I've heard it said that that the first man you fall in love with is your father.
The second man you fall in love with is your husband.
The third is your son.
My son arrived after 36 hours of labor. Apparently, he was so content where he was in the womb that he was happy enough to stay put. I, however, thought differently, so after nearly two days, we finally coaxed him out. He came into the world mellow and he pretty much stayed that way. Save for the first three months of colic, he was in many ways the ideal child. An angel to look at, eager to please, loving and full of life.
How could you not fall in love with that?
This is not to say he was perfect. As a toddler, he tried to disconnect his little sister's apnea monitor. He tried to get a refund for her at Target. Then he tried to pawn her off on a meter maid who was writing me a parking ticket.
As a little boy, he used a magnifying glass to set fire to our driveway. He put a substantially large hole in his bedroom wall. And he sent a neighbor's kid to the ER... three times (accidentally, of course).
As a teenager, he broke a computer, three cell phones and banged up the car.
But in between all of this, he laughed, smiled and melted hearts. He played guitar, got a blue belt in taekwondo, became an expert skier and learned to dive and play lacrosse. He formed a band, became a lifeguard, a ski instructor and a waiter. He developed a love for travel, cars and sushi. He grew into a spectacular young man and I fell in love even deeper.
But the biggest problem with loving so hard, of course, is in letting go.
This week, my son graduates from high school. In two months, he will go off to college and I have no doubt I will cry. I will ache for his presence, his hugs, his wicked sense of humor and his big man body filling his still youthful room.
I know this is the way it's supposed to work. He's doing exactly what he should. We've spent eighteen years preparing him for this moment. But even though it is the natural order of things, it still hurts.
Of course we will always have our special bond, in spite of the miles between us. He will always be my only son. I will always be his only mother. And I'm so grateful that I chose to be a mom and that he was one of the two incredible people I was blessed with to parent in this life.
I've heard it said that the first woman a man falls in love with is his mother.
The second woman he falls in love with his is wife.
The third is his daughter.
Looks like I'm still number one for now.
Tracy Beckerman is the author of the new book, "Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs," available on Amazon.