He Hung the Moon

Our indoor s’more adventure last winter. He’s grown up so much since then.

Find a way to change your point of view and that will change…everything.

Teddy and I sat in the classroom in the library—listened and looked. We were at a digital photography class—part of a program to get teens involved. I was so excited when I registered us…asked my son to join me and he seemed excited too.

But when we arrived, I saw no other teens there. There was a room of twenty-something women crowded in the first rows. We slinked, found two chairs together…and I began to worry. We had brought our cameras—it said to in the registration form. I thought I would be spending a couple of hands-on hours, side-by-side with my boy, learning more about aperture and shutter speed and how to work with light. The lack of workspace clued me in. The chairs were lined up in rows, so close together my shoulders brushed the lady’s next to me when I sat down. This would not be a hands-on workshop. The lights went down and our instructor fired up the slide machine.

We spent the next two hours looking at wedding photos.

Me and my 13 year old son and about thirty young women who wanted to start a wedding photography business.

If I wasn’t so worried about Teddy, I would have laughed at the craziness of it all. He was missing most of the WVU football game to come to the workshop with me. I still wasn’t sure why.

That’s when she said it.

Find a way to change your point of view and that will change…everything.

I looked out of the corner of my eye at my young son and wondered again why he had agreed to come to a digital photography class with his mother in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. On a football day, no less. He caught me looking at him and gave me a crooked smile.

My heart almost broke.

For a split second he was two again. His red hair flashed bold in the slideshow light and those freckles…how they cover those cheeks. There is no more baby-fat in those cheeks. His face now thin—the face of a young man. The past year, his voice has changed–its deep resonance causes me to pause in the kitchen many nights as it booms down the stairs (who is that man upstairs?)—his shoulders have broadened, and he has passed me in height just recently.

His attention was focused on the speaker, quiet in his long-suffering. He did not complain–just sat—patiently trying to salvage a few moments of the afternoon. I rubbed his arm, studied his profile in the dim light.

All the long days I spent with this boy came achingly barreling forth. His baby voice still fresh in my mind. I remembered how he used to touch my face, pull my forehead up against his and lean into me with all the fresh smell of him. I remembered how fast his short legs could move and the way he used to press his lips up against his playpen to make the “smooshy face”. I remembered long summer days on a blanket under the plum tree—reading together. All the walks we took and rocks thrown in the creek. I remembered…everything.

When was the last time we had spent an afternoon together—just the two of us?

I studied him a few moments more. Savored my secret reconnaissance.

Then I leaned over and whispered in his ear.

Let’s get out of here.

He looked back at me. Raised eyebrows.


And we made our escape.

The best memory of the afternoon was the bottle of root beer at the artsy bookstore and the walk through the streets of Charleston together. I rubbed shoulders with my now-tall boy and we laughed and perused books and tasted sweet moments.

We even made it home in time for the end of the game.

Linking up with Emily today:


  1. says

    I just love this! I think he is about the same age as my son (freshman in high school). We took a Saturday a couple of weeks go to see my grandmother, then went out for dinner and a movie (“127 Hours,” which was amazing). I know our time together is limited.

  2. says

    This makes me teary. My last baby just turned two! I was willing to change diapers forever! 🙂

    You are a special Momma! I read your blog and don’t dread the teenage years–your boys are still so sweet!

  3. says

    I adore him! I have one of those with the man/child smile that melts me in a puddle. The playfulness even with a furry face still reminds me of when he was a toddler. Such a gift. Glad you so enjoy each other!!

  4. says

    such a wonderful story , Laura.
    He trusts and respects you , as you do him.
    That is everything.

    My son will be 22 in Feb . I can’t believe it. He is always the little boy, and yet he is a man .

  5. says

    Laura, I think your guys are just back from mine a year or so each.

    How I wish they were just ahead so that I, like Kelly, could watch you and learn first.

    Beautiful stuff. When these voices change, when we have to start stretching hands up instead of down to help, or even when we start looking for their help…

  6. says

    EXCELLENT….time together…priceless. We went to a concert the other night that we were a week late for…so we went to a coffee shop with our girls and just talked…AMAZING to listen to your kids.

  7. says

    Just enjoyed a lunch date with my favorite man/child at our local 50s throwback diner and was thinking to myself what a gift that was. So much in here that hits close to home. I’m truly excited to see the man my son is becoming but, oh, how I miss that little boy sometimes!

  8. says

    i read every word and wanted more… i absorbed, laura. mesmerized by your son’s crooked smile and his gentle demeanor, and his patient long-suffering. this is so tender a post. i’m SO glad you linked, friend. dear mama friend. (btw, this is the last imperfect prose until the new year. merry christmas!)

  9. says

    You made me CRY, Laura. So beautiful. Touched that place inside me that I never had… and why I wept when I gave birth to two sons. I want to give them *this*… love in everyday life. What a treasure you have Laura and he, too. His future wife will one day have to thank you. Profusely. 😉 I’m happier when I leave than when I arrived here at your place.

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