Moms are women. (Usually, anyway... but that's a topic for another day.) And as women, we are prone to moments that lack logic when it comes to our kids, right? I had a moment like that today. It started this morning when my 15 year old son hopped out of bed bright and early at 8:30am on a Saturday and informed me we needed to go shopping. But not for just anything... for a tie he could wear to the homecoming dance that would match his date's dress. And I felt my heart skip a beat. We had discussed all this earlier in the week, of course, but this morning it became reality! And no, this wasn't his first dance, or even his first homecoming, but when you have a kid in high school, suddenly every occasion seems momentous... I started thinking, "Wow, this is the last year he will need me to 'take' him anywhere, next year he will be driving himself to buy ties, and the next year he will have his very last homecoming at Grissom High School, and then he will be gone forever and I'll have to beg him to come visit me, and who could blame him for staying away so much when life in this family is such a crazy mess!" See, this is where the "lack of logic" comes into play. And he is a son, a boy, a male, a man, and therefore not entirely comfortable with these moments of mommy panic. The moments when all I can see in his face is that intense and serious little boy he once was, and how he's come out of his shell so much and how much I love who he is and at the same time miss that little boy soooo very much... How proud I am that he is so independent and how much I miss being needed. (You should know that I type these words with tears flowing... Is there any other way to watch a child grow up? Joy and sorrow all mixed in together.. Are there even words to describe this?)
So I panic, but not because I fear for him. This young man is smart, capable, independent and competent. He will excel. But my mommy heart selfishly breaks a little each time I watch him take another step toward his future, because I fear it will take him far from me. I know, I know... that is the way life is. But gosh, no one told me it would happen so soon. Or maybe they did, and I was too wrapped up in the little years to be able to wrap my head and heart around that as well. And I want to tell him so many things, but at 15 he really has it all figured out, you know. I wonder sometimes if he remembers... Sharing blueberry "beagles" for breakfast in the recliner while we watched Sesame Street, making costumes out of underwear, football helmets and legos, playing the "panio" with mommy, reading 10 stories at bedtime, playing games on the carpet, teaching his baby brother to hit a baseball off a tee... A million memories I have of this child and now he is out making his own... And I am proud. And sad. And happy. Crazy? Probably.
I know he isn't really going to leave me forever... I know to some degree he will always need his mom. And I know that God will direct his paths and watch over him when I can't. I just look at the time I have left with him still "in my nest" and I think it isn't enough! 2 1/2 years just isn't enough.... But the days fly by, turning into weeks and months and I am left with this panic in my heart that it really is going too fast... And after him all the others will follow, one (or two) at a time. And I just want to make the most of it, these fleeting moments that we have to love and live and laugh together. So that they remember.
I know I will.