For the last couple of years my favorite guy has been the one that’s no taller than my knee caps, the one that is the son of my BFF. Until this year, he was the only one to send a Valentine’s card, the only one who lit up when I walked into a room, the only one who provided a little sunshine on even on the worst days.
Of course, the neph-in-love is still one of my favorite guys, but he’s not the only guy in my life. And I think he’s having a hard time of it.
This weekend we met some friends for dessert to celebrate my friend Mike’s birthday, and I walked in first and BJ walked in behind me. The neph-in-love saw me, and giggled a “hi” with a smile that overtook his face, his hands raised open for a hug. That quickly changed when he realized I hadn’t come to the party alone, and the smile melted to tears and the “hi” became “no, no, no” and the arms waved BJ out the door.
It was a dramatic reaction, but it wasn’t all that surprising. He is two after all, and he had done something similar a couple of weeks before when we were seated at the dinner table. His face turned sour when he realized BJ was eating with us, and he looked at him and pointed right at the front door and said, “Go!”
I figure things will even out eventually, and I think maybe it’s already happening since Noah gave BJ two high-fives when he was saying goodbye after the party, but still…
Things are changing. And he’s two, and he’s having a hard time of it.
I’d gotten pretty comfortable in my single life, I can’t lie. And there are some parts of this whole being a relationship thing that are making me want to throw my hands up and say “no, no, no” – not because BJ’s not great, because he is, but because there’s so much of this that makes me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and that I can’t plan for, and that is…I don’t know…just so new.
Having someone who wants to come to dinners at my friends’ houses is new. Having someone to sit with in church is new. Having someone who wants to make me dinner is new. Having someone who thinks I’m pretty and who looks in my in such a way that I know that’s what he’s thinking is new. Having someone who just wants to know me, the real me, is new.
And perhaps for me the newest piece of it all is the okay-ness I feel in it.
Because I like this guy, I like who he is and how he operates in the world. I like that he wants to know my friends and enjoys having dinner at my their houses, even if sometimes the neph-in-love asks him to leave. I like that he comes to church and takes communion sitting next to me. And I like that he cooks for me, careful always about the weird adult-onset food allergies I have. I find it unnerving sometimes when he looks at me and tells me I’m pretty, but I’m learning to accept the compliments, and that is no small thing. And with every defensive wall I bring down to let him in to know the real me, I find that I like having the wall down.
Things are changing, and sometimes it’s hard but most times it’s pretty easy, and either way it’s okay. Because, guys, I’m growing.
Double high-fives for everyone!