Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Make It Stop
You turned six yesterday. Six years ago you made me a mother. Today I reflect on the fact, once again, that this crazy ride feels like it just started and like it’s been part of me forever all at once.
On the eve of your birthday, you asked me to lie down next to you, all tucked in under your fire truck quilt. I told you how excited I was for you to turn six, and how I remembered the day so clearly that I met you for the first time and held your little baby body in my arms. You love hearing that story.
Then you said you wanted to tell me something.
Oh, here comes a wonderful bonding moment, mother and son, I thought.
“Mom, I’m in love with Addie,” you declared, as our heads lay on your pillows in the dark, the hall light reaching in through your door.
Oh God. How is this already happening and who is the influencer in your daily environment poisoning you with these thoughts that you should already be thinking about girls as girlfriends?? my mind immediately blurted out inside my head. Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety… followed by… actually kinda cute… followed by… way too soon!... followed by… yet still cute.
“Weeeeellll,” I started, “You know you can have friends who are girls but you don’t have to be in love with them. Being in love is really for grown-ups and mommies and daddies.”
“Well, I’m in love with her,” you protested. “Anyway what about teenagers?”
I know you’ve heard the story of Mommy and Daddy dating in high school. In this moment, that high-school-sweethearts thing appeared to be working against me.
“Well teenagers go on dates, that’s true,” I offered, while also wondering how I suddenly found myself in a conversation with an almost-6-year-old about dating.
“Did you tell Addie this?” I inquired, trying not to pass judgment one way or the other against my sensitive, loving son, and also trying to steer the convo away from what teenagers do on dates.
“Yes,” you stated, before recounting the moment: “I said, ‘Addie?’ and she said, ‘Yeah.’ And then I said, ‘You know I’m in love with you.’ And she said, ‘Yeah, I know.’”
“And then what happened?” I was almost afraid to ask.
“And then I went back to my seat because we had just come in from getting a drink.”
“Oh okay,” I replied.
“Anyway I’m also in love with Abby,” you said. “But I haven’t told her yet.” AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO, CHILD!!
And then, most likely sensing my uneasiness with the whole thing, you offered up: “Don’t worry, Mom. I still love you best.”
Happy birthday, dear 6-going-on-16-year-old son of mine. I love you best, too.