He came over and stood next to me as I looked out the back window.
“What are you looking at Mama?” he asked. (He’s almost 11 but he still calls me mama and I LOVE it!)
“I’m watching Daddy get some clippings from the snowball tree for me to bring into the house”, I replied.
“Why does he have the ladder and those long clippers?” he asked as he watched his father maneuvering around the tree.
“So that he can get the blooms that are on the top and out of Mommy’s reach. Isn’t it so romantic that Daddy would do that for me? That is love right there buddy!”
“WHAT? That’s romantic?” he said with such indignation and almost downright disgust. This almost 11 year old boy is definitely in the ‘blech’ phase when it comes to all things lovey-dovey.
“Absolutely!” I declared.
In that moment I realized that right then and there, standing in the kitchen next to my boy I not only was looking out the window at my beloved who through rain and wind was determined to get me those flowers.
I was also looking at a window of opportunity.
Here was my chance to share with my son about love…and romance…and how it’s not the stuff of Disney movies where all of the lovey-dovey stuff is so obvious and predictable and over the top.
I put my arm around him and said, “Here’s the thing sweetie. Daddy knows me better than anyone else on this earth. He knows how much I love that snowball tree. He remembers the time that he trimmed the branches back thinking that it would be helping it that year but instead it didn’t bloom at all and I cried and blamed him and might have called him a ‘snowball killer’.
He also remembers how the next year when it bloomed even bigger and better than ever before he didn’t say, ‘I told you so!’ but instead graciously accepted my sheepish apology for freaking out the previous year. And he and I still laugh about that. Daddy knows that every day I look out the window and see all of the enormous blossoms at the tippy top of the tree and I ache thinking that they are going to go to waste and how badly I want to bring them into the house or give them away to friends by the armful.
And, because Daddy knows me so well and loves me so much, he is out there in the rain hauling that ladder around and asking me to point out exactly which branches I want him to cut. He does that because when you love someone…really, really love them…you know them through and through. Heart and soul.”
“And that, precious son of mine, is romantic.”
He shrugged his shoulders and turned to walk away. He may or may not have mumbled, “whatever you say mom” but I was too distracted as I gazed adoringly at my husband to notice.
I turned to finish cleaning up the kitchen but a few minutes later walked back over to the window to check on the snowball clipping progress and was greeted by an incredible sight.
My boy…the same boy to whom the word ‘romance’ seemed almost repulsive, was there in the backyard.
Sitting on top of the ladder.
Pointing out the snowball blossoms he thought his dad should cut.
As he turned around and saw that I was watching him, he gave me a grin.
I sat there staring at him and marveling over the fact that the baby boy I cradled in my arms almost 11 years ago was the same big kid with the long legs dangling from his perch on the top of the ladder.
I thought about how quickly the time was passing and imagined a day in the future when his wife will be in awe at how thoughtful and loving and caring and romantic he is.
And how I will say to her, “You’re welcome!” 😉