Saturday, December 6, 2014

This Boy Of Mine

The air is sweet and heady.  One sleeps, quiet for a moment, the other roller blades in the rain.  It is peace and gentle for this brief interlude in our otherwise overcrowded day.  I sit, bundled in my husband's jacket, all of my coats too small for my growing waist.
Then I hear, "Mom, want to play?  Really quick, I won't kick the ball too hard to you".
It's easy, when we're settled, to ignore the beckoning call of a child playing in the rain.  Do I want to play?  No, I want to sit, cuddled with my laptop and tea.  I want you to raise yourself and go fully into this world, functioning well, and happily adjusted.
I got up, put on the shoes that were hurting my feet and played pass back with the soccer ball to the little blonde boy on rollerblades.  The boy that has my heart.  The one I miss, because as much as I am like him, I hide from his constant demands.  He is my socialite.  He is the one who is constantly on the go and I find ourselves filling our days with playdates and activities to fill his time, because it's what delights him.  Then I realize, I've missed so much of who he is, because I allow him to have full rein.  It's been a pulling back of sorts, as I realize how quickly he is growing.  How much I have already missed.  How many times I have shooed him away to finish the laundry, clean the house, or make dinner.  He becomes the after thought, that constantly occupies my heart.  It is amazing the difficulty of showing him how much I love him.  It demands that I play when I'd rather sit, that I talk to him over puzzles and games.  He needs me as much as I long for him, but time and life and circumstance often get in our way.
Today was the perfect enjoyment of one another.  As the little one slept it was just mommy and son, talking, laughing, and playing.  We filled the afternoon.  Not a lot got done.  Lists were ignored, laundry piled, and too much popcorn was enjoyed.  It was just us and for a while we were fully connected.  I hold to these moments, I recognize how fleeting they are.  Despite my longing to carve one on one time into our day it is often the first thing to fall by the wayside.  It gets disrupted with the commitments, friends, obligations, lists, and life.  The one I most long to cuddle and connect with is the same one that is too busy to settle into my lap.  He's too big to carry, squirms from my hugs, and looks embarrassed if I say I love you in front of his friends.  He is grown, this baby of mine, to just a child age.  An age where peers and expectation pull him from me, but his child heart desperately craves my affection.  He squirms and ignores that for which he longs.
I will miss opportunities in the future.  I will frustrate him.  I will ache to be the mother he needs and and at times I will fall short of even the  most base of expectations.  There are so many shoulds, should nots, and wishes that fill my heart.  It's not for perfection, but connection.  It's to teach him in my own desperate way that he is the joy of my life, the song of my heart, and I could not imagine this life without him.
His wisdom amazes, his kindness overwhelms, his love of adventure and fun resonate within me and as I trail along behind and watch him grow, I see so much more than my mistakes and mishandling of our time.  I see that despite my lack, my failures, my anger, my ignorance, he is growing and blossoming into exactly the man-child he is called to.  It is not as much my influence as my presence.  It is less my demands than my understanding.  It is playing in the rain when I'd rather read.  It is choosing him first and in so doing, loving him with all of my heart.

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