Never in a million years. Never if I had dreamed the wildest dream. If I had a dozen chances to guess, would I have gotten it right. Never could I, would I, have imagined, that both of my boys would have experienced their first true feeling of selflessness in the same week. Nine years of age apart, in the same week. My oldest son knew it, felt it, and was amazed by it. My youngest son, probably still doesn't realize exactly what happened.
My oldest son Joshua and I talk about our personalities a lot. The pros and cons of our chemical make-up. We are both very aware of who we are, and what we lack at any given time. Joshua is well aware of his need for self-satisfaction, gratification, and what Joshua wants, when he wants it. He has had two relationships in his almost 25 years of life. One lasted a little over five years. And his second, he is almost into his 11th month. We all learn as we grow up. We all change. And we all eventually, hopefully, find our best fit. We find the person who seems to be the missing piece of our puzzle.
Joshua is very happy. He is in a wonderfully matched relationship. Emotionally and intellectually. His boyfriend's birthday was this week. Joshua called me wanting me to send him the homemade recipe for Red Velvet cake. The plan was to spend Wednesday evening together with friends, go out to eat, and take the cake with them. When he called to tell me how it went, he was just beaming with joy. So proud he was able to make his Josh so happy. That he was able to do something for somebody that would make them feel that good. Said he had done things before, but none had seemed to have the same impact as this. He went on and on about how good the feeling of selflessness could feel. And I knew, with those words, he had finally found the secret. The secret that allows you to think of someone other than yourself. To want and need to think of someone other than yourself. I just smiled and thought to myself, I knew it was in there somewhere. He just had to find someone special enough for it to show itself.
Zachary is just the typical teenager. They're supposed to be selfish and self-involved. I would expect no less. And if I get more, it's a pleasant surprise. Just this past Fall, we were having a discussion about the Spring Prom, who he had already decided to take and why. A friend/girl of his, who he was good friends with, and could go and simply have a good time. No commitments, no worries, just fun. I casually mentioned, back then, well, what would happen, if you have a girlfriend by Spring. His words, "She'll just have to understand, I already made a commitment, and that's that".
I started talking to him a few weeks ago about getting fitted for his tux. I noticed both times I brought it up, he practically ignored me. There is a reason for that. My friends, Zachary is not going to the Spring Prom this year. His school has grade restrictions. His date cannot be Kay, his girlfriend, and it is NOT going to be his friend/girl. When he finally told me, I asked him about just going stag, with no date. Nope. Not going at all. If he can't take Kay, he's not going.
Yesterday, his sweet girlfriend Kay, fell and dislocated her elbow. A trip to the hospital was necessary. They put her in a twilight sleep and moved it back into place. I am here to tell you, my child, that boy, was some kind of messed up last night. He had very little to say. Didn't care anything about eating. And when he finally got to talk to Kay, and she was crying from the pain, I thought the boy was going to come apart at the seams trying to relay it back to me.
Kay was not able to go to school today. Zach skipped workouts. He never misses workouts. He left school immediately after it was over. Called and asked me could he come visit me at work. I said of course. I thought he had something on his mind. He did. Tonight, he went and bought Kay a dozen red roses and went to see her.
I've never had a cake made for me. But my first love, William Earl Cash, did buy me flowers several times. He bought me a promise ring, that I spent most of my time trying to keep hid from my parents. They thought I was too young for such. So I had to take it off before I got home from school every day and put it back on before I got to school the next day. And once, he walked over 4 miles to my house one night after we argued on the phone. To say he was sorry. Sometime towards midnight, he threw pebbles at my window, until I came out. Told me he was sorry and hugged me. Left back out on foot. Got right beyond my yard and back onto the street, and hollered out "I love you", and started his trek back home. We were 17 years old. I knew he loved me. I still know he did. Selflessness. Real love. It's a beautiful thing. When you find it.