It seems no matter how many times I watch Toy Story 3, my eyes leak profusely at the end. When Andy gives Woody, Buzz and his other favorite toys to Bonnie to take care of while he's away at college, I can't help but think of my youngest son, Lucas. Not long ago I passed back to him all of his Toy Story toys that had been carefully stored away in our attic. He's 23 years old now and got married last year to the most beautiful, amazing and brilliant woman. The crying scene wasn't much different than it had been two years prior when his brother got married. Lauren entered in her gorgeous white dress and all three of my boys begin crying; I cried on the front row. Then, they read the vows they had written to each other and I cried again. (I'm glad I had makeup in my purse to touch up my tear-stained face--a lesson I had to learn.) It's difficult to see the baby--my baby, get married. Shouldn't he still be singing, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything?" Shouldn't he be shouting, "To infinity and beyond," all the while running through the house clutching Buzz and Woody in his chubby little hands? He should be playing with light sabers and Legos, dressing up like Pikachu and collecting trading cards. He shouldn't have grown up so fast and made my nest empty for the rest of my life.
The wedding reception afforded me another opportunity to show off my lack of skills on the dance floor--with my son. The Dance, Part 2. We were announced and I felt exactly the same way when introduced for The Dance, Part 1. I was anxious... nervous...a lot self-conscious. I don't like being in the spotlight and everyone watching me...dance. So once again, I gave myself a pep talk and went out to meet my son on the dance floor. With my hands on his shoulders, I got lost in his dark brown eyes. Lost in them like I did when I nursed him, rocked him to sleep, kissed boo-boos and listened to his stories that made me laugh--and still make me laugh. He had chosen the song from one of our favorite movies we love watching together...Elf. As "You Make Me Feel So Young" began to play, I leaned in and hugged this grown-up boy of mine. I blessed my son with my words, which for the second time, shall remain private. I told him how proud I was of him and that there was no limit on what God had in store for Lauren and him. We finished our dance with an attempt at skipping like Buddy did when he was out on his date with Jovie. I'm glad we ended up laughing because otherwise, I may have needed to touch up my makeup again. Someone once said, "There are sources of intense gratification that lie just beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone." It's true. Uncomfortable as I was at the beginning, I will always treasure the dance. Two dances down and only one to go! I'm actually looking forward to the next dance. In Part 3, I'll tell you why.