I have so many sleepless nights that I cannot tell you when I last slept the whole night through—I’m pretty sure it was before my oldest daughter started dating this new young man in her life.
(Interested parties know their names.)
When David Scott was dating, he rarely brought them around the house, and NEVER let on about his feelings toward any of them. One night after a date, he came into our bedroom and said, “Uh, yeah, I think I’m going to ask Tisha to marry me. Will you come with me to pick out a ring?”
I stirred and sat upright. “Tisha? Which one is Tisha?” I asked.
THAT is the difference between sons and daughters. Right there.
Within a family of four daughters, I have spent many a night on the edge of my bed or theirs, listening about the many dates that my older girls have gone on, about the boys they want to date, and the ones they never want to see again ... and girls go into detail about the dates themselves—how funny, how cute, how silly, how boring, etc. Girls talk.
So my oldest has been talking about this one young man long before I ever met him. Long before they started dating. When she came home from her mission, she and I were pouring over her mission scrapbook. When she came to a page, she pointed to this young man’s picture and said, “Oh, if this guy asks me to marry him, I’m saying YES!” And then turned the page. I was like, “Wait! What? Who is he?” She smiled and just said, “It doesn’t matter, you’ll never meet him, but his name is ...” And we continued through the scrapbook.
Flash forward two months later and she is heading out the door to go to that same young man’s homecoming from the mission. “No big deal” she says as she heads out, looking way cuter than she had in recent weeks. She went, they visited for a few short minutes, and then she came home. A week passed, and then suddenly she was going to “hang out” with the same young man. And THAT was the beginning. Since then, time seems to have become entangled into their moments. Being the eldest daughter, she has sisters who want to “know every detail” ... all of us girls sit on edge as we give our approval of her choice. We like him because SHE likes him. We laugh at his blunders because she does. We watch her watch him.
Is this what it’s like to have a house full of girls?
I grew up with four younger brothers. We did not talk about stuff of the heart. Eww. I could have cared less about who they dated and never thought to share one iota of who I was interested in.
So I stay up most nights, waiting for my girls to come in. I am up in case, just by chance, they want to talk. In case they need me. They know my light is on and my ears are primed to hear, “Hey Mom, you up?”
Sometimes they come in just to recount the date in short brief sentences abbreviated by smiles or grimaces ... but lately, it’s long, emotional floods with new words showing up like “love” and “hope” followed by the lip-biting wonder of it all. I’m here, I’m listening, and I am awake. Who can sleep at a time like this?