Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone
I watch the intense concentration on my son's face as he carefully reads the instructions. Slowly, thoroughly, page by page, the Lego shape takes form. I've seen that look over the years as he bent over the train table, the sand-box, his homework. The piece seems so complicated, and I know that frustration might get the better of him. It's tempting to move in and take control. But today, he holds on, and gains the victory. A tidal wave carrying 6 years of memories floods in. I am awed by the privilege to be here, in this moment, witness to this amazing life. And I wonder, where did the time go? When did this little man-child arrive?
Later, as I tuck him into bed, I know he will ask for his favourite song. It's been a busy, long day and tonight I am impatient; I rush the song. When it's done, he holds on tight to kiss me good-night: "50 times mommy." My impatience grows. There is still much to be done before I lay my own head to rest. Precious to a mommy are those final hours when the house is quiet and still. We say our prayers and I turn to leave. There's always another question; some small request. He doesn't want to let me go just yet. I pause on the way to the door; annoyance flees.
Letting go. How much longer will I have these special moments? How long before lullabyes, kisses and prayers just aren't cool? How long before it will be me waiting anxiously in the dark for him to return safely home. How long before the only sounds are the lost echoes of pitter patter in the hallways? How tight will I then hold, when letting go time arrives. Just one more thing before you go son....
Those dirty smudges on the wall I obsessively clean; will eventually get higher, and higher: and then they'll be gone. One day there will be no toys to pick up, laundry to wash, or lunches to be made. These children whom I gave life to, kissed hurts and hugged away sorrows. They won't need me anymore. They will someday, belong to another. And then I recall a quote I once read on a blog:
"Before I was a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother - I was His."
These children, while born of my body, are not mine. While it is my awesome task, my duty, and my privilege to mold them and guide them in this world, they belong to another. Before they were ever mine, they were His. They have only been entrusted to me for a season, and one day, that season will have passed. When they finally fly away to make their way, the One who knew them first will go with them....as He always has.
It is nice to think that no matter what they may become, or no matter how far they may go...they will become a man, or a woman, who still have need for their mother. But how much better would I have done my job if no matter what they do, or where they go, they will also know: that they are a man, or woman in need of a Saviour? That when their season has also passed, it will be Him that calls them home.
This then is the legacy I would leave. That one day, upon reflecting on all that I gave to them, they would say of me:
The two greatest gifts my mother gave me were, roots to stand, and wings to fly.
*Note: I can't remember the blog where I read the quote about belonging first to Him, but I have to say a very big thank you for helping this busy, tired, too-oft frustrated mommy get things in the proper spiritual perspective. If my mommy brain can ever retrieve the whereabouts, I will surely give proper due! For now, God knows who you are, and I hope He blesses you richly today.*