a compliment i never saw coming

Jay, (my youngest son), and I were talking this evening. We started listening to recordings of his band, and just had a great time. We reminisced about Derek and Jeremy and Andrew…talked about how much we miss them. Then, Jay starts spittin some of Derek’s rhymes. It was sooooo good to hear those words again.

Jay and I haven’t spent much time together since his gf moved back up here and I really miss him, even though he only lives fifty feet away. I was surprised that he stayed so long. We tipped a glass, or two, as we talked, oddly enough, about sobriety. Then, a Jay (2)Metallica song, from the Black album, came on and we head banged in the living room for a bit. After that, we talked about Metallica Time. That was during the time, when he was about fifteen,  that he moved in with a friend at a dope fiend apartment complex. They made their way by selling guns and drugs, and he and I were at a total breakdown as Mother and son. But, now and then, one of us would call, or text, and say: Metallica Time?

Metallica Time meant that I’d pick him up, but we wouldn’t speak a word to one another. We couldn’t, during that period of his life. One word, and it would be like WW3.  I couldn’t stand that I had a child cocaine addict on my hands and felt that it was all my fault. I never let him know that, though. He couldn’t stand that he wasn’t allowed to live like Scarface at our home. So…I’d pick him up, we’d put the Black album in the cd player, and we’d go get a coke and drive around the loop till the album was over. It was something we had always shared…metal. And, let’s face it…the Black album is one of the best of all time. We’d headbang and sing and just exist together in this strange lil bubble for a little while every week, or so. Then, I’d drop him off at that Hell hole and go home. I don’t know how, or why, that kept us bonded, but it did. I’d write James Hetfield a thank you letter, but he already pats himself on the back enough.

Since we were laughing and talking about the past, I told him that he’d be humiliated if he knew the things I did trying to get him out of that shit. I’d go to the hood in the middle of the night and, if I saw a dealer, I’d stop and tell him that he better not sell to my kid or I’d kill him and his family. I did so many bizarre things like that. Always looking for Jay.

After listening to my tale for a few minutes, he got real quiet. He looked down at his hands, like he couldn’t look me in the face. I figured I’d just ruined the best evening he and I ever spent together. But, then he looked up and said, “Mom, I saw you a lot. I was usually on my board and I’d just duck out so you couldn’t see me. I love you for what you did and I think you’re the best Mother anyone could ever have. Nobody’s mom loved them like you loved me.” Then, he gave me the best hug. I felt like the most fortunate mother on Earth. Not only did my son survive his addiction, but with age, he saw my actions for what they were; Acts of love.

I guess time does take care of a lot. Your perspective changes…your life changes…YOU change. But I never dreamed that my son would ever see anything I did back then as an act of love, because he hated me so much then. I just cannot believe that he said that. It makes me feel as though none of that was a waste of time. I feel validated. And, I know that I have a son that would go to Hell and back for his son, too.

In conclusion, I have but one word to say: WINNING! 🙂


















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