Where does the time go? One minute my baby is softly cooing in the crook of my arm and the next I’m meeting his girlfriend’s parents. Life happens fast – unfortunately, it can feel lightening fast.
On his first day of kindergarten I wanted to drive Alex to school but no, not my independent, free-spirited son. He wanted to ride the bus with his friends. So with his Superman lunch box in one hand and an empty backpack flapping behind him, we headed off to the bus stop.
As the bus pulled away, I ran to my car and waited. Then crouching behind the steering wheel, so not to be seen, I followed the bus all the way to the school. He never saw me, as I watched him through tear-drenched eyes, bounce happily through the doors of the school and out of sight.
It’s been that way ever since – I watch, holding my breath, as he leaps from one life adventure to the next.
His first day of college was no different. My husband and I moved him into the dorm and as we left, he waved and said, “Bye mom,” – no fear in his voice, only pure excitement.
This past weekend my mother and I went to visit him, and his girlfriend Catherine, or “Cat,” as she’s affectionately called, in Charleston, South Carolina. They’re both seniors at the College of Charleston and have been dating for almost a year.
We went primarily to support Cat as she participated in the college’s first home equestrian competition of the year. She’s been showing horses in competition events since she was a young girl and has grown into an excellent rider.
Bundled up in warm clothing and rain boots, we trekked out to the “barn” to meet Cat and her parents – not exactly knowing what to expect.
Jim and Therese, of course, were wonderful, and I enjoyed meeting them and becoming friends. But I’m not sure if I was ready for what I witnessed next.
When Alex was a small child, I thought about how he would one day be some lucky girl’s Prince Charming, and I prayed God would bless her. I asked God to help me raise Alex to know how to treat a lady with love and affection, so he would be a man worthy of her love and respect.
Watching Cat and her father, it was apparent that she was daddy’s girl. I saw the love in his eyes as she cantered the horse around the ring. And his face beamed as she accepted sixth place. It didn’t matter if she won or not; she was having fun, and her dad burst with pride at the sight of her.
It was, also, evident by her dad’s actions and comments that he silently questioned whether he trusted Alex with his daughter’s heart. To be honest it bothered me at first, but then I realized, as her dad he should judge her daughter’s boyfriend. One day he would give his daughters hand in marriage to a young man and no matter who it was, he better be worthy of it – including my son.
Being a single mother for many years, Alex was the light of my life. In many ways, he saved me the day he was born. I’ve often thought God knew what He was doing when He blessed me with my son.
Alex will graduate college in the spring, and he will have the world as his playground. It feels like yesterday when I held his hand as we went up and down the stairs a hundred-million times because it was his newest adventure. Although, he may not need to hold my hand anymore, I’m honored as his mother to watch him grow into an amazing man capable of loving, laughing and living life to the fullest – and for me, he will always be my first Prince Charming!
“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best but his mother the longest.” – Irish Proverb