(My Son’s Maybe Girlfriend)

photo-3 copy 2(This post is parenthetical because it’s kind of an aside, you know, on the down low, because, I think, not sure, but it’s possible, signs point to “yes”, that my son might maybe perhaps possibly, though by no means certainly, have a girlfriend. This is of course a touchy area in terms of parent blogging. You may or may not know this but there’s a whole gaggle of wackadoos who think that writing about your children online ranks right up there with putting their heads in vices and leaving them in the basement for a week. This happened to a friend of mine and I ASSURE YOU that he would’ve much rather had a mom with a mommyblog but you can’t tell that to the wackadoos because they know what’s best for everyone, but I’m digressing. A GIRLFRIEND! However, yes, discretion is of the essence, so that’s why the parentheses.

It’s quite possible that I’m more excited than he is. I’ve got a bunch of bananas and a box of condoms and I’m so ready to talk. That was a joke, wackadoos. Put down the phone. Protective services? Really?

I’m just so elated because I remember. Don’t you remember? It’s February 27th, 1989. I’m hanging in the hall in front of algebra class, looking casual. Okay, trying to look casual. Is this how casual people stand? Or am I too rigid? My God, slacken; I need to slacken. A toothpick! I wish I had a toothpick because a toothpick between my teeth would push me way past casual into complete nonchalance. But there is nary a toothpick to be found. Suggestion: toothpicks in the vending machines. But, for now, I need to summon nonchalance sans toothpick. Lean against the locker. Put a foot against the locker. There you go. Now nod at people. OMG SLACKEN.

I know she’s coming down this hall. I know every step she takes from 1st hour to 6th. Is that weird? Are you surprised? The note is in my hand. It’s folded into a crazy origami rectangle with a little pull lever. I wish she’d hurry. The origami rectangle is getting damp because my palms aren’t acting very nonchalant. My palms are chalant. Is that a word? Not sure. And then there she is, man, cue the angels and the dizzying camera flashes. GOOD LORD, she’s a goddess bursting into the profane realm through the face of a freshman with big late 80s hair.

Now it’s all slow motion. She’s walking down the hall like she’s walking through molasses and I’m – am I? – I AM! – walking toward her and extending my arm with the hand that holds the origami rectangle inside of which is carefully written the cautiously crafted hopeful words. She stops. So does the world. Stupid, stupid infinity. But then she realizes what’s happening, takes the letter, and walks away. Algebra is ripe to exploding with 1000 maybes. X=beautiful suffering. Is it really that dramatic? Yes. Yes it is.

And to think, my son, that that’s what he’s going through, right now, leads to so many awkwardly constructed sentences with lots, of, commas. Because I’m just so excited for him, and for my daughter, later, please much later – these milestones, they never stop coming. They’re going to fall in love and go insane and write bad poetry. They’re going to float to the clouds atop the affections of others and crash to the earth when those former beloveds turn into unfeeling monsters. They’re going to abandon themselves to the thrill of love, draw hearts on their hands and Converse, and cry and cry and cry.

And I’ll ask them what I’ll never stop wondering: How can we love it all? How can we love it all?

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and to my son and to my son’s maybe almost perhaps kinda girlfriend. Shhh.)


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