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  • Kristan Higgins


Updated: May 3, 2022


Picture me, walking Dearest Son down our long, long driveway. It’s a dark winter morning, and some of our best talks happen during this time. Dearest doesn’t need an escort (though, being me, I have imagined rescuing him from a coyote attack and killing the beast with my bare hands). But I like to think my son enjoys the company. In the olden days, I’d watch him get on the bus, and we’d do the sign for “I love you,” and I’d blow kisses, but his dignity is at stake now that he’s a teenager.


So this is a nice scene, isn’t it? Dearest Son and his mom, walking and talking. I offer bits of gentle wisdom and encouragement, assure him that he has many gifts and fine qualities. We might admire the moon or the stars or the sunrise or the fog (I can find something good to say about just about any type of weather).

Except ice. I hate ice. For reasons unknown to me, I am convinced I will die on ice. Maybe I died under the ice in a past life or something? Who knows.

So instead of the above, we have this instead:

Me: “Slow down, Seabiscuit! I might fall.”

Him: “Would you like to hold onto my arm, Mother?”

Me: “Yes. You’re a good son. Watch out, watch out, there’s ice!”

Him: “Don’t worry. I’ve got you.”


(I can feel myself aging into a crone with his every word.)

Him: “You know, you don’t have to come with me. You can stay inside where it’s nice and warm…”

Me: “Of course I have to come! What if a coyote attacks you, huh? And did you know there’s a mountain lion somewhere around here? You clearly need my protection. Oh, God, I slipped! That was a close one. Let me put my arm around your shoulder, honey.”

Him: “Will you be able to make it back up by yourself, or should I call someone? The ambulance, maybe?”

Me: “Aren’t we funny this morning. Here comes the bus. I’ll shuffle away to save you from the humiliation of your friends knowing you have a mother who loves you.”

Him: “Love you, too.”


He’s a good boy.


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