My firstborn son, Michael, got married last weekend to a wonderful young woman. He’s thirty, but I still get stuck in his baby days, back when we were constant companions. We did everything together, had a mutual admiration society. Through the years, I’ve often wished for that enormous, easy bond of love again.
As a mom to growing boys, I quickly learned to tuck my more effusive emotions out of sight. learned to layer my love into the rest of their lives in appropriate measure. Of course, weddings call for huge heaps of hugs and kisses, and that was fun. And so was the unexpected gift that presented itself the day after Mike got married.
It was late on Sunday night, after a jammed week of family and friends descending on the happy couple in L.A. from Detroit and other ports on the map. I couldn’t believe our incredible luck. My husband, my parents, and I had somehow scored a laid back dinner at a Mexican restaurant with the newlyweds before they left on their honeymoon.
Mike looked so happy, but tired. He lifted his fist and rubbed at his eye and there I was, back in the land of baby love. The gesture was one he’d made a million times as a child, fighting sleep, wanting to stay longer at the party. A sweet, sweeping feeling of clean and uncluttered love washed over me. Primal maternal tenderness and concern filled my heart, made me want to say something like “time for your nap” but I held back. He’s a big boy now.