The first 54 days of my son’s school experience, I walked my son Eli to and from kindergarten. My only child. The boy who was taking afternoon naps just a short while ago.
This was a joyous experience, with the exception of the days when he reported that his teacher Mrs. Hartman gave him a conduct warning and changed his “color” from blue to red.
A new season for both of us, I relished every moment of it, thankful to God that I was able to spend this quality time with him–time that he and I will always remember, but not for the same reasons. I will always remember the images of his flustered cheeks in the Texas heat and Eli having the memories of the after school snacks and finger painting.
On day 55 my son comes home and announces at the family dinner table that he is in love.
(I’ll change the name of the girl, here, to protect the lives of the guilty).
“I’m in love with a girl named Melissa. Shhh. It’s our little secret. We are going to get married. We hold hands every day at school.”
Red flag! Red flag!
Oh no! I’m thinking. It seems like just a few days ago we were having a little talk about Eli saving his heart for his future wife? XO&*##@@!! Until then he was only to give his heart to Jesus, Mama, Daddy, and he added in “Stitch”, our black lab.
“Eli, are you going to tell Melissa’s parents that you are in love with their daughter and are considering marriage?” I asked him facetiously.
“No, Mama. It’s our little secret.”
The next day I was not surprised when I arrived at school to Eli walking out of class with Melissa by his side. We played on the playground together for a while as I talked to Melissa’s Mom…after all– I figured I had better get acquainted with my future in-laws.
“Okay kids, it’s time to go,” I explained, but the wheels in my head were turning or should I say churning like a case oncoming food poisoning. I felt somewhat queasy.
I thought, My, my. How quickly things have progressed, as my baby reaches for Melissa’s hand and they strolled together right in front of me. My rookie Mom heart flipped upside down and around for just a moment.
They continued their conversation as a welcome substitute for the usual badgering of my how was your day today interrogation. My son’s smile was evidence that he truly had a new friend in Melissa.
As we approached Melissa’s family van, my son stopped and looked her straight in the eye with an honesty that would break a thousand hearts. “Maybe you could come and spend the night with me at my house one of these days. I live just around the corner.”
Not shocked at all, Melissa replied, “Oh, okay.” Then her eyes became open wide and round, “But I would have to sleep on a blow-up bed or something.”
I breathed a sigh of relief that my son had selected a girl with a high moral standing, just before he insisted, “No, I want you to sleep in my bed,” to which she replied, “I had better stick to the blow-up bed until my lice clears up.”
Way to go, Melissa. There’s one sure way to turn off a guy. Just remind him that your lice has not cleared up.
So we put Melissa and her lice into her family van and waved as they drove away, then strolled home hand in hand just as we had always done before. We followed our usual after school routine and I was inwardly relieved that I still had my son’s heart for a few more years, knowing that I want to give my every experience with Eli my all since we rookie Moms of an only child aren’t always afforded a repeat experience.
Read Brandi’s column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper. Follow Brandi on Twitter @BrandiChambless