The Boy

His name is Charles L A Smith. He’s my son. He came to visit for just a day and I realized all over again something that I’ve known since I let him go to kindergarten that first day. He carries a big piece of my heart with him.

When he’s back in my world, even for just a little while, that piece of my heart that was missing heals.  All the jagged edges are repaired and my heart is whole and filled with joy and fun and nonsense. 

Then when he leaves.  Every single time he leaves, that special part of my heart that only belongs to him gets torn out all over again.  I smile and tease. I tell him I love him. I encourage him and I wave good bye. I hold back the tears until he is out of sight.  Then I cry bitter tears of pain and heartache, all the while thanking the good Lord that I have such an amazing young man for a son.

He is twenty-six now and I don’t know how it happened.  For you see, I am quite certain that last year he was only twenty-one. The year before that he had just turned seventeen.  The year before that he was ten and the year before that he was barely four years old and that was only one year after he was born!  So how he made it to twenty-six in five short years I will never know.

I have pictures that were taken at school. I carry them in my wallet as proof that he really did grow up.  


Those two front teeth were missing here.


The cowboy boots were much smaller here.


That special grin that always makes me smile.


Each year it gets better, still filled with fun.


Little league. Charles was great and did so well. I loved it. I was even voted Most Valuable Player by the other team one year.  Best cheerleader they ever had. That’s what they said. 🙂


Karate classes, yes I went too! A yellow belt for me, Charles did much better. 


Growing too fast, how do they do that!


Glasses? Yes hard at first, but he could see so much better. 


Tennis, High School, his world at home fell apart.  But he stepped up to the plate, squared off at the net, and continued to grow into the young man I know so well today. 


Still willing to help mom with special projects.


Still silly


Still fun


and Still loving.

We will have long talks on the phone when he has questions about life. Sometimes his and sometimes mine.  He will text me to see how I am, but there is something about having him here, where I can get a good squishing and see his smile and watch as he does silly things to make me laugh. There’s just something about actually having him here that is so precious and so priceless.

But please, you must understand he is not the one that tears out that piece of my heart.  I am the one who tears it out.  I give it to him freely. So he will always have with him, the very best part of me.


8 thoughts on “The Boy

  1. Hi Rachel,
    You must be so proud of the man Charles has become. I bet he is proud of his mom too. What an example you are to him–self reliant, strong, independent, courageous.
    I expect every time Charles leaves you a piece of his heart stays with you too.
    What a heart-warming story.

    • My dear Riley in NC

      I am truly not sure what to say. I have started to reply about six times now and every time I’m just not sure how to respond. You have made me feel like I’m succeeding out here. Although, your compliments put me to the blush. I certainly don’t see myself that way. I would hope that my son feels the same way. We have a wonderful relationship, but sometimes I am sure he wonders about his crazy old Mom!

      I am very proud of the man he has become, he never ceases to amaze me. Even now he is trying to help friends of his in Texas who have lost their jobs. He shares his heart wherever he goes and I am sure that a little piece of that big heart of his stays here with me. 🙂

  2. Hello my friend! This is justgeo1 from the thyca board. I know about being proud of your kids, and I love the photos you have of your son!
    Be Strong and Stay Positive!

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