When you first become a mother, 18 bajillion thoughts simultaneously flood your brain. Among them are worries about the baby's health, concerns for finances, and general hopes and dreams for the future - not to mention the obvious sheer terror and "what the heck have we gotten ourselves into?" impulses. I digress.
Among those initial parental impressions are musings about the milestones which lie ahead first steps, first words and then a little later down the road, the first day of kindergarten, the first soccer game, the first dance, the first day of college
Wait, stop. Rewind to the dance part.
Now, I don't know about y'all, but I was sorta thinking that dance thing would happen sometime in high school, yes?
This I discovered last week as my 12-and-a-half-year-old son announced that he'd be attending his school's sixth and seventh grade dance ... with his girlfriend.
"Breathe, Patty, breathe," I heard a voice that sounded a lot like my own say from some far-off place.
Immediately, I turned on my husband.
"This is your fault," I whispered nearly inaudibly to Kerry, a well-documented flirt and serial dater back in his adolescent, teen and early-20s years.
Knowing he was defenseless by both reputation and photo record, he shrugged his shoulders. "Sorry," was his only possible retort.
I know, I know, this isn't my first brush with the "g" word. This enthralling chapter in our lives has been unfolding since Kyle entered middle school nearly two years ago.
The young ladies have who used to burn up our land line are now emphatically validating our choice in opting for the unlimited text message plan. Thank you, girls.
I don't understand how the baby who used to serenade me from his car seat just, like, four minutes ago, is now putting on Axe cologne and showering multiple times a day to impress females other than Mommy?
Is it too soon to toss in another hmpf?
My buddy Macy Woodford of Hubbard told me to suck it up.
"You think it's bad now - just wait. Not only will you not be the most important girl around, you'll actually be the only girl he doesn't want around," she told me, insinuating that the average teen boy will step over the dehydrating shell of his mother as she withers in the heat of the noonday sun if his gal pal of the moment suggests it.
She's got two teen boys and knows far more about this topic than I really needed to hear at this point.
I can't help but harken back to that little old woman I saw in the mall on Kyle's first infant outing so many years ago who, after commenting on his adorableness, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Can you imagine someday some woman will take him away from you?"
I'm not positive what else she may have said because that was when I calmly set the baby into his carrier and hurled the woman, feet first, into outer space. In fact, today's solar eclipse isn't an eclipse at all - it's that dreadful creature making her annual trip around the earth from whence I launched her more than a decade ago.
Oh, well. At least I'm still the gal who's my son's favorite cook, baker and launderer at this point. I will concede these titles when the time comes - in 2050.
But I better never get replaced as his favorite writer. The day that happens is the day my daughter-in-law joins old Aunt Bertha in orbit.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her to reassure her that her son isn't going to elope next weekend at firstname.lastname@example.org.