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 swayed 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.
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. 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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