By Paula @ Holiday World

I tease Thomas that he’s my egghead son.

John, 13, is my musical son.

And James, 5, is my farm-boy son.

Here they are on Christmas morn a few years back.

Christmas 1999

James, Thomas, and John Werne

They’re all bright fellows, but Tom is what I sometimes refer to as “scary smart.”

I have, by the way, a newspaper clipping of an article stating that bright sons get their brains from their mothers. (Just thought I’d throw that bit of scientific fact on the heap.)

Tom is finishing up his second year at Rose-Hulman. If you’re not from Indiana, this may sound like a school for florists. It’s actually a highly regarded school of engineering. He’s double-majoring in Electrical Engineering and Math and has tested out of enough classes that he could graduate a year early (if he didn’t love school so much).


Anyway, Tom was home on spring break shortly after the start of the HoliBlog. I asked him to explain the whole concept of “RSS” to me. (I listened to, but didn’t thoroughly retain, his explanation. It’s a “syndication” that delivers the blog posts to you, rather than you having to check repeatedly for new posts. Something like that …)

So Tom granted me a demonstration on his souped-up laptop. He set up RSS delivery of HoliBlog posts on his system.


He then promptly deleted it.

A knife to my heart would have caused less pain.

How could you, my son?

Shall we talk about the many hours of labor … and that you were delivered naturally so that no foreign substance might taint your precious brain?

… okay, I won’t go there. You were the smallest of my three babies after all. (If you can call 8 lbs. 13 oz. a runt!)

Trying to keep the pout out of my voice, I told him how I’d received an email from another local college boy … who said HoliBlog was “like a letter from home.”

Didn’t work.

He didn’t take the hint.

Cleaned up his laptop and moved on to some unpronounceable engineering project (for some light reading, don’t you know).

So imagine my joy — my rapture — when my beloved first-born called a bit ago,

Mom … what’s going on? You haven’t posted on the blog lately …

(Cue the music — lots of violins swelling in unison.)

The prodigal son has returned. Kill the fatted lasagna!

Mommy’s tiny touch of revenge, of course, is this rather silly post. Tom will see it immediately since he has that RSS thing, right?

It’s nice to know — sniff! — that you care, Tom. (I also know my double-hyphens annoy you — don’t they, dear?)

Motherhood is a precious, precious thing.
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