Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It Mattered Then and Matters Still

This morning, I dropped my kiddos off at VBS and headed to my friend Emily's house for a cup of coffee and some adult conversation. Emily is in the midst of planning for a move so we settled in, boxes around and baby asleep, to talk and reconnect.

Having time to spend with her always feels like such a treat. For so many years, I have been busy with babies and my moments of free time are hard to find. Now that my kids are older, Emily is beginning this trek I have known and loved so well. It has been so fun for me to hear her talk about life with her little man... born mid-March and happy as a clam. I have loved watching her grow from a hard-working student (I met her first during our years as residence directors.) to a faith-filled woman to a loving mom. The person she is just makes me smile.

This morning, we talked about life with our children and I heard again what I sometimes forget... that we have to slow down, we have to be still, we have to pay attention to what is before us today. Being reminded of these truths by a sweet, young mom was helpful to me today.

Emily talked about rocking her baby, about watching him sleep, about loving the way he felt in her arms. She reflected, wisely, that in only a few weeks, he will be so busy that these slow, snuggly days will quickly come to pass.

As I listened to hear talk, I remembered how it felt... being tired and weary by constant demands... thinking through each momma move and feeling the decisions to be of utmost importance... wanting so badly to do my best to love my child and give him the life we hoped he would have. As I listened to her talk, I remembered those hours of rocking and nursing and watching my baby. I remembered knowing their little heads so well that each new hair was noticed (my boys had very little!) and each small cry could be identified. I remembered holding them, cuddling them, rocking and rocking and rocking and rocking... hoping that each minute spent in that well-used chair was somehow pouring into their little souls, "Momma loves you. Momma loves you. Momma loves you..." Even when I was tired, even when there was laundry still to be done, I know now that those minutes were worth it.

My life today is different. We run from baseball game to baseball game and spend time thinking through the importance of guidance that can steer my teen away from life-changing mistakes. We encourage good grades, seek meaningful involvement and pray for our kids to grow in their faith. Those sleepy hours in my rocking chair seem a lifetime away... except, you know, when they don't.

Because sometimes, I still sit there and sometimes they come by and sometimes even the arms and legs of a gangly teen will awkwardly drape over mine and I will rock and rock for the minute it lasts and love the feel of his weight on my lap. And sometimes I can tell that my subliminal message to all four of my sweet kids is still running around in their brains, banging against their hearts, drawing them close to me even as they grow up. I can tell when they seek me out to smooth some crumbled feeling. I can tell when they stand real close and drop a head onto my waiting shoulder. I can tell when their arms wrap around my waist and they pull in tight and I squeeze back and marvel that they are so tall. Momma loves you. Momma loves you. Momma loves you.

Being with Emily was good today. It really always is. She helped me remember a different time... different but not-at-all-less. She helped me remember that it mattered and matters still today. That I love them. That I sit with them. That we do this life here together each and every day.

And when I see my friend snuggle her baby, I do miss it a lot. But, when I catch the eye of my 13 year old from across a crowded room, and he smiles and winks and looks away... the feeling for me is so similar that I really don't wish to go back. Because it's still sweet and it's still good and the message is still getting in. He is still my baby and I am still his momma and what we are building is clear before my eyes.

And even when I miss those warm baby days, I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.

Blessings on your day.


Christine said...

Thanks for making me smile today. As the mom of one child, I often feel that time is slipping away...before I know it, she'll be grown & gone and she won't need me. Thanks for the encouragement that she will *still* need me when she's older. I needed it today! :)

shannon, mom, wife, blogger said...

love love love this. (and i also love ems...). you are fantastic and i appreciate your words!