I can't tell you how many times people have come into my home and noticed that there were 15 messages on my voicemail. They try to be kind, I guess, by reminding me of them. I think they thought I must have been way too busy to notice, or just forgot to delete them.
The real reason I keep them all is because they're an archive of sorts, and they're just too precious to me to get rid of them. You see, all of those messages are from my son over the past three years or so. When he entered into middle school, my husband I thought it best to purchase a cell phone for him. We figured his schedule would get a lot busier, and a lot more complicated, and I felt better knowing that I could reach him at any time, and vice versa. He was thrilled to be among the ranks of the "cool" kids.
The first messages were left at the beginning of his 6th grade year. You can still hear so much of the little boy in his voice. As the messages progress, from 7th and onto 8th, his voice became first crackly-sounding (think Peter Brady), to man-like. Honestly, there have been times when I haven't recognized him on the phone.
My heart sinks a little, when I listen through those 15 messages, to know how quickly those messages were accumulated on our home answering machine. My son really did enter into middle school as a little boy, and has come out a young man.
Oh, and he managed to pass in all of his work on time, to get a decent grade in English. Which meant that he was able to attend, and receive his certificate for, middle school graduation last night. I was very proud of him for stepping up and working like crazy to get everything done.
I wish that I could wave a magic wand, and bring that little boy back again. The boy with the chubby cheeks, and the flashing smile, who lit up the room whenever he entered it. The little guy who always wanted hugs and kisses from his mom. Now he's too "old" for all that. I know I have to let him go -- to let him fly, but any mother out there who's worth her salt can attest that's easier said than done.
So, I guess if I want a glimpse of my little boy, I'll just press "play" on my answering machine.