Friday, October 8, 2021

Touching My Heart

Mr. 3 is now Mr. 16.  His big brother is a freshman living in the dorms just down the road at UofA .  Their latest teenage houseguest (one in a long line of waifs Amster has housed over the years), is doing the same thing at ASU.  

Mr. 16 is, for the first time, an only child. He's really enjoying it.

He inherited the oldest of the cars Amster owns; he no longer needs my services as a chauffeur.  He's confident in the weight room; he no longer needs his mom and me to demonstrate the proper form.  I no longer know his schedule of appointments; he's taking himself.

He has a serious girlfriend.  Everyone likes her.  They spend most of their down time at Amster's house; at least she knows where they are.  I haven't met her, but there is a plan.

When they were young, and Amster was semi-parenting Miss Texas, we referred to the youngest ones as The Littles.  I was often in charge of their after school lives, and Ben's Bells was one of our favorite stops.  

Their lives were chaotic and I was still mourning the Before and After of my life and we found peace and comfort and solace while we painted ceramic flowers and balls and beads of all shapes and sizes.  There wasn't a lot of conversation, but what there was often really needed to come out. I always had a playlist on my phone - country western, classical, show tunes - and I usually resisted listening to their pop tunes.  They got to choose the snack stop, I got to choose the music.  

That's just the way it was.  With established ground rules and a safe outdoor space, we could sit for a couple of hours and think thoughts.  It was impossible to feel agitated in that space dedicated to kindness.

Last week, Mr. 16 asked Amster if she thought that they could take The Girlfriend and me to Ben's Bells, you know, where we used to go a lot.  She shared that right away, and we both spent a few minutes in aaahhhhhhh, he's so sweet, where did the time go land. 

We have to settle on a date, but we're on the Volunteer List..... the Studio Manager really liked this story and promised to take good care of us.  The promise isn't really necessary - we've never felt anything but loved while doing our good deeds there.  

That Mr. 16 chose this as a way to introduce me to his girlfriend, to spend some time reliving his childhood, to hang with his mom and her friend at a place he remembers with fondness....... it's just an overwhelming hug around my heart.

Ben's Bells was there for me when I used my walker to get from the handicapped parking space to the studio 100 yards away.  It was a place I could think sad thoughts and not be alone.... and not be bothered.  I could mindlessly play with colors while my mind worried and wondered and then the sadness would pass and I could go out into the world with a band aid on my soul.

I have a feeling Mr. 16 liked it as much as I did..


  1. This is the good stuff, mama. Love you.

  2. Suz, you always capture it! So beautiful and I thank God for you everyday with how you helped me grow my sons. Love you so much! Amster

  3. Thank you so much for sharing that story! You've mentioned those boys many times over the years and all the stories have been nice but this one is special. (Volunteering at Ben's Bells someday when I'm visiting the kids in Tucson is at the top of my bucket list.)


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