I recently attended my youngest brother’s wedding. I’m not generally the tearing up type, at least when not pregnant. (If you’ve been pregnant, you know there’s no getting through the touching coffee commercials at Christmas without turning into a blubbering pile of sap. Please tell me it’s not just me. It’s okay to lie…just a little…just this once.)
When I saw my mother dancing the mother-son dance with my brother, the groom, I had a simultaneous flashback/flash-forward experience. (It’s similar to having a split personality juxtaposed on some inverted space-time continuum. Don’t try to figure it out. Nod and smile. Nod and smile.)
I remember when my little brother was, well, little, my darling little tag-along. Now he’s 6’4″ and married and living in NYC doing things like operating a power drill and buying his own groceries. He probably even has a job, although being a musician, I’m never entirely sure. When did he learn to tie his shoes?
And now I have another precious little tag-along, my own little man. He’s still shorter than I am. His power drill runs on batteries and only tickles when he drills his little sister’s forehead. He helps push the cart at the grocery store, which is still as exciting as getting a driver’s license, and his job is making his bed and cleaning the music room for a dollar a month. His musical opus is belting out “Do, a deer, a female deer,” and most of his shoes have velcro. He seems so…young, and the future seems so…distant. But I know better.
At the wedding, while my mother swayed across the floor in the arms of her youngest son, I saw myself in 20-some years dancing that dance as the mother of the groom and then the music ends and I hand those big brown eyes and intoxicating smile and spontaneous affections (not to mention the results of endless hours of training) over to his new bride. I would have hugged my little man a bit too tightly and not let him go had he been there, but he wasn’t, and I had to wait all too long to get back to him. When I did, he got an extra long squeeze and a handful of half-melted M&Ms I had saved especially for him. (They really do melt in your hands. Who knew?)
Too soon the little man in the toddler bed in my bedroom will be a husband, a father, a man, and I will be proud and pleased, but I will always miss the little person he is right now, my very own promise of how great a man can really be.
And I savor the moments and the memories and the words.
Words like these:
“My nickname is Super Fast Muscle Boy, but you can just call me Boy.”
I’ve been bragging about those muscles for four years now. Wow, can that boy carry groceries for his Mama. Won’t the future Mrs. Super Fast Muscle Boy love that?
And won’t she love His heavenly focus?
“God never has to knock on doors, Mommy, because God is everywhere!”
“I love God, and I love both my grown-ups. Do you love God, too? And do you love me, too?”
Do we ever! And forever!
I leave you with this little family adventure from a couple night’s past, brought to you by Super Fast Muscle Boy:
“Mommy, can you please help me get this popcorn kernel out of my nose?”
Sure, Super Fast But Slightly Short on Common Sense Muscle Boy. Anything for you!