We recently went to Milani's "Sweet 16" and had so much fun at the party, dancing to the DJ and raiding the dessert table. While we were clearing up our plates, a woman who was working for the catering hall came up to me and said something that really struck me. Nodding in your direction, she whispered, "He's a Mommy's boy and the little one is Daddy's boy." Shocked and a teensy bit flattered, I asked her how she knew this. "Cause I've been watching you guys all night," she said, "I can just tell." The way she answered, with an assured grin, I have no doubt she is a mother herself -- probably even a grandmother -- with boys of her own she's raised and loved. Right then and there, in the middle of a teenage party in the middle of one of the biggest blizzards in history somewhere in the middle of Brooklyn, she bore witness to our bond.
Another person who noticed this wasn't a stranger. It was my sister, your Aunt Gail, and because of this, I think it may have been even more special. While we were out to dinner as a family she said, "Cash doesn't take his eyes off you! Look at how he ADORES you." That was last summer. And you are still this way, always wanting to sit on my lap, asking to hold my hand while we're walking down the street, and to cuddle first thing in the morning before anything else. It's hard to imagine there was ever a time when you weren't a Momma's boy -- but there was! -- when you were around two years old. The same age as Grey is now. You wanted Daddy for everything back then and you recently explained it to me in a way that only you can. You said, "Daddy is the starting line and Mommy, you are the finish line. So, maybe when Grey is three he'll love you?"
Oh Cash, I never tire of your matter of factness!
Nowadays you refuse any help from Daddy. From tying your shoelaces to brushing your teeth, to pitching baseballs - "No, I want Mommy to do it!" You'd rather have me pitch baseballs!! My friend Judy asked me the other day if I do all those things and I said, "Of course!", because I know there will soon be a time when you don't want my help at all, when you'll be too embarrassed to hold my hand or hug me in public, and I'll long for the days when you wore your love for me on your sleeve.
Recently you came home from school with a necklace that spelled out "Mom And Cash". You made it during choice time with the classroom lacing project and Teacher Mia let you keep it for one night (the pieces are part of a set that had to be returned). She told me it was really important for you to show me. Even though I only had it for a brief time, it was far more precious than any of my jewelry with a sentiment everlasting.
The other night when I went out to dinner with Ahna, you wrote me a little note on a tissue to "keep in my pocket in case I got lonely". It read, "Love You Mom. Love, Cash". As I was walking out the door you ran over and said, "Just one more hug before you go Mom, because I'm going to miss you." My heart melted.
Then because today was a rather warm February day, we went to the playground where you found a couple of boys, a little bit older than you, to run around with. You and your "crew" climbed atop a formation of rocks that overlooked the playground and when I walked over to you, you got so excited. "Hi Mommy!!" Then looking toward these new buddies, first to your left and then your right, you waved with great pride and exclaimed, "That's my Mommy!!" While I'm not sure how impressed these older boys were with the news, it definitely tugged on my heartstrings. I will forever hold onto that excitement of yours. That sweet little boy who loves his mommy and isn't yet embarrassed to show it.
Some very big news this month is your acceptance into Manhattan Country School. It was our first choice for you and we couldn't be happier that you'll be going there this fall. The morning I found out, while we were riding the subway, I witnessed a couple of older boys ignoring their Dad, dismissing him with an overt attitude. It reminded me of a conversation with Pow Pow, once had with me while riding a ski lift when I was 12 years-old. He said, "Rini, do you promise that when you become a teenager, you're still going to be nice to your Mom and me?" I guess that is every parent's fear. The fear that your child will grow older and turn against you. So, inevitably, at the same time I was over the moon about your acceptance into kindergarden, I was also apprehensive and a little sad about you turning another year older. For a second there, riding along on the C train during rush hour, I was on the verge of tears.
"Mom, do you not want me to grow older because I'll look different? ... I'll still love you, you know, but birthdays don't stop."
No, they don't son. Yet again, your matter of factness prevails. But there's one more thing that won't stop and will keep growing right along with you ... and that is my love for you.
That, my son, is always and forever.