Okay, okay, I admit it. I’m a closet soap opera watcher. Have been forever. There is only one that I’ve been loyal to all these many years. It’s one of the two that are ending in September of this year. And when I found that out, I was in shock.
This part of my life has followed me from childhood, through teen years, college, law school and all my adult life. Let me give you an idea how ingrained this show is in my life. The ABA tutors ran a program with my son where they taught him to answer questions relating to personal information about himself. “What is your favorite color?” “Blue” “What is your favorite toy?” “Pinball.” “What is your favorite TV show?” “All My Children” Oops – that was mommy’s.
The one thing I don’t give up for my son is my 40 minutes (TiVo) of soap time 5 days a week. During that 40 minutes – nobody bugs mommy. After some time spent weeping uncontrollably over this loss of 40 minutes per day when I completely zone out the rest of the world, I wonder what I will now fill this time with. In the middle of my pondering, I hear:
“LET”S PLAY THE CHOO-CHOO GAME! THE CHOO-CHOO GAME!” Yes, that is top volume. I am distracted. This means my son has injured himself. After two more recitations of this “choo-choo” business, I look at him on the floor. He is on the carpet, having tripped over one of his toys. The following ensues:
Me: “Say ouch.”
Me: “What did you do?”
Him: “Are you okay?”
Me: “Are you okay?”
Him: “Yes.” (softly now) He gets up and walks away to play with something.
I rarely get the actual event that has caused this violently, melodramatic recitation. I’ve come to learn that the boo-boo suffered is never nearly as fatal as the lamentation that follows. The words, “What did you do?” never get a response. I guess he must feel the past is the past and he is going to focus on the present immediate pain. My question must be superfluous in his world.
I go back to wondering how I will fill the time void of no more Erica Kane weddings, when again, the little one appears before me with a plastic car and balloon. Looking at the contraption, he says, “That’s between you and Trista,” rather matter-of-factly. “Yes,” I answer. “That is between you and Trista. Mommy does not know how to work that thing.” (Trista is his senior tutor in ABA).
“Or you can ask Jessica,” I added.
“NO, Trista!” he says.
“Why? Are you mad at Jessica?” I ask.
“No. Yes!” he says upon reflection.
“Because she was gone at Court for a long time?” I inquire.
“Want to play with that!” he answers (not) and walks away to play with another toy.
Hmm. Since Jessica has returned from the trial, he is either trying to get her full attention or shunning her. He prefers hanging out with his tutors, our law clerk, Mary or me (sadly in that order). Jessica must work to regain her status as #1 in his life.
I have come to recognize that my son is a living version of a daytime drama. He has the melodramatic emotional outbursts of a diva, the social shunning of his beloved, long time girlfriend Jessica, turning to his steadfast tutor for play and mom for advice and comfort.
I guess everything happens for a reason. Goodbye, Pine Valley. Apparently, I won’t have time for you anymore, anyway.
I’ll be co-starring in my son’s daytime drama as the ever-concerned, protective mother of the melodramatic, accident prone, fickle 5 year old playboy.