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The Other Woman My Son Will Love

My son Roan is only 8 years old, but for some reason yesterday he mentioned that he needed to figure out his will. At first I thought this was just so morbid. But then I realized that, since his birthday is next week and he will be receiving a number of new toys, he's just thinking about, "Who is gonna get these someday?"

I told him, "You're going to live a long happy life. By the time you need a will, you will have children and a wife to leave your things to."

The idea of him being married made my heart twinge.

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It's been on my mind lately. I was at a wedding last week and, as I watched the mother-son dance, I had to physically hold myself back from falling to the floor and SOBBING, imagining Roan and me doing the same. It's something about the culmination of your time with your son really coming to an end. They don't need you in the same way anymore and can you really be buddies in the same way either? I don't want to "lose my son" to some mean daughter-in-law. And my hopes that I would have a gay son who would marry a dashing man—giving me TWO wonderful DOTING SONS as opposed to a daughter-in-law—were lost when I noticed Roan has a crush on a few girls at school. (One he recently described as "educated, classy and beautiful!!")

He doesn't ask his mom for cuddles anymore.

So I said to Roan, "If you do get married, I hope your wife is nice to me." Realizing that's a crazy thing for a mom to say to her 8-year-old, but saying it anyway. Because that's how I am. And to be honest, I'm scared. I'm scared some mean girl will take my only child away from me and move him far across the continent. The days Roan and I spent laughing and talking and hanging out and the cuddles he asks me for every single night will be replaced by ... her.

Photo credit: Ariane Price

I don't know why this thought scares me so much. I think I am a nice daughter-in-law to my mother-in-law, although we've had our ups and downs. However, my husband did move across the country to live in California with me. And that must sort of suck for his parents. He doesn't ask his mom for cuddles anymore. That's my job. And we see them twice a year. If there ever comes a time when I only see Roan twice a year I... WILL... DIE. So he had better marry a girl who really likes me and who is super nice and lets me continue cuddling my son forever.

Wow, Roan has managed to sound pretty well-adjusted even though I tease him with my 'smothering' and inability to ever let him go.

So I say to Roan, "If you do get married, I hope your wife is nice to me."

Without missing a beat Roan says, "My wife liking you will be my second priority."

"What is your first priority then?" I ask.

"Ummmmmmm, that I love her and she loves me! Geez what do you think? You won't be my first priority then. That's normal!"

Wow, Roan has managed to sound pretty well-adjusted even though I tease him with my "smothering" and inability to ever let him go. Sounds about right to me.

"Plus, I'm not gonna marry a mean girl. So don't worry," he says.

"Of course, you should be happy and go wherever life takes you. I just love hanging out with you. That's all," I say, trying not to sound desperate.

Cut to later that night:

My in-laws happen to be visiting later this week. I have a lot of cleaning to do, because I want things to be nice for them when they stay with us, and so I was up into the night doing some organizing, on a roll, getting a lot done. Then I hear from Roan's room, "Mom! I want you to cuddle me."

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My first thought was, "But I'm getting so much done." Then I remembered our conversation from earlier in the day and dropped everything, got into his bed and hugged him so tightly to my chest he could barely breathe. And I'll tell you. One day, some lucky girl is going to be married to one heck of a great cuddle.

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