Finn has already been married once.
It was in preschool: He was three years old, so was she. There was a ring exchanged -- perhaps it was made out of paper or vines, I'm not sure. I only know about it because our friend Rachel, Finn's teacher at the time, called and shared the news.
"It was adorable. Stella was a beautiful bride. I even officiated," she related proudly. I could feel her beaming through the phone.
I hadn't even been invited.
Granted, the ceremony was impromptu -- at recess on the play yard. Still.
Now in pre-K, my four-year-old has a collection of loves: There's Hillary, the sweet and petite brown-haired beauty. Elinor, smart as a whip with an adorable bob. And Trudy, who happens to share a name with my great Aunt and a face with Reese Witherspoon. They are all wonderful, but lately, it's Trudy who has snared my heart, and most especially, Finn's.
I volunteered in their class today and after we made Mother's Day gifts with terra cotta clay, we cleaned up, washed sixteen little pairs of hands and walked in a line to the cafeteria for lunch. As we strolled, Finn had one of my hands clasped tightly and every few steps he would bring it to his lips and kiss it -- all while the other hand was well secured by Trudy. She pulled on it, motioning to me as we got closer to the cafeteria.
"I have a secret!" she yell-whispered, "Come down here!"
I did as I was told. I leaned down and her little voice breathed into my ear warmly: "I'm going to marry Finn!"
"That would be wonderful," I replied, meaning it.
"We don't have to get married in a church, it can be in the back yard. You know, outside," she clarified, already the buttoned-up bride.
"That's a good place for a yard," I answered, glad we got all the details squared away.
I looked over at Finn, her intended. He seemed unaware of our plans, he was busy making superhero flying sounds with his mouth and preparing to sprint toward the tempting plastic trays of penne pasta and garlic bread. With a quick kiss, he was gone. Then Trudy departed as well, waving to me sweetly.
This is a girl I'm sure would let us visit them for two, three weeks in the summer. She'll remind Finn to send me a card on my birthday. She'll make our future grandchildren hug us goodbye when we head back to the nursing home.
Yep, my bets, my hopes are pinned on Trudy.
I know, I know. He's only four, but you know sons: They are amazing, lovely people. But how many of them grow up and call their mother (unprodded) regularly? After all, I want a partner for Finn who is going to make him deliriously happy, love him well and, of course, remind him to call his mother.
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About Listen to Your Mothers
Only another mother knows the truth about motherhood. The sleep deprivation. The preponderance of plastic, neon-colored toys that make horrible, repetitive noises in the middle of the night. The battles: just eat two more bites of your corndog for Mommy and you can have dessert.
The messiness and heart and complexity that is raising children: it's all so very humbling.
Listen to Your Mothers is a space to come together with the ones who understand the maternal struggle and joy best - in the hopes of turning the motherhood into one, strong sisterhood.
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