Ah, young love. Nothing is as all-consuming or as crazy-making. A girl's first boyfriend is memorable both for the sweet memories as well as making her aware of all the ways it's preferable to be a mature person in a mature relationship. Which is the opposite of what having a young son is like. Just like your first love, having a boy is sweet, crazy, frustrating, enraging and sad.
And you wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.
Here are the things both loves have in common:
1. They're gross. I'm not even going to get into the booger situation—why are my son's toenails somehow dirty when I take his shoes and socks off?!
2. You are always trying to find ways to make them like you more. The other day I picked up a gingko leaf off the sidewalk and carefully brought it home for my son because I knew my son was studying leaves in school and so I thought bringing one back for him might please him. Pathetic.
3. You fall for any stupid little thing they do for you. If my son tells me he likes my shirt, I am sincerely flattered. If he asks me to sing him "our" song, I melt. I feel my brain leeching pleasing chemicals in real time when he cuddles me.
4. Still, you want to make sure he knows you don't take any crap. Even if you do put up with a ton of crap, when push comes to shove you don't want to be a doormat. The time comes now and then to make sure he knows that.
I mean, if he stays and lives with me forever it won't be good
5. When you're in a fight, it's the worst thing in the world. I was sincerely depressed one beautiful Sunday afternoon because we had a bad experience at swim class: he was not being as brave as I knew he was capable of and then he got mad at me for jumping in the pool and trying to get us to do family swim together when he wanted to leave. Fortunately we had a nice evening and then were on good terms again. But seriously, I could tell he wasn't happy either which made me feel guilty.
6. You want to make him better. They say it's impossible to change a man but if you don't try to take that little lump of boy clay and turn him into a semi-civilized human being who says "please" and "thank you" and takes care of his own business and respects other people, what are you even doing?