My kids have learned a lot about loss this year as three of their grandparents have passed away since March.
The latest being two weeks ago when my mom’s husband of 10 years, Bob Bell, died. The service was held last Sunday.
In the days leading up to the service, Beckett said he wanted to talk about his grandfather at the service. We told him there would be a time when he could if he was up to it. We encouraged him to think about what he wanted to say over the next couple days and to jot a few notes down beforehand. Later, when we told him there would be some old hymns sung at the service because his grandfather enjoyed them, he said he wanted to sing one. His affable music teacher, Mrs. Brittingham, has sparked his passion for singing (and not just in the shower, although that’s highly amusing to listen to every night).
After we looked over the chosen hymns for the service, he said he wanted to sing “Amazing Grace.” While we in no way were trying to talk him out of it, we did want to make sure he knew it’s a difficult song, how many people would be there, that it would be sad and he would need to practice a lot beforehand.
At one point, when he wasn’t inclined to continue practicing one night with Pam and refused to type out any comments he wanted to make, he turned to her and said, “don’t worry Mom, I’ve got this.” When she asked him what he planned to say before he sang, he said, “I’ve got some things in mind, I’m fine” and would not share with us. That made me nervous.
Despite that confidence, I was sure he would decide to not stand up in front of everyone at the service. I thought either the emotions of the service or nerves would get the best of him, and he would back out at the last minute. That didn’t happen at all.
He stood up, said a few words about his grandfather and their shared affinity for donuts, made us all giggle and then sang the first two verses of the old hymn acapella before the rest of the gathered attendees joined in with the help of the organ.
He showed incredible strength, determination and composure. He seemed to have no nerves whatsoever about public speaking or singing.
What was perhaps most impressive was at 10 years old he didn’t think he did anything extraordinary. He had something he wanted to do so he did it and that was that.
As we were driving to the movies a couple weeks ago, it suddenly occurred to me what was happening. We were chaperoning Beckett’s first “date.”
Over the summer, many of Beckett’s friends at his day camp would tell me about my son’s girlfriend at drop-off and pickup. When I asked him about it, Beckett would play it off like it was no big deal.
As the summer progressed, I would always ask these same friends how they were doing, knowing full well they would launch into some fun stories about Beckett and this girlfriend.
When summer came to a close, I figured that was that. It was a fun friend thing in the summer. However, as school started and weeks went by, we kept hearing about this special friend. I would hear about it from Beckett’s soccer teammates who go to school with her as well as his classmates who he evidently shared the news with once school started.
As a disclaimer, we realize how silly this is since our son is only 10 years old. It’s a fun thing we have found. They are friends who happen to be a boy and a girl who each seem to enjoy calling the other their “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.”
Since they enjoy talking so much to each other, we suggested Beckett ask her if she wanted to go to movies with us last weekend. Until we were driving to the theater, I admit to not really thinking about this as an actual “date.” As we listened to them talk and giggle in the backseat, I turned to Pam and asked, “What are we doing here?” All of a sudden, we realized we were chaperoning his first date. The fact it was at 10 years old was both weird and cute at the same time. We spent most of the afternoon shaking our heads and laughing at this situation.
During the movie, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” I can’t say Beckett was on his best behavior. He and his friend were giggling and talking throughout most of it but that was okay.
After the movie, we went to a restaurant for dinner. Immediately after being seated, Beckett and his friend wanted to play in the game room. When I went to check on them, they were laughing and playing like they owned the place. Beckett is usually the goofiest kid in any setting, but I think he met his match with his new friend.
That’s when I realized what was going on. He had found a friend just like him who happened to be a girl. When we dropped them off, Pam said we will do this again sometime. That’s when Beckett and his friend suggested the next day we go to the trampoline park. That has not happened yet.