29 April 2011

Somebody to love

This is the one where the boy gets the girl. At least for the moment.

The son has a date to the prom.

Yesterday, he asked the girl on whom he's had a crush since freshman year.

"And she said yes!" he told me last night, face alight. "And she beamed!"

We weren't sure she'd say yes. He didn't know if her reserved friendliness was just that, or if maybe there could be a small spark of interest. When he hatched his plan, I cautioned him to prepare for disappointment as a possibility, to have a back up plan, to maybe present the idea as going with a group of friends. He has such an earnest heart, and I didn't want to see it crushed the first time he worked up the nerve to ask a girl on a date.

(I am resolutely not dwelling on the fact that I have a child who is old enough to date. Mostly, I am working on the idea that he will likely be moving away to go to college in just over a year. I have enough difficulty with that.)

But none of that mattered. She said yes.

It's not the boy's first date, exactly. A girl asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance earlier in the year, and he was really distressed because he thinks she's a nice person, but has no other interest in her. He was very careful of her feelings and told her he appreciated her friendship and she acknowledged that she hoped he liked her a little more than that, but they were able to part as friends because they were honest with each other.

Expectation can be such a terrible and crushing thing if it's not fulfilled. And glorious, of course, when it is.

Of course, this opens horrible new cans of worms in my life (beyond the fact that my son is dating), all manner of things that I don't want to think about, but I have to rely on his common sense, and the fact that I've raised him with an abundance of that. And I have to rely on the fact that I've raised him to be kind, I've raised him to be thoughtful, and I've raised him to be respectful. I've long acknowledged that he is moving beyond my reach and my influence, which is as it should be.

And now, I have to hope that I've done my job right and that he is growing into the person he should become, a person he can face every day in the mirror, someone that he is proud to be, someone who can give love and be worthy of love returned.

At the moment, of course, I think we'll just settle for the boy who got the girl, and who plans to utilize his most gracious manners and all his charm to make sure that they both have a great time at the prom.

Go listen to some good music: "Somebody to Love" from the album Greatest Hits by Queen. Years ago, the parent of one of the son's junior high classmates informed me that she would never send another child to the high school the son currently attends because *her* son never had a date in his four years there. Then I met the young man in question who, it turned out, had a serious lack of understanding of basic grooming and even more basic hygiene procedures. So I never worried over much. Ah, my boy is so happy.

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