L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
November 04
Retired PR Director
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.


L in the Southeast's Links

APRIL 25, 2012 11:38AM

Hi, Mom! Bye, Mom.

Rate: 41 Flag


As usual, he appears painfully thin to my maternal eyes.  He is fashionably dressed in a black leather fitted jacket, casual pants and the Adidas sneakers he wears in compliance with his endorsement agreement.  The expensive watch on his left wrist serves the same purpose.  He’s agreed to wear it on the show.

The ubiquitous ball cap, some version of which he has worn since he was a Pee Wee Leaguer, was jammed down over his forehead to either protect his face from the sun or to prevent his being recognized by ardent, usually female fans.  I never asked.

His kohl black beard shines and sparkles in the Atlanta sunlight, matching the ever-present twinkle in his almond-shaped eyes.  Once again I marvel at the very notion that such a tall and handsome creature is the fruit of my long gone womb.

The relationship between a parent and an adult child is both easy and tricky.  Ours has been a close bond from day one, fostered by my openness and determination to actually hear him.  Nothing has changed about that, so when he chats over lunch about his work, his challenges and his sexual escapades, I force myself to listen as an adult friend.  The “mommy” in me doesn’t like to think about those things very much.

He has just left the hotel gym and intends to return in the evening for another session.  A bedroom scene with the star of the television pilot he is in town to film informs the two-a-days and is reflected in the content of his luncheon order.  Broiled salmon, no butter.  House salad, dressing and bleu cheese on the side.  Steamed broccoli, no salt.  He says his abdominal “six-pack” has slipped back to a 4 1/2; it will be back to six by morning.

The man who sits on the other side of the table is the self-assured, intelligent, polite and mannered gentleman I tried with all I had to raise.  He sees the world in ways that are often diametrically opposed to the way I see it.  He says things I don’t always like or agree with and he knows it, but it doesn’t stop him from saying exactly what he means.  I like that about him, too.

The time is too short – the limo is picking him up to take him to the studio.  The bedroom scene is to be shot the next day and he needs to be “camera-ready,” as he calls it.  So focused.  So professional. 

I drop him off in front of the hotel and watch him disappear into his life again.  Caught in the thick of the 5 p.m. rush hour in the impossibly congested Buckhead area of Atlanta, I think about the beautiful little toddler with the long eyelashes that caused people to mistake him for a girl if he wore a hat.  He was such a little ham, even then. 

I always knew he’d be a celebrity one day. 



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My God...post a photo! :) r.
Hard to believe how they change as they grow up... Kel was a blonde haired child of light when I met him at 18 months, now he's 6' 2" with a receding hairline and carries another child of light in his arms.
They grow up so fast and I cant believe my kids are actual people! I am so proud of your boy too. Thank you for sharing a little bit with us sometimes. I wish my mom was as proud of me....
You have so much to be proud of. ~r
Jon: No photo this time. This time it was just for me. :D

jmac: We are so lucky to have had the chance to watch the process, aren't we?

Zanelle: I think your mother IS proud of you. She just doesn't know how to tell you.
Does the bedroom scene perhaps require an Older Lady?

Seriously, you're the mommy of a *movie star*! Too cool!
And of a together person. Even better.
Myriad: LOL! That job has been filled. Thanks.
What a wonderful post, Lezlie. As Joanie said, you have so much to be proud of. Good for you.
Your son is his own man now and yet he is still a child. That's what I call a great reflection of you, L. I'd bet he is proud of you as well. :)
froggy: Thanks so much.

Belinda T.: We are a mutual admiration society, it's true. Thanks!

Sarah: Thank you.
Loved this! What a wonderful relationship you have with your son.
Deb: Thanks. I am a very lucky woman.
You are glowing & at peace; as you write about your love for your boy! All the best for his success & yours! R
Well done Mom!
At first I thought it was going to be about your mother.
Your son sounds, handsome, happy and grounded-bravo!
From the very first sentence: "As usual, he appears painfully thin to my maternal eyes." I started smiling....I can almost picture his facial response to your motherly scan. I like reading that he tells you about his life, that is so crucial, yet tough. I agree, it is tricky, the relationship between a grown son and his mother. What to say, what not to say, what expressions must be suppressed at all costs...

"I tell you, those ideals of 'six-pack' actually mean you're starved."
That's an example of how subtle I can be in my motherly sentences I've said to my painfully-thin-to-my-eyes Middle Son who loves his physique...of course, the cameras are on for your son. I suppose skipping the butter makes a little sense...
...a TV pilot!!?? I hope it goes! Keep us posted.
Now, when's the diamond company going to hire your son as handsome spokesman so mom gets some sparklies? : )
When I first saw your son's picture - when you were writing about his role in "Moneyball" - I predicted he was going to be a star. (But I'm sure you had me beat by years in that department!)

I'm sure it's tricky sometimes to negotiate the boundaries of being a mom to an adult son, when you were once the "mommy" to the little boy. It seems like you do it pretty well.
It sounds like you have a lot to be proud of, including developing an adult realationship, which is no easy task since a part of them will always be our babies.
Marilyn: Thank you!

ladyfarmerjed: I’m sorry the title misled you. He’s a great guy.

JT: Hahahaha. I’d rather he got a commercial for a company that sells the fountain of youth! LOL It’s been a while. How are you?

Jeanette: I do my best, but sometimes I have to bite the inside of my cheeks to keep quiet. :D

jlsathre: That adult relationship thing doesn’t always work out, so I feel lucky.
And people like to think celebrities just have to look good and it's all thanks to the makeup crew. Interesting to see your view of what your son has to go through in order to maintain an image that is "camera ready."

Is he still trying to talk you into moving West?
How cool is that! You have a right to be proud! Very nice.
dunniteowl: You’re right. It is a full-time job, even when he is not getting paid. I couldn’t do it.

kosh: It’s going to happen. Just haven’t decided when yet. I have another 13 months on my lease, so decisions will be required soon.

Seer: :D How’d you guess?
He's keeping his "instrument in tune." Acting is not easy and he is smart and obviously a dedicated professional. Oh Lezlie, you must be so proud!
A friend sent me this just today.. Enjoy.


BY Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Linnn: Thanks for saying acting is not easy. Not many outside the profession understand that -- it looks more like play to them. I am very proud of his tenacity and dedication.

Brie aka Barbara K: Khalil Gibran is one of my all-time favorites. I had forgotten about that poem, which touched me so deeply all those years ago when my son was still a child. Thank you for renewing it for me.
I just kept seeing one word over and over: "love."
The man who sits on the other side of the table is the self-assured, intelligent, polite and mannered gentleman I tried with all I had to raise. He sees the world in ways that are often diametrically opposed to the way I see it. He says things I don’t always like or agree with and he knows it, but it doesn’t stop him from saying exactly what he means. I like that about him, too. This is so satisfying and gratifying, isn't it. I see my son that way, too. And yours is making it in a profession that's so difficult. I'd polish your halo!
As a mom (also with a long-lost womb) of a high-achieving son (two actually, but one a *star*) I feel your pride and agree. It's sometimes wondrous to remember them as little boys. The best part is that they are good people.
Great post, I can feel the love dripping all over it, who needs the butter?
Cranky: I know you understand what that feels like.

nerd cred: I am so glad you have the same relationship with your son. It is the most satisfying and gratifying thing I can think of.

Lea: Every time I see a picture of your son like the recent one you posted of him in the same room as the President (GWB) I smile a knowing smile because I know exactly how you feel. And yes, that they are good people is the best part of all of it.
Time is way too short!! :(

Aww... congratulations on raising a handsome, talented man who still comes home to visit mom. Good on you. :-) r.
Awww...this was so sweet - and bittersweet. Thank you for letting us share this moment with you.
These lunches, they're way too brief these days.
Typically, I didn't say all I felt, reading this piece.
What came through was a sense of drive & commitment in your son, & your pride ... but a lingering uneasiness perhaps every parent feels, about how far their child needs to go ... but we did too, remember ?
All that I felt, & love. I forgot to mention love.
This is a marvelous portrait, Lady L, of a son as seen thru his mother's loving eyes and her reflection in him. Your pride in Stephen and in yourself, so well deserved, shine thru it all.
It really is terribly cool that you have a gorgeous movie star son. Very few can say that. I'm sure you have lots of dish that you have been keeping from us, Lezlie.
Speaking to an offspring as an adult friend rather than a concerned parent is a trick that not many can pull off. Good on you if you've managed that Lezlie.
Understood. Proud and kinda lonely too.
Nice! And a picture, eventually...