I understand you. I love the baby stage, too: the cooing and smiles, the rocking and nursing, the little legs dangling from your hip. We hold our babies and heaven feels near. Baby people wish this feeling on everyone. Sad? Hold a baby. Stressed out? Rock a baby. Babies for everyone. Then, we look at our own children and will them not to grow. Please fit in the curve of our arms forever.
Our babies grow anyway.
Listen, though. In that same room in which I used to rock a little one, I now tuck my ten-year-old son into bed. The other night, as I turned to leave his room, he asked, “Will you hang out with me longer?”
“Yes…. Of course…. What’s on your mind?”
My son: “Let’s just talk.”
“Okay. What should we talk about?”
“Science.” He hesitated before continuing. “How many different types of sharks can you name?”
So we chatted about the tiny pygmy shark and long-tailed thrasher shark. As our words spun and we floated through topics, I had a moment with my son. His face lit up when a new thought struck him. His creativity emerged when he described a game he made up. He gave himself over to goofiness as we discussed the merits of Crocs and socks. (We like soft, warm cotton around our feet before they go into the plastic, so forget the fashion masses - we declared ourselves Crocs-with-socks people.) His mouth twisted in concern as he talked about something that was bothering him.
When he was a baby he wanted me to stay in his room because that’s what babies do - they want their mamas. But now, he can get lost in Nerf Guns and basketball and Legos and friends. So, when he asks me to stay, it’s because he has something to say. Then I get to glimpse into his heart and experience what he chooses to talk about, a foreshadowing of the kind of man he might one day be. And there's all kinds of magic in watching our children unearth who they are.
As our conversation slowed and his eyes became heavy, I paused.
I let the moment - this gift in my day - sink in.
Then, I slipped out of the room with a happy heart.
Young mamas, your babies will grow and there is some sadness in that. But then… you will get THESE KIND OF MOMENTS. And there is so much wonderful in THIS.
Post written over a year ago, but published now.