I remember when I found out I pregnant with my son. I hadn’t really been trying as we had only just decided we WANTED to try. And before I knew it, it was a done deal. I remember holding that stick in my hand with the plus sign and sitting down on the couch with my husband and crying and laughing and hugging and wondering if we were up to the challenge. Becoming a parent is the most life-changing thing that have ever happened to me. From that moment on I literally made every single decision considering the impact it would have on my children’s lives. My life was no longer my own.
I remember being at the ultrasound where I was told I would be having a little boy. I must have been alone because my memory is driving home and having all these life experiences go through my head for him. When you’re pregnant you play the life you want for your child in your mind and now I knew who the star of that life would be. A little boy. I remember thinking he is going to fall in love some day and be a man and husband and father. Wow. That was a moment.
When he was in sixth grade I worked at our church where my kids attended school. And I remember walking with them to the car one evening and he saying, “Mom would you be mad at me if I told you I liked girls?” He was 11. I was like, “Huh? You’re supposed to think girls have cooties still, what’s this now about liking girls?” And it was another one of those moments that kind of pass you by that you didn’t see coming. Kind of like getting smacked in the head by a stray volleyball at the beach. Bonk. Suddenly all these talks I needed to have with him went racing through my head. About being honorable, respecting women, being true to yourself. I saw dating and kissing and oh boy. I didn’t want to think of what else.
He’s been a girl-lover ever since. The type that never breaks it off first. So his little hearts been broken a few times. He’s done some things that have disappointed me along the way but mostly I’ve been proud of the man he is turning out to be.
Last night was another one of those moments. He had a water polo tournament that was a few towns away and my daughter and I decided to have a girl day to celebrate my past birthday and her upcoming one. It was a great day. My ex just left after dropping him home and he came over to give me a hug and kind of flopped onto my chest and rested there and said, “I’m so tired but not tired-tired, just worn out. Mom? Can Sara come over?” This was the girl he took to the Homecoming dance who he now considered his girlfriend. I looked around my house. At the piles of stuff on the coffee table, on the floor. I knew there were dishes that needed switching over in the kitchen. Dust that collected from the dogs running in and out of the house. And as any smart mom would do I said, “If you pick up this house I will let her come over.” He jumped up with vigor that must have come from his reserves and he picked up, did the dishes, vacuumed the floor and the couches, all while chatting to Sara via Skype making arrangements for the evening.
My son invited a girl over to the house. I made her dinner. It was a moment. We chatted, she was nervous but sweet and so pretty. She liked what I cooked. After dinner we played Gin Rummy and laughed and Sam won which made his night. I usually win big time. Then I did something I didn’t know I had the ability to do. I went upstairs and left them alone in the Family room for about 30 minutes. I left my door open and I could hear they were watching TV and talking a little. And I thought…wow. He’s got a girl over the house. My little boy. My sweet little snot nosed booger. That is what I call him. He’s Booger or Boog for short. I know it’s a terrible name but I said it one day and it stuck.
I drove her home at 10:00PM and he walked her to the door, she opened it, and then from around the corner I see her arms wrap round his neck and I thought. NO! I didn’t just see what I think I saw! NO WAY.
He got back in the car with this silly smile on his face and I said, “Did she just kiss you?” and he said, “No mom, it was a hug. The door was open, no way, only a hug.”
As we drove out of her neighborhood toward home out the blue he said, “Mom…yeah it was a kiss.” And I said, “I KNEW IT!” I proceeded to wonder out loud how anyone would want to kiss my little boy and he proceeded to tell me that his friends tell him their mom thinks he’s cute all the time. He had a solo at his Madrigal’s concert last week where he sang Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”. He thinks he’s a stud.
My little boy. Well, not anymore. He’s a young man now. And the best part is he’s still talking to me, sharing with me things, and I’m still a part of his life. For a little while longer anyway.
Each moment after this will be bittersweet for me I’m afraid. Life just keeps going. It goes by so fast. Sadly his dad missed last night. As he will miss many more moments like it I’m sure. It breaks my heart.
I looked through his photo album when he turned a year old and saw the hope, and happiness in all our faces. 15 years ago. I did my best. That is all I can say. I made mistakes and I will make more. But I sure did my best.