Just Lunch

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This article is more than 7 years old.

He is 17. He is far and near. Hot and cold. Steady and rocked, skin to skin, unreachable. When he smiles, white light erupts in every corner of the universe. He is my son.

These days, he needs me less. It's his last year in high school. I watch him from the sidelines, learning how to be the mother of an almost-man. I watch him move among his friends, I watch as he shoots baskets in the driveway - dunk, slam, swoosh - over and over and over and over. I watch my son as he silently moves forward, both uncertain and bold.

And in the morning, before he wakes, I make him lunch.

In our still-dark home, the colors and textures tell stories. My hands move with each memory, measuring time to the whole of a young life so huge in my heart.

Tuna with chopped red onions, scooped like ice cream above a bed of spring greens. Diced bell peppers, the colors of his boyhood trucks, red always his favorite as he crawled vrooming on his knees. Diced avocado, summer bright like the smears of grass on his baseball pants. Salt and pepper, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon. How he used to bite right into the wedge, screwing up his face to shudder before laughing, the smell of fresh citrus stamped on his small fingers. I mix blueberries and raspberries. He loved the small, wild ones frozen, once eating so many he cried as he rolled on the floor, his belly a storm.  Almonds, macadamias, cashews, tossed like marbles. He was always good with his hands, precise.

I cut and chop in the quiet of the kitchen, before the day breaks, happy to be with him alone again, like he was, my first baby. My perfect, miraculous boy.

At the end of the day he walks into the kitchen, throws down his backpack, opens the frig to grab a drink.

"That lunch you made me, Mama?" he says, turning towards me a little.

I look up, catch his eye. "Yeah?" I say.

"It was the bomb," he says.

And that's all I need.

With a Perspective, I'm Susan Dix Lyons.

Susan Dix Lyonsis founder of an international nonprofit based in Angwin.