Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Little Flirt

"I like your sparkly shirt," my oldest said to the girl checking us out at TJ Maxx.  "Oh!  Thank you!" she said to him.  I looked over at him to see his little cheeks flush.  He had locked his eyes on this pretty 20 something and, for the first time since birth, he was at a loss for words.  He did his best to keep the conversation moving.  "I'm Luke.  That's L-U-K-E," he began.  "So...Do you live here?" he asked her.  "I might as well!  I work SO much - Like thirteen hours a day," she said in a way only young women can pull off.  My very literal five year old responded, "It must be cool to live at TJ Maxx."

When we got in the car I said, "That girl was really pretty wasn't she?"  He sighed and said, "The one with the sparkly shirt?  Yeah, she really was."  It was the first time he has even noticed a girl was pretty.  It was the first time I watched him truly try to gain the attention of a woman.  He wasn't spouting facts about trains or trucks or whatever else was on his mind.  He wanted to know about her.  It was really cool to see.

While I didn't find myself feeling sad about this turn of events, I did gain a new awareness.  I have always known that I will only be number one for a short time.  I still have plenty of time before crushes and dating truly start but it made me aware of how precious this time is.  

I hate to admit it but there are times when he wants a third hug and I think, "Ugh, I just want to go to bed!"  There are times when he wants to snuggle and I spend the time making a mental list of all the things I need to get done instead of enjoying that moment.  He wants my attention all the time and it can feel so...demanding.

I can't change that feeling but I can look at it a bit differently.  I can remember how fast my time with them will go.  I can feel how wonderful it is to be so loved that they want to be with me all the time.  Because soon, they will have their own lives.  I will no longer be the central character.  In fact, I might even be the most annoying character as they go through their teen years.  So tonight I'm going to give that third hug with a bit more willingness.  I'm going to hug him and thank God for making him mine, even if it's just for a little while.  

Have your children begun to pull away from the nest a bit?  Are you surprised by your reaction? How can you be encouraging and loving during their neediness and their independence?

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