I was lucky to have such a good relationship with my mom as a kid. Of course we had our disagreements but overall things were good, are still good. I never had any reservations about telling her anything. About asking her anything. She knew how to maintain a proper balance between being my mother and being my friend. She believed in my abilities and let me know when I wasn’t living up to my potential. Sometimes I agreed with her. Sometimes I wished she’d stop expecting so much of me. But I always knew she was right, that becoming a better person was an active decision. And that even if I continued to be stubborn and slough off in my school work or other areas of my life, she would still love me. I knew she would always be there for me.

I remember the night my boyfriend left. I was 18 and he was my first love, the first boy I had ever kissed. I was certain I would marry him, but first he needed to serve a 2 year mission for our church. It wasn’t a requirement, it was his own decision and one I had encouraged him in. But that didn’t make his leaving any less painful.

As we stood out on the lawn that final night in a tight embrace whispering our 10th good-bye, my mother stood inside the door waiting. A final tight squeeze as the tears filled my eyes and we separated. He had to run to his car to avoid being drawn back toward me and I had to run to the door to avoid the same. He started his cars ignition and waved at me with tears in his eyes as he drove away. I waved too and then broke into a sob as I fumbled to open the screen door. I flung it open and then jammed the weight of my body against the main door to push it open. As it swung open I saw the shape of my mom standing there, her arms pulling me to her. I was already sobbing so hard my head hurt. She guided me down the stairs, helped me crawl into her bed and tucked me in. Then she lay on the covers beside me and stroked my hair until I fell asleep. She was completely silent in word but her actions meant everything. Whether my pain was over dramatic or not, she knew how keenly I felt it and she didn’t try to stop that. She let me grieve hard while assuring me with only her presence and I’m forever thankful for that.

I love you mom. Happy Birthday.
Because I like to keep it real. *snicker* Or maybe I just like to embarrass myself.

Me: Yummy pizza honey. Thanks for making it
Boys: Thank you daddy!
*munch munch munch*
Hubby: BU-URP!
Me: *said with a slight smirk on my face - I thought you made a rule that there was no belching at the table.
Hubby: *with a twinkle in his eye - Oh, yeah.
Ethan: I have to go potty!
Me: Alright already, go.

* Hubby teases me as I eat, mischevious grin forms on my face*

*Chorus of laughter rings out from Ethan in the bathroom and Caleb at the table
Ethan: Burp. Burp. Burp.
* Caleb laughing
Ethan: I just tooted!!
Me: Thank you for the play by play of your bowel movement son. Really.
*munch munch munch from Caleb*
Caleb: Mama, you’re a chicken!
Me: Well you’re a chocolate cake!
Caleb: You’re a grass!
Me: You’re a Grape!
Caleb: You’re a ewephant!
Me: Well you’re a BE-LLCCCCHHHH!!!!
*Uncontainable laughter from both boys and one husband desperately trying to stifle it.
Ethan: More mom! More!!
Me: No, no, I’ve gotta stop. You’re father will never kiss me again if I don’t.

Some of our dinner times are more entertaining than others
My glances at his face were brief. I tried to focus on anything but him, which was difficult to do considering he was talking to me. His voice sounded so quiet and distant compared to the thrum of blood sounding in my ears. At the same time I ached with anticipation I trembled with fear. He knew I’d never been kissed by another boy in all my 17 years. He respected that and had told me he wouldn’t dream of kissing me without my permission. That was when I wasn’t sure I wanted to be kissed yet. When I wasn’t sure if things would continue to progress.

Now they had and my feelings for him had deepened immensely. He was my close friend and I was insanely attracted to him. I had to kiss him! But I had no experience. What would he think?
He paused from whatever it was he had been saying and asked if I was ok. My anxiety must have been showing on my face.

“Yeah,” I reassured him and then I hugged him close. As we held each other tight I quietly said the words I had been thinking all night, “I really want to kiss you, bad.” Then I squeezed him tighter hoping maybe he hadn’t heard me, or that maybe I could stay in his embrace forever and not have him look at me with my face red enough to notice even in the moonlight.

But I felt his arms slacken, and then his hands gripping my shoulders as he pushed me strongly away from him. I had no choice but to look into his eyes as he held me there. And then his lips warm and gentle were molding into mine. It was brief but sweet and it sent tingles all through me. He pulled away looking at me with that gorgeous smile and I knew he had loved it as much as I had.