Yesterday I had a date. One that I'd been looking forward to for over a week. One that was rare and precious. It was a date with my firstborn son. Just he and I. That is the rare part. I often find myself with time to spend with just Julianna. And sometimes with Adam. But time with Josh alone doesn't happen often enough. He has spent more nights away from home this summer than home. A lot more. Now that he's a teenager, he goes and does more than ever. He spends a lot of time at Grams and Pappy's house. (And he would move in with them if I let him...which they in no way discourage.) And today he left for a week at camp.
So yesterday I took him to town to get a few things for his trip and we decided to go to lunch. He chose Red Lobster. As we sat there waiting for our shrimp, we talked. About school next year and his time at camp and about the summer so far and what's left of it. He told me stories of his adventures and even shared a few of his concerns. And I soaked it in...every second.
Then he asked if maybe we could go to the movies. I remembered that Fast and Furious 6 was playing at the $2 theater and knew he wanted to see it again so I mentioned that. So after picking up a few things and a trip to say goodbye to Grams and Pappy, we headed to the movies. (And yes, that does make three times that I've seen it, but two of those was at the discount theater so it's okay. And also, yes, it is just as good the third time.) During the movie we laughed together and cheered together, even though we totally knew what was going to happen. And at one point, he even reached over and took my hand for a second. That, my friends, was worth the price of admission. And afterwards he told me thanks for the date more than once.
There were moments during our afternoon that I caught a glimpse of the little boy he used to be. And also moments when I saw a glimpse of the man he is becoming. It's strange, this mommyhood of a teenager. Bittersweet moments fill each day. Memories and hopes. Reflections and dreams. When I look up into his eyes, (yes, up), I still see that baby they placed in my arms all those years ago. Never, during those first days, did I imagine these days. I knew they would come, but here they are so, so quickly.
Those few short hours that we spent together were much more than lunch and a movie. So much more. It was a reminder to me that this person, this young man, is still my little boy. I just can't tell him that. And it was a reminder to him that he's still my little boy...even if I don't tell him.