All Things Patrick

These past two weeks have been quite momentous, starting with prom Friday before last. I am prone to bouts of the sentimental weepies, but, wow, did it hit me hard when I came downstairs to see my baby boy in a tuxedo with a white dinner jacket. Patrick looked absurdly handsome, still boyish, yet suddenly debonair and more mature. His girlfriend, Emily, was stunning in long black gown with mesh beaded panels at the top. I swear that teenage girls look much more refined and poised nowadays than I did back in the day. They are the perfect couple! The prom dinner was held at a posh country club, followed by a limo ride to the Fabulous Fox Theater, where they enjoyed a masquerade-themed party complete with a DJ in the Egyptian Ballroom. Such a decadent event! 

Monday, Patrick competed in his next-to-last soccer game against the WD Mohammed School. He scored twice and had two assists! It was a fantastic game and I got at least one goal on camera! Woohoo! Everyone played so well that day…even Andrew Brown managed to score his first, and only, goal! We cheered the loudest for Brown! 

Tuesday, they played Paideia at Mount Vernon. Paideia has a powerhouse team full of talent…one kid is an alternate on the national squad for his age group. We held them to 7-1, which was a huge achievement, considering that they have mercy ruled us time after time. The fun part was sitting in the open stands for the entire second half in a ridiculous downpour. The refs wouldn’t call the game, since there wasn’t any thunder or lightning. My golf umbrella was leaking like a sieve. I can’t believe that Patrick’s high school soccer career is over. I enjoyed every minute of it…ok, except for maybe the blistering cold AIS game, and the frozen tundra game at Galloway, but all the rest, pure magic. I hate that Patrick was sick for so much of this season. However, I was just thrilled to see his final games. What a joy!

The Senior Mom Luncheon was held on Thursday at Naylor Hall in Historic Roswell. Such a lovely place! I had no idea that our kids would be joining us for the luncheon. They arrived in school buses, met us at the door and took us to our seats. We ate a fabulous catered meal (I tried buffalo mozzarella…yummy!) and received hand-written notes from our children. Patrick’s note had me in tears nearly instantly. I felt a little sad that in all these years, I haven’t made more friends within the mom community. There are so many kind moms at Mount Vernon. It all went by so fast. 

Now for the biggest event…Patrick’s 18th birthday! Woohoo! Tuesday, we celebrated the big day with dinner at Benihana. Patrick hasn’t always loved hibachi restaurants (thanks to an inept chef who once set the ENTIRE grill aflame and scared the bejesus out of three year-old Pat), but now he does. He noshed on hibachi shrimp, fried rice and rainbow sherbet. His big gift was a PS4. I have never been one to get him the “latest, greatest” (he has had the same Xbox for quite a few years), so I thought it was time to upgrade his gaming system. And I got him a fabulous trucker cap with a woven mesh backing and an embroidered squirrel on the front, with the word “nuts”. Classic Patrick and Mom Humor. 

Just this week, he finished his online calculus course, a tremendous accomplishment! This has been the most imposing hurdle he has faced in school. He has endured hours and hours of tutoring for weeks on end to reach this goal. Kudos, Patrick! 

Tonight my mind is catching up to these events. I cannot believe that my precious Peanut is 18 years old, legally an adult. He’s not my “child” anymore. He can vote, he can smoke, he can go to war, he can go to strip clubs. It’s jarring when I look at photos from when he was a toddler, clutching Lala in his soft, round hands. I find that I can’t bear to pack away his Bionicles or his Chevron cars, or his stuffed animals, or throw away any art work from preschool on up. I cling to those memories and touchstones. I wish I had been more patient, I wish I had read him more stories, I wish I had given him more of “my” time and taken less for myself. I wish I had played in the pool with him like a kid every time. I wish I had known and been able to anticipate that “the days are long, but the years are short”. My mom gave me an incredibly poignant article (I think it came from an old Mary Englebreit magazine) called Goodnight, Childhood by Barbara Wylan Sefton. In it, she muses, “If only we knew when a magical moment was taking place for the last time”. For me, it feels like so much has slipped away quietly, without a murmur. I’m fighting the inevitable tears tooth and nail. There’s so much to be happy about, but I can’t help lament the sweetness, the closeness that has passed. I’d give anything to watch more Spongebob on the sofa, play on his train table, and see his eyes light up in wonder at inflatable lawn decor. 

Times thunders on, but we’ll make new memories. Hopefully, there won’t be any more that are final magic moments. Or maybe every moment spent together is just that…a magic moment we will never have back. So we have to appreciate it that much more. Yeah…I think it’s the latter. 


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