Sons and ‘Daughters’


I have seen the future and I really like it. My oldest son, Justin, has a lovely girlfriend named Stacey who has softened his edges in the way no mother ever can. Stacy can get him to join a group and fully participate. She can ask him to be kinder and gentler to his family. Even more importantly, she can show him how to be considerate of others.

I especially appreciated this last weekend when, on my birthday, Stacy and Justin appeared at my door with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I hugged both Stacey and my son Justin.

My middle son, Ben, has a good girlfriend named Julie. On Mother’s Day, Julie gave me a card for being “like a second mother.” On my birthday, she showed up with a beautiful miniature white rose plant and a card. In fact, when we took her out to dinner with our family, she even had the music combo sing happy birthday to me (something I appreciated much more in retrospect than at the moment).

For mothers of sons, meeting the women in their lives, when they are old enough to bring them home, is such fun.

Last weekend, too, was the senior prom, and I went over to take pictures of Justin and Stacey at a pre-prom party. There were about 12 couples there, with 12 sets of parents armed with cameras eager to capture every moment. The girls looked breathtakingly beautiful in their silk and satin dresses. They looked so gorgeous, in fact, that when they lined up for a group picture it was like viewing the finalists in a Miss Teen America contest. The boys, of course, were equally handsome in their tuxes and it made my heart stop for a minute to see these guys I had watched grow up look so much at ease in their formalwear. It was almost a relief to watch them shoving each other as they lined up for their group photo.

At any rate, as I watched two of my three boys with the girls they care about I felt very comforted about the future. Julie had even gone out of her way to meet my mother, who lives across the driveway, and to make a fuss over her. My mother was thrilled at the attention.

At the pre-prom party, Stacey’s mom thanked me for having Stacey over so often. I had to laugh. “She is a civilizing influence in our house,” I told her, and meant every word of it.

I think many mothers of sons try to look ahead to the day when their boys will find their soul mates. We all know that the women they choose will mostly be the ones to send the cards and buy the gifts and suggest they call. I just hope that, when my boys choose their mates, the women are as nice as these girls, who I would gladly welcome into our family.

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