My firstborn son, as you know is 18 and a senior in high school. Perhaps because he is our eldest, he believed in you longer that his siblings did and sometimes, I think he still does. Or maybe it is that he believes in magic. And always has.
Once, when he lost a tooth, I was so tired that I handed my husband an envelope, a dollar, and a container of glitter (everything is more fun with a little glitter sprinkled on top) and I asked my tired spouse if he would pull my shift this time. He agreed.
The next morning, my big toothless boy came to the breakfast table exclaiming,
“Mommy LOOK what the tooth fairy brought me!!!”
I looked down and saw – an envelope, with a dollar and A CONTAINER OF GLIITTER INSIDE.
Worried that the jig was up…. I asked slowly and carefully…
“Hmmm, why do you think the Tooth Fairy gave you a WHOLE container of glitter??”
To which my happy toothless boy replied,
“UM DUH!!! She KNOWS how much I love glitter?!!!” and he skipped off.
Last night, the kids were giving us their Christmas lists, complete with website links and photos and when I asked my 18-year-old for his list…. he said,
“ALL I want is a puppy!!!”
My husband without hesitation said , “NO!”
“But why??? !t is ALL I want!! It is ALL I am asking for..you don’t have to give me anything else!!!”
My mind started playing tricks on me..in front of me stood this tall, handsome almost man…but all I could see was the boy…his wide hazel eyes…all gap-toothed smiles full of wonder and belief…and begging for a Game Boy.
I reminded him, gently, that while I too would LOVE a another puppy, something to snuggle and take care of…someone to fill the hole left by Dash’s disappearance…( and soon enough – His) – that puppies are babies, and that he would be leaving his puppy for college, too soon, and that even if he really, really had the best intentions… that with school, and soccer and friends and life that the puppy might be more of a challenge than any of us could rise to…right now.
He sighed. and said…
“All I REALLY want for Christmas ….is to know where I am going to college. Even if you gave me a million dollars, until I know about college…I don’t want anything.”
I have always parented from the platform of support and love and encouraging “you can be anything you put your mind to.” I believe that the world will teach him enough hard lessons that my JOB is to be his safe haven. I know he will get into college, some college and I could tell him that in the big picture it is just 4 – hopefully wonderful – years… but he will figure that out soon enough. He will wonder after all of this wishing and dreaming and studying and waiting and wanting..”Is this it?” and he will have to dig deep to find purpose and meaning and the REAL magic he is capable of….and he will learn how deep his love can go. And he will know he has everything. But for now
I am seriously considering the puppy.