~ "Tonight tonight won't be just any night.."~From West Side Story
-music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Tonight is going to be a momentous night for one girl..one of her first big steps into the exciting unknown..Tonight will be her first ever date. No, it isn't the kind where you have dinner or go to the movies..and definitely not the kind where you sneak off to be alone together and kiss..it is so much more innocent than that. Where you are more friends than anything else. But, it is still so special..because it is the first..The first time you have been asked somewhere by a boy..the first time you were chosen..made to feel special..made to feel pretty and popular..I still remember my first date nine hundred million years ago. His name was John and he asked me to the seventh grade dance. I can't really recall the details..although he probably wore flannel . I felt wonderful..yes unsure.. grown up and oh so sophisticated wearing my Bonnie Belle lip-smackers (Dr. Pepper flavored) I was twelve years old and I felt so mature ...I was living life to its fullest!...at least until 9:00 when my mom picked me up.
So I think about that girl ..and I wonder if she will remember this night..this first..this boy who asked her. I guess that it doesn't really matter. Because I will remember. Because tonight, Sammy's is the boy who asked that girl. Asked! .My boy asked a girl to the dance!! sigh... My not so little son is drifting into that strange land that falls between boy and young adult. Going from one "hood" to another. Interested in girls but having no idea why. I look at him and I am at a loss for words..my heart doesn't know whether to be happy at such growth or sad at such....growth.. Here is the kid that so many people said "would never"...and yet he did..and does. And really-I know that this is wonderful...and monumental..and all kinds of good stuff in between..and yet..and yet...it hurts. What in the world is wrong with me!!??
As I helped him get ready for the Halloween dance (He was "Manus" from Symbiotic Titans) I set some ground rules. He was not to leave the building...he was to pay attention to his "date" as he had asked to be her escort...But-most importantly, he was not to hit her or anyone else in the head with his light saber. Yeah...we had to improvise a little on the costume-but he didn't have a problem with it. (another HUGE step)
We dropped him off at the school and told him to have a great time. Three hours(of pacing) later..we picked up a tired but happy boy. "Hey-how was the dance buddy?" "Great."..."Did you have fun?" "Yes." ..."Did you meet your girl?" "Yes."..."Well???" "I'm hungry..can I have a snack?" "Yeah...did you dance..?" "Yeah..my feet hurt." "Did you dance with your girl??" "Uh huh..can I have some cookies?" Arrgghhh...this growing up stuff is really really hard on an innocent mother! sigh..But I figured if he wanted to tell me about it he would. I've got to give my boy some room..like it or not. Even if I am dying for details.
Later on as he was going up to bed he said "Mama?...can I tell you something?" Part of me wanted to believe he would talk about the dance..but the experienced part of me knows better. "yeah bud..what's up?" "You know that show Deltora Quest?..well, they are going to the Sea of Rats...crazy huh?" "uhhh...yeah?"
"O.k....goodnight Mama".."Goodnight buddy.." Good night indeed.