William is my hockey player. He's thirteen and caught in that fragile, tenuous web that hangs between childhood and manhood. His face still looks like it has for the past 5 years or so, soft chin, wide eyes, beautiful full lips. But now there are big bushy eyebrows, a smattering of zits, a broader nose. My boy is changing and since he's my last one, it's all the more bittersweet to observe. Having seen his two older brothers leave their baby faces behind, I'm prepared for what lies ahead...but I'm also acutely aware of what is slipping through my fingers. Raising kids is full of these heartbreakers, you know.
So anyway. Because of the hockey, William and I spend a lot of time in the car together. At least five days a week are partially devoted to a practice or a game. I'm a massive wuss when it comes to winter driving, so I've been stepping up and asking the ex to help out more with regards to rides. And to his credit, he's done it. But there are still several times a week when I find myself behind the wheel with my fourth child riding shotgun.
We talk about everything. And I mean, everything. We discuss dogs, politics, Joss Whedon, the weather, hockey moms, divorce, bullying, cookies. While we talk, we listen to the radio. And when one of our jams comes on, we sing it loudly together, an awful off-key mother/son duet. Lately it's been that Jay Z/Justin Timberlake song, Holy Grail. We also do a mean version of Wrecking Ball, despite my aversion to Miley's chipmunk voice. I know the time will come, very soon, when William won't be caught dead crooning with his mama, so while he's willing, we rock that Ford Focus like nobody's business.
Yesterday, one of my all time favorites came on. "Low" by Flo Rida. Yeah, shawty, I love that song, so what? How can you not move when it's playing?
So I told William, "You know what? I'll know I've found my true love when I find the man who will agree to doing a choreographed dance to THIS SONG at our wedding. Like, our 'first dance as man and wife'." Because that's true. It's going to take a very certain someone to bust a move with me to that song. Call it my version of the glass slipper.
William laughed. He said, "Do you think you'll ever get married again, Mom?"
I'm always honest with my kids. Always. I replied, "I don't know. Sometimes I think my job right now is to just be your mom. And I haven't even come close to finding someone I can imagine as a husband."
There was a moment of silence in the car, no sound but the wind outside and some ad on the radio.
My boy looked at me, all round blue eyes and dimpled chin. He smiled.
"It's okay to be picky, Mom" he said. I smiled back at him, knowing that this was one of those "moments" in parenting, one of those conversations you don't ever want to forget.
He leaned forward and turned up the volume as another one of our favorites came on. As Lorde stated singing about calling the ladies out, with a hundred jewels between their teeth, my wise and sweet and lovely boy said to me:
"You can dance with me until you find him."
And so we danced, and sang. All the rest of the way.