Today was a banner day for Jacob. He competed as a finalist in the 4th grade spelling bee (ironically getting knocked out on the word "congratulate"). He got to have sushi for dinner (his favorite, because we were so proud of him) and played some great tennis at his last lesson for the season. All this put him on top of the world, it seems, because tonight after dinner, he called a girl. Who he likes. To ask her to the movies.
She said yes.
It was hard to sit here and look at his blushing, freckled face as he shyly gave his name and asked to speak to her. It wasn't just because he's my firstborn, my love, and the whole episode brought up flashes of his future social life--shaving, dates, proms, a wedding. And it wasn't because, though I know I'll always be his first love, I'm no longer his only love.
The hardest thing was, when he got off the phone, resisting the urge to tell him how cute he was. Because to me, he was cute. But to him, he was courageous. I am convinced by the bedside conversations about this girl that he and I have had for the last three nights that he has been thinking about this for a long time. Today was so full of achievements and high points that I really believe it fueled his nerves enough to help him make the call. So I didn't tell him he was cute, despite how much I wanted to.
I told him I was proud of him.
He will always be my little doll, but what he needs to hear now is that he's becoming my young man, that I'm here to help him however I can, and that I'm happy for him. Even if I'm sad to see my baby disappearing, and even though I am still compelled to do everything for him but force myself to let him do for himself. Because he is, and he can. And this makes me happy. Really.
These are tears of joy.