June 12, 2004

a thousand small deaths later

Caroline is about to bloom. Oh, you should see this girl. Long slim legs like a pony, fresh skin with a smattering of freckles, bright eyes. She's already a beauty, but she's still in bud. Lithe as a whippet, she smells a little like a blade of grass. That fresh green smell of something about to open and unfold with blossoms and color and all manner of mysterious perfumes. She is standing right on the very very edge of her young womanhood, teeter-teeter, and any second, she's going topple, right into it all, headfirst. But not yet. Not today.

And today, God help him, my son loves her. My son-- seven, knobby kneed, scabby, a constant blur of spastic motion, obsessed with weaponry and martial arts, believing equally in Jesus and Magic and The Infallibility of His Father---He's all boy. His manhood is this distant island on the far horizon, and yet he loves beautiful Caroline to distraction. With absolutely no self-awareness, with no angst or self-examination, with no understanding, with nothing. He just loves her. He just does.

In the car today on the way over for a playdate with Caroline's little brother, Spencer, my son asked if Caroline would be there.

Me: Yeah, I think Caroline will be home.

Sam: Oh Man! Oh Boy! Caroline! *happy silence* Mom, I know Caroline is older than me, but let me tell you something. She is really my friend.

Me: I know, sweetie.

Sam: No really. She talks to me. She's my friend. And I like her. I like her 100%. I mean, I like Spencer too, but, let's say I like him 99%. But I like Caroline 100%. She's like treasure. Like what some people would call silver or gold, that's what I call Caroline.

Me, I'm getting weepy in the front seat while my son waxes poetic about a girl. Not, I am sure, for the last time, but certainly for the first. And he's burbling over, so uncomplicated and honest in his adoration that there's hardly anything at all in it of the young man he will become. There is barely half an atom of his manhood there. But it's enough. It's enough to show me the future, to make me weep. It breaks my heart. And I think to beautiful Caroline---to all the beautiful Carolines to come---Oh sweetie, don't break his.

Posted by joshilyn at June 12, 2004 3:27 PM

I saw Caroline a few days back and said prophetically, "Many hearts will be broken". Little did I realize our son was first on the list.

Carolines will come and go and our son will grow up, but his father will always remain infalable... Infallable? Infalibel? Well, you know what I mean.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at June 12, 2004 4:15 PM

Hi Hun, Its Wendy, aka ShadowMoon. Just want you to know I am visiting this site for the first time and I love your writings. You are so talented. I wish I was you.

Posted by: Wendy McGuire at June 12, 2004 8:07 PM

Oh, wow. I can just see it, the way you describe it. What an amazing moment.

Posted by: Jensgalore at June 13, 2004 1:44 AM

Oh my. I am speechless. Not really, or I would not be able to type here. I am the mother of this creature known as Caroline. Joshilyn has described her more carefully, beautifully and accurately than I ever thought anyone could. It is probably well that young Sam missed Caroline singing again at church this morning. The already-handsome man-child would surely have fallen deeper into the depths had he heard his little songbird. If you are a childless person out there reading this, you may be ready to fumble around for a receptacle in which to be ill with all of the sweetness. If you are the cavity-prone sort-- grab your flouride. We, the parents of these two sweet children on the verge of their man and womanhood can only bear witness to something that is pure and lovely and holy. And I would not miss it for anything. Thank you God for all of the Sams and Carolines in the world.

Posted by: xhanthia at June 13, 2004 2:09 PM

Ahhhhhhhhh, too sweet. :)

Posted by: Tiff at June 13, 2004 2:31 PM

If his heart gets broken, rest assured he will bounce back much faster than a daughter. My son has had his heart broken no less than a million times. He's just fine, always open for the next event of true love. And yes, he's talked like this many-o times! Now, my daughter...she chose her husband in pre-k and finally realized this year in 1st that he didn't only like her :(

Posted by: AGK at June 14, 2004 10:59 AM