Been there. I think it's a subtle part of nature's magic to make teenagers generally obnoxious -- that way it makes it easier to kick them out when it's time for them to fly out on their own. Yet you can't help but miss them and all the years that came before.

    But here's the thing: You many not need to miss him too long... Many times they come back; living in your basement, eating your food, taking your money, and rattling on about how they're now 'adults and can do whatever they want.' ;^)

    Many warm thoughts on thriving in this new upcoming chapter in your life!

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    1. Thanks very much, Chris. I'm with you on that subtle magic of your kids getting more annoying so it's not so hard to see them go - for realz! :-)

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  14. Congratulations to your son and to you for making it through all those years. My little guy is just 2, and I'm eager and yet highly anxious that he starts preschool in August. It's only two mornings a week, but school!

    I like #2. It's because of the color and alignment of words. Plus, the photo looks sharper.

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    1. Thanks, Christine. It's *great* when they start going to school - you get a little bit of your life back! ;-)

      As for the pics, it does seem the alignment of the blog title is important to folks. I've been futzing around with the pic, too, adding some atmospheric "smoke" effects. Anticipate getting it up soon!

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  15. Hi Mina. Hard to believe that it's so close to the 'little tosser' heading off for college! That's gotta be rough for you sometimes. Very touching post.

    As for the button...I chose the second because of the color. I'm a sucker for sepia! ;) You look gorgeous by the way.

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    1. It is hard for me to believe, and yes, it can be a bit tough. ::sighs::

      Thanks for voting (and the kind words)! :-)

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C'mon, post a comment. All the cool kids do.

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