New beginnings…

It wasn’t so long ago that my boys were under 4 ft tall, playing and laughing, baseball was the game of choice, maybe an adventure walk with Mom, backpacks packed with snacks and juices, or just a good old fashioned day at the playground. It wasn’t so long ago that I smiled imagining their futures, who they would be as they grew up, high school…always knew they would be Bubbas, work boots, ball caps, CarrHart clothing…motorheads and big trucks (they are!). It wasn’t long ago that I imagined who would catch their eye and hold their heart, even if just for a little while as high school and teen years are often so flighty.

Where is this going, and why? I got word that my youngest son, R who is 17, is going to see the girlfriend’s family for Christmas Eve dinner. While I am thrilled, as not long ago they weren’t fans of his, it brings me to the realization that this one might be different from the rest. She fits the mold of being shorter than him (mind you he is 6 ft so that’s not a stretch for him to be taller) but the rest of the details vary from his “norm.” And that’s the one people often choose…the one outside the norm, the one that breaks tradition with the rest, and maybe that is what appeals to him about her! She is cute as a button, good curves, great sassy female personality, and no doubt could hold her own in a fight. She doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, would rather wear jeans than anything too short or tight, sneakers vs heels…you get the idea, just a regular girl! (That’s what I love about her actually!)

I remember yellow ducky feet pajamas, dinosaur pj’s, little hiking boots, and both sets of smiling sparkling blue eyes. Those fresh young faces have given way to the smiles and smirks of handsome young men, the smiles still melt my heart, and the sparkle is still there in both of their eyes. And when I imagine the future, the girl with my son, it would be this one if I could choose or at least someone like her. Her smile is infectious; she still has the deep belly laugh of a young kiddo, and my son glows when she is around. They are not the traditional clingy teens, no foaming in front of Mom or the friends, just regular hangout playdates!

But tonight is a formality of sorts…the first formal holiday with her family. It’s a new bridge for my son…”Best behavior” I told him, “Dress nice, look good, and have fun.”  “I know Moooommmmm!” is his response followed immediately by “I love you!” Good kid! As this year closes, I’m celebrating this milestone in his life, this new adventure he is embarking on, and pushing forward into the new Year with hope. I challenge my son to take every lesson he can from this new love, this new family, these new moments…learn what you like, what you don’t, and use that to propel yourself (and possibly the GF) to the next chapter.

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