Thursday, November 21, 2013

They need the mom I am now.

I watch as he makes his way across my crowded classroom.  A little boy, about 3 years old.  His mom has just finished her morning spin class and I'm now working with one of my older adult groups.  We're at our local YMCA, the place to be in the  morning as far as fitness is concerned around here.  And as much of a community within a community as you'll find in this part of town.  A place for fitness, friends, visiting and caring for ourselves and others.

There are about 40 people in the room, but the little guy peeks in.... looking for just the right person.  And he finds her waiting for him every time.  Miss Lilian, who works part time in the child care room at the Y.  And she's this fella's teacher on occasion, for an hour here or there. And he loves her because she loves him.  And each day he wants to give and get his hug - the one just for and from her.  So he wanders through the crowded group of tall people as if nothing is in his way, he finds her in the back corner, they hug, and he's good.  He runs out and can go on about little boy business.

And part of childhood business is loving unconditionally.  They are mirrors of the love that they are shown.  What's put in, comes right back out ten times greater and without reason or hesitation or second thought of who or where or when.  Just love.  Without thinking twice.  

And I love watching this little boy right now in this particular stage.  Because I remember my boys.  Their beautiful sweetness and giving hearts.  But what I see as time passes is how time changes them.  And me.  And how time takes away pieces of the people we were and turns us into someone completely different. 

Our nephew and his wife have four little ones under the age of four and we forget every time they come to visit what that's like  ... till their little toddler storm comes blowing in here again.  My husband said after they left last time, I don't know how they do it....  And I told him, ... just like we did. We were at that same place in time about 10 years ago. 

But parents come with amazing powers of selective memory.  I remember the days of my guys being little.  And I have pictures to prove it.... but I struggle to remember the exact days.   The length and flow of the toddler times.  And the activity level and the running and jumping and climbing and exploring their brave new worlds.  Not that long ago, my house was our babies' new world.  Toys to play and furniture to climb on and a big dog and brothers to wrestle .... and I can see why God lets us keep only some of the memories.  For me, its like the memory of childbirth.  I absolutely remember each time.  And I remember that I was in pain.  But I can't re-live that pain.  The exact memory has faded to only a name.  The memory that I did it... and the memory that I left the hospital each time with a beautiful gift.  

As my kids grow, I remember that I loved them at every age.  I loved their little personalities and the funny things they said and the Spider Man costume that Christopher wore his entire 4th year.  But I remember them as events, and time periods... a place in my history.  I can't bring back the actual moment to moment of those times. As it's meant to be.  My kids need me to be their mom now - at ages 10, 12 and 13.  They need my interests to match their interests and needs at this age.  They need the mom I am now.  For the kids they are now.

And I crazy love the young men they are now... completely new people, though I know they're still mine.  But without pictures to remind me of the messes and stresses, their little selves fade into time periods of my life.  Big lumps of time called infancy and toddler-hood and school days.  I talked to my niece about that recently.  About getting to know the little people she has today.  Because when you look back, it's like our eyes and minds play a trick.  Our kids become the memories of people we used to know.  But I look forward to each day of being mom. In each age and stage.

I have some particular worries today.  Mostly about raising teens and what's normal or not , and right and possibly crazy.  So I'm rolling that around in my head a bit.  

But for these days - past, present and future, I know that what I have is a gift and a blessing. And this Thanksgiving season, I can't say thank you enough.  

Would you like to comment?

  1. Christi Harris-LazaroNovember 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Very well said, Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Caroline, thank you. I wish for you a peace beyond all understanding, a hope that is continual and never ending, and a joy that sees beyond circumstance and keeps your faith as strong as all of God armies plus some.... I am thankful you joined me here today. Happiest of Thanksgiving seasons to you and yours.


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