Friday, August 26, 2011

Shotgun Mama

I had a moment when I was out with my kids that I thought to myself, “Man, my boys are gorgeous!” I know it’s expected that moms think their kids are the cutest in the world, but holy cow, how did I get such beautiful boys? Every so often it just strikes me and I have to take a moment to admire them.   

We were standing near a window as I was talking with a friend, and the sun was streaming in and glinting off of their hair and casting a shadow onto their cheeks from their long eyelashes. You could see their healthy summer glow, and the way the light was accentuating their features was breath taking.

Prince Charming had a sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose from our recent vacation to the beach. As we were talking and laughing his dimple was clearly visible. It is so endearing when he’s happy enough to share his dimple with the world. His eyes also have a way of changing color in the light.  

Monkey has shiny and slightly wavy dark hair that catches the light, and don’t even get me started on his amazing dark eyelashes. His skin easily becomes tan and it makes him look so handsome. He is going to be the epitome of the adage, “tall dark and handsome.”

This made me recall growing up with my dad, who was a police officer when I was younger. He always threatened that when I started dating he would run a background check on each boy, and if they dared to show up at the house he would be happy to pull out his service weapon and start cleaning it. By the time I was old enough to actually start dating, my dad was no longer on the force and he had lightened up a bit. He liked to threateningly tease me about giving boys a hard time, but thankfully he was mostly full of hot air.

Those memories came into sharp focus as I stood there admiring my boys while chatting with a friend. I have to tell you that it really gets to me when people come up to me and tell me that my boys are so handsome that they will grow up to be lady killers someday (the charming kind, not the jail kind!). It makes me cringe every time I hear that! Imagine a grown woman wanting to put her fingers in her ears, closing her eyes, and scrunching up her face while singing, “La la la la, I can’t hear you!” Well, I don’t quite do that for real, but I do it in my head.

I don’t like to think about my boys growing up and going through all of those experiences. Those are difficult waters to navigate for a neurotypical person. Thinking about adolescence and adulthood and their additional social and communication challenges makes me worry. I know my boys have made tons of progress, but comments like those make me think about all of the work we are still trying to do. It’s hard to not know what to expect as they get older because they are changing so much.  So, I always nod my head in agreement with a slight chuckle, thank the person for their compliment, and then try to quickly put their comment out of my mind. Otherwise, it will drive me insane as I start thinking about everything. I have to remind myself to think in the moment and that we’ll get there when we get there.

You know, I think my dad may have had it right after all! I happen to know several people who are very knowledgeable about weapons. Thinking about my boys dating girls in the future makes me realize that maybe I need to start taking lessons from them. Cleaning a gun is a skill most any person can use, right? I have a feeling that the only time I would actually want to clean the gun is when some young lady comes over to my house with one of my boys. Hmmm… I think I could wear the title, “Shotgun Mama” fairly well. It has a sort of ring to it, don’t you think?     
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