Last night my oldest boy, soon to be 18, came home after a football jamboree with a friend of his with some news.
He had had his first kiss.
She had kissed him.
He admitted that it had roused unknown feelings in him.
I am grateful that my son can confide in us. I would not have wanted to find out about this first milestone years from now. I hugged him, seeing him now as having walked through a door that could never again be closed. A little part of me shuddered.
I had been watching videos of the band Journey and their resurgence after finding a remarkable replacement for their original lead singer for about 40 minutes before he had come home. Listening to the music had brought me back to my early teens. To memories of boys, my first real crush, cars, drinking before the age of consent and of first kisses.
I am realizing a part of parenthood I had only ever heard about. A strange waffling feeling between ones own mortality, their child's right of passage and future challenges, and their transition from innocence to maturity.
I am loathe to accept my oldest son is so close to his eighteenth birthday. I look at his tall, trim body and marvel that the puffy cheeked baby abandoned by his biological "mother" is now nearing his adult age. How can it be?
He is jovial and light, this tall gangly young man who once loved piggy back rides and being read bedtime stories now most definately goes to bed with girls on his mind.
I love this boy. He is my son. I have been there through nightmares and potty training accidents and Lyme disease, homework and school projects, cross country meets, tennis matches and baseball, missteps and poor choices. I have read to him, sang to him, listened to his awful jokes until they eventually developed into well timed comedy rants, and all the while marveled that this little boy, born from my heart if not my body, is my son. An offshoot of myself, of my teachings and guidance.
He now travels on a path all his own.