A Cherished Memory

A Cherished Memory“The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children.”

His eyes were locked on mine. He was oblivious to everyone else in the room. His smile was wider than I’d ever seen, and he exuded happiness from deep within. Amid the chaos on the dance floor, he clearly was only thinking of one thing – me. I vowed to never forget this moment, this slice of motherly bliss when I danced with my six-year-old son, the night we had our date at the mother-son school dance, the night he stood tall in his clip-on blue striped tie and first sport coat. I feared I’d forget the moment, like I’ve forgotten so many other cute phrases and beautiful moments with my children.

Yet even after six years have passed, I still recall that evening because of the emotion that swelled within me that night my son danced with me.   He clutched my hands tightly as we Mother Son Dateswayed and twirled around the dance floor. If one hand was dropped for me to spin him in a circle, he immediately retrieved it once back in position. He wouldn’t let go of my hands or my eyes. The other boys ran around the edge of the cafeteria-turned-dance-floor, their mothers gossiping in groups sitting in chairs, but not us. We danced, the two of us alone in a crowded room.

That same sweet boy turned twelve last week. While he still gives me a hug every morning while I drink my morning coffee, he will no longer dance with me in public (or anywhere else). I’ll probably have to wait for his wedding day. He’s a bit messy and can be forgetful. There’s some laundry on his bed from three days ago, still waiting to be folded. He misplaces things, but not as much as he used to.

Celebrating 12 with a backpacking trip.
Celebrating 12 with an overnight backpacking trip.

With his three older sisters away at college, I am acutely aware of how fast these years will continue to fly by and how soon it will be that I won’t hear him thumping down the stairs.Mother's Day 2015 So I will cherish every reminder I make to my forgetful son, and I will embrace the wet towels on the carpet, muddy shoes, papers strewn around our shared office, counters sticky with syrup, and the sharp pains of Lego pieces underfoot. For one day, these things, too, will be just dim memories of a time remembered mostly in vague sweeps, intercepted with occasional but vivid recollections of a moment on a dance floor.

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I'm blessed to have five great kids (ages 13-23) call me “Mom.” As a summer camp director for the past 30 years, I've also had the privilege of working with thousands of kids, college-age counselors, and parents. I follow the latest research and trends on parenting, education, and children’s development and love to share what I learn!

  1. I enjoy all of your posts but this one really touched me. Beautifully said. I make an effort to cherish the moments with my growing children. Sometimes it’s difficult with our busy lives and of course technology but I relish the little things like how my younger daughter still likes me writing her name on her lunch bag or how my older daughter asks me to wake her in the morning because she likes the “baby” song I sing to her as I open her blinds. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and remember the moments.

    Cheryl Cohen

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Thank you, Cheryl. I appreciate your comments & love the image of you singing at wake up time. What a great way to start her day! And something that she will always remember.

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