His face was smooth and was framed by his disheveled, curly hair. He couldn’t have been more than 30. He held her frame as best he could since dancing wasn’t his regular activity. His dancing partner, on the other hand, held her nearly sixty years well. Her thin frame was decorated with a midnight blue evening gown that did wonders for her blonde hair. She was definitely a sight for sore eyes. And her joy was evident as she looked into his eyes and tousled his brown locks. Just like she must have done when he was her little boy. My inner empty nester automatically fast forwarded time to a place where I was dancing with my son at his wedding. I imagined him all grown up, maybe 6’2″ or 6’3″ in height. His thin, scrawny body was now well-defined. I saw him honoring me as his mom by dancing with me all the while knowing his heart already belonged to someone else. I was full of joy and full of sadness all at the same time. He’s 11 years old now and he tells me that the only woman he thinks is beautiful is me. (Well, and Carrie Underwood. But mostly me.) I’m still the love of his life and can bring a smile to his face when I say loving or encouraging words to him. But I know that won’t always be the case. I know that in a short amount of time he will begin to see girls in a different light. He’ll start noticing them and I figure they’ll start noticing him. He will find himself thinking about a girl one day and will wonder why he can’t seem to eat when she’s on his mind. He will do things that he never dreamed he’d do just because she asked him to. He will be smitten. But mercy and grace, I do hope and pray it’s not until he’s at least 20. Because I’m a mother of boys and I know what typically happens. They leave home and cleave to their wife. As it should be. The self-preservationist in me wants to start letting go now so that the pain won’t be so deep when that time comes. But the mother in me knows that I have very little time left to raise these young men so I hold on to them like tomorrow will never come. For now, I’ll just love them and train them and cuddle with them as much as they’ll let me. I’ll tell them they can live with me forever because I’m very aware they will have no desire to do that as they approach young adulthood. I’ll laugh with them until my sides hurt and will answer their questions even when I’m tired. I’ll do it all. Because they’re my boys. And I love them.