I sit beside my son in church most Sundays. He's twelve and a half, going through the kinda tough late-middle-school years right now, and I've been consciously paying more attention to him lately. Not that I neglected him before. It's just that he's definitely his father's son, all into video games and math and very much a loner. He's a great kid. I just kind of felt like he was interested in things other than his mom. And then he hit the preteen years.
Suddenly he's popping out the weirdest, off-the-wall, out-of-the-blue comments while we're driving in the car. Starting conversations. Putting in his two cents worth when I talk to my daughter, who thrives on deep, intense conversations about life-changing topics. He's talking. For a male in our family, that's odd. And endearing.
He's talking to me, not his dad.
I have this habit of sort of running my fingers through his hair, really just trying to brush it down since it's thick and has a tendency to stick up at the oddest angles. He always tolerates it, but just barely. I can tell he wishes I would stop. But now that my son isn't a baby anymore, I guess I kind of felt like it was a way for me to connect to him physically without making him uncomfortable. But I also figured he was outgrowing being touched by his mama (except for those hugs I won't let him get away from!), especially in public. And then, today, he gave me a great gift.
We were sitting next to each other, just the two of us in our church pew. He kept yawning, making this obnoxious little sound that probably wasn't as loud as I thought it was but somehow only managed to escape when things were completely quiet. :) I turned to look at him, my son with the freckles across his nose and the red tint to his blond hair and the height to look me in the eye, and without looking at me, he leaned over and his head touched my shoulder for the briefest moment. I closed my eyes, that special feeling of "Oh, my baby!" washing over me, and leaned my cheek against his hair. The moment lasted no more than a few seconds, seconds filled with the scent of the Axe shampoo he uses and the lightest weight of his head against my shoulder and that special feeling flooding me, and then it was over. He sat back up, and the sermon went on.
It was perfect. It was amazing. It was special, and I don't think I'll ever forget it.