In a perfect world, I would have had a son. He would have had dark hair, a brave heart, a kind soul and a wicked sense of humor. But when the time would have been right for a second child, the nest was growing ever more fragile. The decision not to was conscious, and it was good. But there was still a longing.
So during Kate’s middle and high school years, when boy noise and big sneakers frequently filled our home on Dickenson Place, I loved the energy. I fed it with more lunchtime quesadillas than I can count, as well as the Rice Krispie bars and lemonade trays that still make my daughter laugh. (“That was soooo Mrs. Cleaver, Mom.”)
To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting a Dmitri when Kate began considering her lifetime partner. He was quiet. Measured. But I could hear in my daughter’s conversations a connection unlike others. Subtle differences that speak volumes. And since both were veterans of broken-nest syndrome, I knew this was not something either took lightly.
In the nearly four years since, Dmitri and I have come to know each other well. We have learned our senses of humor are in sync, a fact that leaves Kate pleading for us to stop teasing her. His love for Lily shines. And the decisions he has made to balance his own dreams with the needs of his young family are laudable.
This weekend, Al and I are part of the celebrating party in Corpus Christi as Dmitri becomes a full-fledged Navy aviator. It has been a long and strategic journey in what is still a very young life. And as I expected, I was fighting tears today when Kate pinned the gold wings on his dress whites.
For I have a son.
So, this must be a perfect world.