1/6/14

Dance with my boy

William is my hockey player. He's thirteen and caught in that fragile, tenuous web that hangs between childhood and manhood. His face still looks like it has for the past 5 years or so, soft chin, wide eyes, beautiful full lips. But now there are big bushy eyebrows, a smattering of zits, a broader nose. My boy is changing and since he's my last one, it's all the more bittersweet to observe. Having seen his two older brothers leave their baby faces behind, I'm prepared for what lies ahead...but I'm also acutely aware of what is slipping through my fingers. Raising kids is full of these heartbreakers, you know.

So anyway. Because of the hockey, William and I spend a lot of time in the car together. At least five days a week are partially devoted to a practice or a game. I'm a massive wuss when it comes to winter driving, so I've been stepping up and asking the ex to help out more with regards to rides. And to his credit, he's done it. But there are still several times a week when I find myself behind the wheel with my fourth child riding shotgun.

We talk about everything. And I mean, everything. We discuss dogs, politics, Joss Whedon, the weather, hockey moms, divorce, bullying, cookies. While we talk, we listen to the radio. And when one of our jams comes on, we sing it loudly together, an awful off-key mother/son duet. Lately it's been that Jay Z/Justin Timberlake song, Holy Grail. We also do a mean version of Wrecking Ball, despite my aversion to Miley's chipmunk voice. I know the time will come, very soon, when William won't be caught dead crooning with his mama, so while he's willing, we rock that Ford Focus like nobody's business.

Yesterday, one of my all time favorites came on. "Low" by Flo Rida. Yeah, shawty, I love that song, so what? How can you not move when it's playing?

So I told William, "You know what? I'll know I've found my true love when I find the man who will agree to doing a choreographed dance to THIS SONG at our wedding. Like, our 'first dance as man and wife'." Because that's true. It's going to take a very certain someone to bust a move with me to that song. Call it my version of the glass slipper.

William laughed. He said, "Do you think you'll ever get married again, Mom?"

I'm always honest with my kids. Always. I replied, "I don't know. Sometimes I think my job right now is to just be your mom. And I haven't even come close to finding someone I can imagine as a husband."

There was a moment of silence in the car, no sound but the wind outside and some ad on the radio.

My boy looked at me, all round blue eyes and dimpled chin. He smiled.

"It's okay to be picky, Mom" he said. I smiled back at him, knowing that this was one of those "moments" in parenting, one of those conversations you don't ever want to forget.

He leaned forward and turned up the volume as another one of our favorites came on. As Lorde stated singing about calling the ladies out, with a hundred jewels between their teeth, my wise and sweet and lovely boy said to me:

"You can dance with me until you find him."

And so we danced, and sang. All the rest of the way.


65 comments:

  1. That is so beautiful! Since my youngest, a boy, is 11, I totally understand.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading. And enjoy that kid :)

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  2. *sscrreeeech* That's the sound of the faucet handle ... the waterworks are officially on.

    William is wise - and precious! You are blessed, my friend.

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    1. Ha! Sorry about the waterworks. I got all teary writing it. That kid is something special. I love all of my kids but the bond with William is different. I don't know why. But I'm enjoying it :)

      Thank you so much for reading, friend.

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  3. So, so beautiful. Nothing else I can say *sniff*

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  4. Be. Still. My. Heart. And he is totes going to marry my Sydney.

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    1. I have so many potential daughters-in-law! It's going to be tough for William to choose.

      Thanks for reading, Wes.

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  5. OMGOMG such a sweet boy! You're doing something right over there.

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    1. I don't know if I can take the credit...this one has always been sweet!

      Thank you for reading!

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  6. Leslie - she's gonna have to fight Callista for that sweet boy! Jenny, you're raising a man of some lucky girls dreams. Love this!

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    1. Oh my...can you imagine the grandbabies?? Thanks my friend. YOU NEED TO WRITE!

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  7. Love this! Tears from me too. You are a blessed mom and they are blessed kids!

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    1. Thank you so very much! I feel pretty lucky to have these kids.

      I appreciate you reading, and taking time to comment.

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  8. "There are gems in the rubble" and this is one of them. Thanks for sharing such a sweet story. I too live in Minnesota and am a "wuss" when it comes to winter driving so don't feel bad about that. :)

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    1. "Gems in the rubble", indeed! That's lovely.

      Gahhh the winter driving! You'd think it wouldn't be so daunting after 30 years of it, but no. I have to drive to Duluth next weekend and I'm already having anxiety :)

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  9. Lovely! Both of you. And hugs to you both.

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    1. Thank you Kay. He's a keeper. Hugs right back to you :)

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  10. So beautiful, as only a teenage boy can be ...

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    1. Thank you Louise! Teenage boys are all kinds of incredible.

      I appreciate you reading, and taking the time to comment.

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  11. Oh I love that boy. Never met him, but I love him. You've done good mamma. Raising another precious addition to the world.

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    1. You'd love this kid! He's pretty special. (so are the others of course :) )

      Thanks so much for reading, my friend.

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  12. I've become a wuss about winter in general. Still digging ourselves out from 14 in of snow and sub zero temps. Haven't been out of the house since early Sat morning.

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    1. augh!! We missed the snow here, I'm so sorry it found you! I keep consoling myself with the fact that in no time I'll be complaining about mosquitoes and humidity. But until then...yep. Wuss.

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  13. A sweet and lovely boy indeed! I have such a smile on my face.

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    1. Thank you so much. He's a sweetheart for sure.

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  14. Replies
    1. Ha! Sorry. Pretty soon this one will become monosyllabic and grunty. Then I'll stop.

      Thanks for reading ;)

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  15. Replies
    1. I know! I've gotten to the point now where I can get teary-eyed at his games if I sit and watch him with a wistful eye. I have to get all hockey-mom and yell.

      Thank you for reading!

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  16. Those are the moments that make all the "other" kind of moments all worth it. What a great kid. Which means he must have a pretty great mom.

    Good job mom.

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    1. Thanks Donna...I don't know if I had much to do with this. He's been this way forever!

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  17. Sooo sweet! Sniff-sniff. What a lovely boy you are raising!

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    1. Thank you, thank you. I appreciate this :)

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  18. This was the best thing I have read in days!

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  19. That is the sweetest thing I have ever read...seriously! I am tearing up and thinking about my youngest son who will turn 13 in just a few weeks. He, and his older brother (17) both love me so much...that I know for sure. I don't know how I would have survived the last year and a half of separation and divorce hell without them - they are truly a blessing and you are one blessed woman as well!!

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    1. thank you Nicole! Yes, they are such a blessing. Hug those sweet boys with all your might. We are raising good men :)

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  20. Got tears in my eyes, too -- that is JUST BEAUTIFUL. Give dear William a hug and thanks so much for sharing this, Jenny. You ARE a fabulous mom!!!! (I won't even point out that I could have said "totes amazeballs" rather than fabulous, but didn't :)

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    1. Awww thanks Jenzi. I can't take all of the credit. He's a pretty cool kid.

      You can totes say whatevs here. I don't judge ;)

      Thanks for reading!

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  21. Chills. I love this. My youngest is a boy, too, and I'm lalala not listening when you say one day they won't want to dance with us. Instead I'm swooning for the moment you did describe. It was perfect. xo

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    1. Thanks so much Galit! Who knows...this one may be willing to cha cha with his mama forever :)

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  22. What a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing. I just discovered your blog (via parents magazine or Parenting I forget which top 10 mom blogs) . I am reading this at 2 am with my "baby" sleeping next to me and taking way too much room in my bed. He is 7 and looks so sweet and innocent that I can't seem to get myself to kick him out of my bed and into his. Your story made me a bit teary too. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much Tracy. Smooches to that 7 year old. And you! Glad you're here :)

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  23. "You can dance with me until you find him" is the best sentence I have read in a long time. Loved this story.

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  24. So Sweet! I am in tears. These are the moments that make everything else worth it.

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    1. Thank you, Sil! Yep. I'm already missing these kids and they're still all around me!

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  25. he sounds like my 13 year old. Too sweet... :')

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  26. I Love LOVE this post! I have 4 kids, 3 boys and a girl. My oldest is 10. 10 who said he turn double digit, let alone be over 5 feet and 140 pounds already! He's growing up way too fast and I am so so so thankful that he wants hugs daily still with me and says that he will always be there for me!! You've done a damn fine job single mama "ing" it!! I couldn't imagine. Balls to the walls keep that boy singing and dancing with you! Take Care. Andrea

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    1. Thank you so much, Andrea! Enjoy those little ones. Sounds like you have a big guy on your hands! He'll be towering over you before you know it.

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  27. I'm late to this party, but wow. William has my heart. He is right that you should be picky. But you knew I'd say that.

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    1. Yes Becky! I knew you'd approve :) thank you for reading, friend.

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  28. Awww, this totally made me tear up.

    Also, you have excellent taste in music.

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    1. Why, thank you! Perhaps we need to go out dancing sometime :)

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  29. I love this so much. And Astrid wants a 'Low' duet with you. It's her favorite. xoxo

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  30. I love this! It makes me think of moments with my boy (except he hates when I sing/dance)....lol. He does occassionally "allow" me to sing in the car.

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  31. Aww.. Wise beyond his years. You sound be I've proud mana!

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  32. Awww... Wise beyond his years. You skid be one proud mama Jenny-fur

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  33. Aww.. Wise beyond his years. You sound be I've proud mana!

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  34. Totally just died. I need someone to dance with me!

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  35. Oh my goodness..he's wise beyond his years...and so sweet, too!

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