There will be moments, even though they are well past the era of affection, when your teenagers will surprise you. Perhaps even elicit a moment of nostalgia.
It happened this weekend in the most unexpected of places.
Our youngest decided to take on basketball this year. Being an enormous fan of the sport myself, I was thrilled. He’s blessed with height; he’s taller than anyone in his class, and the tallest one on his team, despite him playing on the seventh grade team as a sixth grader. It seemed like a natural fit.
His first organized game comes. He plays well, even scores a basket. Needless to say, we’re all proud.
After the game, my wife and I waited for him to come out so we could take him home while his mother and her boyfriend were taking admissions for the next game. We all sat together during the game because we get along. We put the kids’ needs first, and it has made a world of difference.
Out comes our son. He’s smiling. His first words were “I played bad.” Ever the critical one, just like his father.
He didn’t, and we told him so. He gave me a hug, then saw Jill. He walked right up to her, and gave her kiss. Right in the middle of everyone; he wasn’t too cool to give his stepmom a kiss because he loves her.
Deja vu struck. A moment materialized in my mind when this same child, just six years prior at his Kindergarten graduation, found his stepmom and gave her a kiss in front of everyone because she didn’t get a mother’s bouquet. Just when she was feeling upset and out of place, his little heart knew it, and filled that void. It was a tender moment in a public space. Just as this one was, but it felt more like he was expressing his love and appreciation for her sharing in this important moment in his young life.
For the briefest of seconds, I was in that darkened room years before where a young boy kissed his mom when she needed it most. And then I was back, wan smile on my face. Two fleeting instances, six years apart, connected by a kiss.
It was beautiful.
Our day sped up after that, as time always does. We drove home, and life moved along.
Frozen in my mind are those two moments. Snapshots of tenderness, etched into the walls of my memory.
There will be moments, folks. Be sure to pay attention when they come.
Photo: I Am Spheric