When Micah and I got engaged, I started thinking about our children. I wanted children who were just like their father: handsome, athletic, at least marginally musical, creative and artistic. I hoped my children would grow to be thoughtful and intentional, aware of their surroundings, aware of other people, attentive to their needs – just like their dad is. I willed them to have their father’s slim calves, to look half as graceful as he does when he jumps to snag a frisbee out of the air. And even now, when I kiss their smooth, unmarred cheeks and foreheads, I say a little prayer that they did not get my complexion and that their skin will remain unmarred throughout their adolescence.
As far as I was concerned, I had very little to offer my kids: Big eyes and thick lashes. A somewhat annoying knack for remembering way too much. And . . . that’s just about it.
Then Manchild was born and he had a nicely shaped head. “He gets that from you,” Micah told me. At first I tried to deny it. It was so cute, it couldn’t be from me. But then, I’d never really looked at the shape of my skull before. And if that was kind of what it looked like, sitting atop that adorable ball of chubby baby, then maybe it wasn’t so bad, maybe I did have something going for me after all. A nicely shaped head. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.
And then on Saturday night I got an early Mother’s Day present. We were at a wedding reception, it was late but we were all having such a good time we couldn’t seem to get out the door. We made our way from the back corner of the yard where the boys had been climbing a tree and running around with other boys, to the steps where we kept running into friends we needed to say hi to and chat with. Finally we made it inside, and then past the food, and then into the dance room where the beat was bumping and a small group of people were dancing. I joined them almost instinctively, suddenly unconcerned that we needed to get the boys home. I was surprised, however, when they skittered past me to the middle of the dance floor. More surprised still when they started dancing, and possibly the most surprised when, after we left half an hour later, Manchild couldn’t stop talking about how much fun he’d had, how he loved dancing, how he wanted to go to dance parties all the time.
It may be odd, but there have been few times in my life when I’ve been more proud to say, “That’s my boy.”