My youngest son had his first date last night. He is 5-years-old. He wore a “handsome shirt” which means that it had a collar, and he let me wash his face. He opted out on the flowers.
While I always thought we’d cross this bridge a little further down the road, I can’t say that I was completely caught off guard. Zane and Kate have been courting for a good two years.
Theirs is a preschoolyard romance. It is faces lit up and hugs that lift their feet off the ground. It is holding hands and telling their parents that one day they will surely marry.
When I first met Kate’s mother she introduced herself as the future in-law. Then we laughed, because it’s all so stinking cute, and then we looked at our children lost in happiness and the sweetest of friendships, and our chuckles slowly drifted away. This thing could happen.
“We’re going on a date and we’re not even GROWN-UPS!” is what I heard every single day, loud and often, for the past week. The date was to the Cheesecake Factory for bowls of pasta, confections and conversation. It was chaperoned by both mothers and every adult within “ahhh” distance.
And then came the parting and all the sweet sorrow. We are moving, and the spring in their step will surely fade into the fall of their folly.
Or will it?
When the date was over and goodbyes were said there was much in the way of missing you and 5-year-old heartache, but there was also hope in the guise of Skype and our pending proximity to Disneyland. It was hope like a band-aid over pangs cutting deep. It was faces lit up and hugs where their feet left the ground. It looked like they were flying.
Long distance ain’t what it used to be.