I picked him up at 11 am when he texted it was over. I could actually feel a giant, cloudy, slime filled, soundproof bubble of shame, blame and defeat surrounding him as he opened the door and squeezed himself and the bubble into the front seat.
"It was bad. I probably didn't make the grade I need. I put something for every question but...it was bad."
I took a deep breath, hoping he would hear me through the bubble. "What I would like to do is take you to Chapters (he loves books) and we will get Starbucks--and wander and look at books. Then, I thought we could get some lunch."
Another deep breath. "And... you are going to text your driving teacher and tell her something came up for tomorrow and you and I are going to Toronto on the GO Train. We will walk up Young Street and go to that comic book store you mentioned--the Silver Snail. You can look around as long as you like. We will get lunch and come home by 5 at the latest. How does that sound?"
He shifted in the bubble.
Like it was uncomfortable.
Like he could feel it too.
And he made a choice.
"Ok. I'd really like that." the left corner of his lip curled up ever so slightly.
Ka-POW! The bubble dissolved. There was my son.
So I drove--and we wandered Chapters and we bought books and we brought Chinese take-out home and ate outside. We talked as we cleaned up---we read outside.
Yesterday we went to Toronto--found PS2 treasures at EB Games (did you know their entire second floor is devoted to customer testing of Sony products and the Toronto store is the national headquarters?)
|Gamer's Dream Play Space|
|Another Young Street Find|
Then we went to HMV and found some DVD discount favorites (The Simpsons Movie, Wrath of Khan, Shawn the Sheep and Wallace and Gromitt Collection)
|inside the Silver Snail - Young Street|
|Silver Snail Comics|
And last but not least, we spent forever in the Silver Snail. (Which is a very cool place-- especially for moms who love Star Wars, Star Trek, Buffy, Walking Dead, and everything related to comics.)
We had Japanese food in the Eaton Centre food court - Urban Spoon. We got lost once--but we found our way eventually. I knocked over a shelf in a store--but no one noticed. We stressed over trying to figure out where to get the GO Train back but .....we got the right train home at the right time, and found the car on the first try. We discovered our day as it unfolded and we made it into what we wanted at the time. It was perfect in its imperfection.
I had wanted to take my son to Europe when he graduated high school--a last time for him and I to spend time together before he was off to university. I had money earmarked for the trip and had decided to do it 2 years ago. But with his new summer job and my health ---it brought up such anxiety with when and where "exactly" and how to squeeze in the "right" things and I spent countless hours researching and looking for the "perfect" spot at the "perfect time"---it actually made me feel like such a failure for not being able to book something. I spun in the world of "what if" and "we should"--until I was black and blue with shame and guilt for not being able to get it perfect!
But sometimes, you get an unexpected gift. And this is one of those times. I got to spend time with my son..doing what we both like - which was the real intention all along. Spending time together. Enjoying food. Learning exactly how smart he is when it comes to the video and gaming industries. Admiring his passion and knowledge and figuring out he probably spends WAY TOO MUCH time in the cyber world.
The lesson for me?
Striving for perfection can make you sick--literally
Doing your best and being you is enough.
Life goes on all around --not just in Europe.
My son is wicked smart! (LOL)
He loves me.
He likes me. (this one was hard to type....)
Whatever happens with school--we are good--we will figure it out.
He is an --almost (on July 10 he turns 18)
I will not lose him. (this one was even harder....)