A Son…My Son
“She loved a little boy very, very much, even more than she loved herself.” Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree
I knew you before I even knew you. I had imagined you in my mind since I was a little girl. Pretending to carry you and take care of you. Being your momma and you being my son. The years pressed on while I wasn’t paying any attention, and the day finally came when you weren’t a dream anymore; you were a miracle. You were here…all squishy and new. You came into the world kicking and screaming, bruised and battered. I knew if I could just get my arms around you, it would all be ok. In the midst of doctors and nurses, somehow you ended in my embrace and that was it. I was smitten. The world stopped for a brief second. My breath was stolen. A son…my son.
I didn’t know the world of boys. I didn’t know I had to dodge late night diaper changes, as I could be an unsuspecting target. I was unaware of the fun that lay ahead with the chasing games and pranks. I also didn’t have any understanding of the endless kissing of bumps and scrapes that only felt better if momma wiped the tears away.
I had no way of knowing what having a son could do to my heart. Melt it over and over again until it’s the perfect shape for you. When I would have a bad day, your little feet would bring you to my lap. Your chubby hand would find my face and in your boyish voice (lisp included) you would tell me how pretty I was. Not because you wanted anything, but because every momma of every boy is the prettiest.
Again, those years sneaked up on me when I was distracted with the daily routine, and you grew. You grew into a boy who loved all things that boyhood has to offer: fearless adventure and exploration of the unknown. You invited me into your world, and I lived in it as long as you would allow. For I knew a time would come when my stay would not be as welcome. I ran and chased alongside of you down by the river and rode bikes in the summer afternoons. You would flash me a smile that would stop me mid-step. I would sit in amazement at your thoughts and wonder why God saw me fit to feel a love as profound as a mother and son.
Those days became memories as bedtimes called and summers ended. However, those memories are still very much alive for me. They are almost palpable and I feel that I carry them in my pockets. In fact, sometimes when you give me a look I still see that clever boy running ahead looking over his shoulder and a glimpse of the boy you were hovers in the air.
The bike pedals turned into car keys. Gone were the fort building days and the rainy afternoons of snuggling on the couch watching a movie while I secretly slept. No more bedtime tuck-ins or after school pick-up car pools. I know some say it’s sad, but I wouldn’t call it that. True, it feels like sadness in a way, but if I had to call it anything it would be gratefulness. Grateful I got to witness the magic of your childhood. I got to be there in the thick of it. We experienced the good and the bad…together. We held on to sweet Jesus together as I became a single mom to you and your sister. You gave me grace when I was short-tempered and at my very wits end. You trusted me when you knew that trust was a fragile thing. You gave me the “no matter what” kind of love, and in return, I gave you my best. I know I wasn’t perfect, but I knew I didn’t need to be. I tried to be as present with you as I could and the Lord filled in the missing spaces. We found our stride.
Although I know it’s time for you to put away childish things, it is also the beginning of something new. Something I have spent your entire life preparing you for. Something I knew was coming since before the day you were born, but I put in the back of my mind when I felt that the hours were my friend. It’s time for you, my son, to head out into this great big scary miraculous world and breathe deep its God-given beauty.
Before you go, I ask your forgiveness, as I know my fingers are clenched around yours. I am working on loosening my grip. I will miss your hand in mine. I miss looking down at you by my side. But, how I love the view looking up to you, as you stand tall now. Now, when you hug me goodnight, I can hear your heartbeat as I put my head against your chest. It’s the same heartbeat that I heard so many years ago. I remember seeing every tiny beat flash on the screen at the doctor’s office when I first found out I was going to be your momma. So many things change, but some stay the same.
You are ready. I know you are. I believe in who you are and what God is going to do to mold you into His design.
Go with full blessing, son. Go and pursue the paths intended for you to travel. You will grow. You will feel fear and pain. You will also feel purpose and confidence as you navigate this crazy life. It is beautiful in so many ways. It will be messy. It always is. But, if you love God and love others, it will always be ok. The Lord has always kept His promises to me. I hope I have shown you how sweet His love is. He is so good. He gave me a son…my son.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17