Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top Spot of Affection

I think it's a day that is dreaded by all mothers of boys. The day that another woman takes the top spot of affection in your son's heart.

I know that my son will still love me when he is a grown man. But he will love his wife more. He'll confide in her, he'll prefer to spend time with her, and he'll need most of his support from her. At least, that's the way I see things. A mother can't take the wife's role and she shouldn't try. Nobody likes a meddling mother.

My son is just a toddler now and I'm his favorite woman at this point, but I know that the time will come that another woman will move into the top spot of affection in his heart. And that knowledge already brings a sharp pang of sadness. Why does it bother me? Because I know that loving someone allows you to be hurt by them. I know that I'll never hurt my son, but I can't say the same for every woman he'll meet.

I wonder who this woman will be. Who will my son love? Who will be his confidante, his friend, his cheerleader? I pray that she'll be a kind and decent woman and, mostly, that she'll be good to him. The only thing that breaks my heart more than knowing he'll pull away from me to draw near to another woman is the fear that he'll be hurt by her.

I've already caught a glimmer of what it will feel like to be set aside for someone else. My son is in love with Nina, the evening host on PBS Sprout. For the longest time, she was the only thing that he would look at on the television. He would wave whenever she appeared on the screen and, on more than one occasion, he has run up to kiss her.

One evening my son and I were in the kitchen together as I was finishing up his dinner preparation. We were having a good time, laughing and playing fun little games. Suddenly we heard Nina's voice from the living room. My son's eyes widened, he dropped the toy we had been playing with, and he bolted out of the kitchen. I found him in the middle of the living room, transfixed by his lovely Nina.

I chuckled about the Nina incident, but this is just the beginning. He'll like other pretty ladies on television. He'll play tricks on little girls he likes in elementary school. He'll work hard and save diligently to take girls out on dates when he's in high school. These girls won't bother me because they aren't likely to stick around for long.

I'll be a little more concerned when he wants to bring someone home to meet us. I'll be gracious, but I'll probably want to chase her out of my house. And my eyes will mist up when he announces that he's asked someone to be his wife. Tears will come for a few reasons: I'll be so happy that he's found such happiness that he wants to keep it forever, I'll be concerned whether or not he's made a good choice, and at that point I'll know without a doubt that my reign in his heart is over.

Who is she, this woman who will bring my son such joy? I'm almost 19 years younger than my husband and he likes to joke that our son's future wife won't be born for at least another 15 years! I don't know about that, but I do know that I've prayed for my son's future wife from time to time as if she were already on this planet. I've prayed that she'll have a stable home life and will be raised in a godly home. I've prayed that she'll be loving and generous. And I've prayed that my son will know her when he finds her.

Perhaps it's a little weird to pray for the woman who will ultimately displace me. But I know that she'll be here one day and I want my son to love her freely when that day comes. For now, I'll be content that I am in the top spot of affection in my son's heart. Until Nina is on the television screen!

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