I am sitting here trying to think of a clever word to describe the relationship I have with my son. Daniel is my first born and only son. Being that special first, he had my undivided attention and believe me, this boy craved every bit of it. I want to say he was the perfect baby because he rarely cried and if he did it was for a good reason. He slept well at night too and right through anything – carpet cleaners, loud voices, tornado sirens. He even reached those milestones early and he was always, always happy. His dimpled smile melts my heart everytime and has gotten him out of trouble so many times. My #1 goal besides raising a godly young man, was to raise a manly man. I made it my mission to not let him become wimpy. When he fell and scraped his knee, I didn’t make a big production over it. We just cleaned up the injury, and I sent him back into play. Daniel was never the little boy you see on TV who promises to marry his mommy someday, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. From day one though, I’d have conversations with Daniel. As a baby, he would carry on a “conversation” of baby babble, but we’d talk about everything from the books I’d read him, what our plans were for the day, just random stuff. I have endless videos of telling him stories or asking him questions or moments of his singing–loudly!
As he became more of his own person, he ventured out into the world of public school. I swore I’d not be that helicopter mom and I wasn’t. We chose to let him fight his own battles and helped guide him in decisions along the way. Sometime during the middle school years, his conversations with me changed unless it revolved around movies or tv shows we had in common. He was pulling away a little as boys this age should. However the one time I had his full attention was breakfast on Saturday mornings. I guess that became our new time to connect. I’d make him pancakes and listen to him talk. I began to see him grow into a fiercely independent, charismatic young man who always had a crew of boys over playing video games. He even took most of this same crew to youth group Sunday night. I know now that he is a person who makes lifelong friendships and commitments.
The day Daniel left for Texas A&M was a conflicting day for me. I was happy he found a place he’d grow to love and call home for the next 4 years. Yet, that one part of my knew he’d not really be “home” much anymore. Yet – this is when his new routine of calling us on what I call The Point A to B call began. I’d get a call from him as he walked across campus to class or while headed home. He still does this today. It was on one of those recent phone calls he told me this past year he was dating a girl named Hillary. He told me they knew each other at A&M and how they had gone to the same church in College Station and they had several mutual friends in common. She had graduated and moved to Dallas where he lived now. When we met her earlier this year, I’m not going to say “I knew” she was the girl for him, but I certainly prayed he wouldn’t mess it up! I just know I liked how they interacted together. I saw a more compassionate side of Daniel come out So when he called me a few months later and told he wanted to marry her, I wasn’t surprised. Now our conversations revolve around guest lists and other wedding plans.
Knowing me,and my propensity to cry at the drop of a hat, you’d think I’d be a soggy mess with The Winter Wedding less than a week away. I mean when Beth was getting married, there were certain songs I just could not listen to. Funny – there seems to be more songs about little girls getting married than little boys. Anyway – I’ve only become misty eyed a few times. The first was then we witnessed the proposal in the mountains of Taos during our family vacation. Daniel had it meticulously planned out and surprised Hillary with a memorable proposal that was more romantic than any Nicholas Sparks novel, I cried not because of the proposal itself or for the selfish idea of “losing my little boy to another woman”, but for the depth of love I was privileged to witness. It was the unfolding of a lifelong prayer right before our eyes. While there may not be many songs for a son getting married, there is always one that makes me smile and tear up -You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins. So come Saturday we witness another lifelong relationship begin. Will I cry then? Yes lots of happy tears.