Boy Interrupted

Bob Smith-Smith, writes Opinions for Coma New Daily that focus on Baby Boomer parenting of children with a focus on 35 year olds who still live at home. Bob Smith-Smith is a former councilman and also runs Bob’s Mart which specializes in employing his current and ex wife as well as providing artisanal food such as foraged leaves for Coma residents. The views expressed do not reflect the views of Coma News Daily.

I have slowly started to relax after Jon’s near-death experience.

My 35-year-old son, who we’re blessed to have living in our basement, fell prey to a mysterious illness about a month ago, its cause I’ll likely never know.

But whatever Jon ate or otherwise was exposed to made him so sick he couldn’t really stomach food, and what little he ate was due to my insistent pestering and sometimes forcing his fastidious nature by wiping baby food on the sides of his mouth to annoy him enough so he would clean it off with his tongue.

It was a difficult three days. I spent as much time as I could letting Jon curl up on my lap and stroking his long locks or scratching his beard. My independent little boy sought out the attention, too.


Slowly but surely, Jon regained his strength.

It took a long time before he spoke, though, and the house didn’t sound right without his grumpy-old-man mumblings or his morning belch-bellows.

I wondered how long it would take before his voice returned to the cacophony of the house.

Then one day, I sneezed. And Jon yelled at me for it. That’s when I knew he was back. For reasons unbeknownst to me, he hates sneezes. Maybe it’s the sudden, unexpected nature of the noise that bothers him. Who knows?

One thing that has changed is Jon’s appetite.

He’s always enjoyed food, but now he becomes so impatient for me to bring fresh food down to his “apartment” every morning that he has started using a broom handle to hit the kitchen floor from underneath.

It makes sense. After all, he was so sick that he couldn’t stomach much of anything.

For a young man to be unable to eat, even for a day, is bad news. Children–even adult children–can starve to death in a matter of two to three days and even faster if they are sick.

It seems as though the experience has left Jon with a new appreciation of food. He has always been large for his height. More than one doctor has looked at him and told me he needs to go on a diet, only to weigh him and find he is in an acceptable range. I’ve even called him “chunky monkey.” But only once.

He’s never had a weight problem, but I wonder with his voracious appetite if that will remain the case. But, for now, I’m just happy he is eating.

And a tiny part of me misses the cuddle bug he briefly turned into. Just a tiny part.

He’s always been an independent boy while living in my basement.


But I’ll gladly take the son who is running around the house, “yelling” at his younger siblings, stealing my food, and constantly burning incense.

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