Sharp Dressed Man

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Last week, I took McKay to buy his first suit.

The Husband was out of town, so naturally the man-task fell to me.  Driving over there, laughing and joking with my biggest boy, I felt content.  He picked the music, and even managed to not critique my driving.  He reminded me for the millionth time why I love and adore him so much.

We arrived at Macy's and started flipping through the racks of suits.  I tried to be helpful and point out colors and textures of fabric that looked cool.  He rolled his eyes and laughed at his mama.

Before long, we were saved by a helpful sales clerk.  He took one look at my boy, told us his size without taking a single measurement, and began to pull suits from the racks.

Grateful for the help, I sat with my phone outside of the dressing room and casually perused the Instagram.

When my big boy walked out of the dressing room, I was wholly unprepared for the emotion that would overtake me.  It was like a jolt to my heart.  Seeing him in that suit, his broad shoulders held high, his tall frame tailored and strong – I nearly lost it. 

It was like a vision came to my mind.  A vision, as unexpected as it was unwelcome.  I saw him as the missionary he would be – and in just a few short years.  I saw him, not as my child in holy Nike socks and a dirty t-shirt, but as the man he is becoming.  I saw him all grown up.

And, I won’t lie, I was not at all prepared to face that vision. 

I immediately teared up and felt like I couldn’t breathe.  The air around me was thick and heavy, and I feared the weight of it was going to crush me.  Looking at this man/boy before me – the flesh of my flesh – and knowing that before long he will be out on his own was more than this mama heart could bear.

I felt so small, watching him.  So helpless.  

Right then, ZZ Top’s song, Every Girl’s Crazy About A Sharp-Dressed Man came on overhead.  It was so silly and so appropriate that we both burst out laughing.  It cut through the emotion and brought laughter higher than my tears.  I took a shallow breath.  Then another one.  I smiled at him.  The heaviness passed, but left in its wake a weight on my heart.  One that I know will probably hang there forever, getting heavier with each passing year.

Tender mercies come in all forms.  Mine came in a song, played ever so timely, as I watched my child casually slipping through my fingers.  In a dressing room at Macy's.