For my birthday, my son Jake bought me a gift. This, in itself, is dramatic. But Jake bought me beauty products. And he is The Straight One.
Not that he doesn’t have tendencies. We all have tendencies. I, for one, tend to opt for a more comfortable shoe. But Jake is fully testosteroned, noted by his desire to drywall his garage, his total disregard for the WNBA, and his impending fatherhood. At 22, he has left no room for misunderstanding. Thus, when he presented me with the Dead Sea Hand and Nail gift set last weekend, I knew one thing for certain. They had managed to stop him at the mall.
“Sir, you like free sample?” And with that, his fate was sealed. They slathered his hand with cuticle oil and lotion. They buffed and polished him. They spoke to him of the beautiful hands of the Israeli women. (Because we all know that Israeli women are known for their soft cuticles. Oh, wait…their imposing military force, THEN their soft cuticles.) He looked upon his hand admiringly, the once kid whom had to be forced by me into a bathtub, and he bought two.
He bought two. One for his Samantha, one for his mother. Now therein lies the greatest part of my birthday present.
Not that I don’t appreciate a good moisturizer. I do, indeed. But the real gift was being placed on the same level as my future daughter-in-law, the love of his life, the mother of his unborn child. I know I am not always at that level, nor will I remain there. Mostly, I offer very sage advice and he defers me with a text. Mostly, I call, he’s busy, he makes a mental note to call me back, and he loses his mental notebook in the floorboard of his car. Mostly, he is busy growing up, and I am busy wondering where my little boy in Garanimals went. Mostly, I am not first or even second on his list of priorities. As well I shouldn’t be. I want him to be independent of me. I want him to honor Samantha. I want him to not want to come home and live in my spare bedroom when he’s 35.
But for today I will accept this higher ranking with gratitude. I will accept the gift of his Dead Sea miracle with the understanding that it contains not only rare minerals and essential oils, but an acknowledgement of respect. I will buff, polish and soften with love in my heart.