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    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Jackson's A Big Boy!

    His birthday starts in 20 minutes. Seems impossible that he can be one already. This year has FLOWN by!

    He is such a sweet boy. I love his funny laughs (he has several), his piercing blue eyes, his curious mind, his fiery temper and his fat little feet. He is both like his darling sister, and NOT like her, in many ways, as silly as that sounds. Both of my kids have filled holes in my heart that I didn't know existed before they came to be with us. God surely knew how much we needed angels to be around us in the flesh when He chose us for them.

    I wonder, especially on days like this, how it is that parents are ever able to reconcile themselves to having their children grow and leave them. The thought of it terrifies me beyond words - that someday these children will leave our home, without me or Daddy, and will go out on their own, with no obligation or reason to come back unless they so desire. And how will I know they are OK? Who will keep them safe? Who will protect them? How can I go in during the nights and stroke their brows, or touch their cheeks, and whisper "momma loves you" in their ears? How can this overflowing love that threatens to split the very seams of my heart be content with with "Call me honey!"..."Yeah, Mom, I will."...How will I wait for that call?

    If my mother loves me half as much as I love my kids, I have no idea how she watched me walk out the door, with no way of knowing that I'd be safe, that I'd be loved, that I would be taken care of or that I would be able to care for others. So many questions with NO readily available answers for them. How can we endure it? How can I be expected to someday take a back seat to someone else who will inevitably say they love my son or my daughter "more than anyone else in the world does". That will NEVER be true as long as I have breath in my body, but someday I will be nowhere CLOSE to the center of their universe the way I am now. And someday I'll seem silly and out-of-touch, and SO not cool, and they will roll their eyes when I call or knock on their door. I feel weak thinking about it. These children, who now adore me, who depend on me to know what their day holds, who cling to me and beg to be with me - someday they will whine about having to ride in the same car with me. They will sit like a blob in their chair at dinner until I finally excuse them and they snidely murmur "THANK you!" as they get on the phone to talk to the people they LIKE talking to, one of which I will no longer be.

    Tears come as I ponder these future realities. I feel lost and betrayed already, and I DEEPLY fear what kind of mother to adult children I will be. God help my daughter-in-law and son-in-law to be ~ I'm pretty sure they won't be good enough, whoever they are.

    I understand my MIL and FIL better all the time. How they sit there in that house together, with no way of knowing what is going on with their boys beyond what we choose to share with them is beyond me. It becomes easier and easier to understand their need to call, to check in, to know we got home alright...because I see myself fighting the urge to make the same calls to Samantha and Jackson some day.

    But not today. For now, they sleep in OUR house, and when we let them, in OUR bed. Right now there is NO place that either of them would rather be. The sound of their slow even breaths in the night, the feeling of peace as they snuggle in closer, one on each side, is one I will carry with me as long as I live. Maybe that's what carries us after they leave...the memories of our babies sleeping next to us, content to cocoon themselves in our blankets and our love, for just a little while, until the world calls them away - to go out and find their own place, and to someday cherish and become entranced by their own babies, and ponder what they never could have pondered before those babies came to be.

    Happy birthday, my dear sweet Jackson. I told your Daddy I would never love any man but him ever again. You made a liar out of me, and neither one of us minds a bit. Momma loves you.


    Deb said...

    Oh, Cathy. I have read many mother's tributes to their children over the past few months, but none as perfect as that. As I sat here in my kitchen, with unabated (and unabashed) tears rolling down my cheeks, I wondered how you crawled into the depths of my heart and read into my greatest fears and joys. Then I realized they are the universal fears and joys of all good parents. Most of us just aren't poetic or brave enough to write them down. Thank you, my dear.

    Anonymous said...

    Gee thanks Cathy... now I'm sobbing at the computer as Ithink about Rowan & Lawson leaving me one day. That is exactly the reason I thought I always wanted a big family... that way you are more likely to see ONE of your kids more often! It was all very well said -- and a day I dread, like you. I had trouble sending Row to preschool for the first time last week... and can't imagine the first year of all-day in K -- all going by too fast! -B

    Jazz said...

    So well written I have goosebumps!

    Off to snuggle my little one!

    Vicki said...

    Oh my goodness! I am going through this very thing right now. My daughter leaves in 3 weeks to move into her own place (with roommates) and start college. She is 18. I am freakin' terrified, and yet I help her find the things she needs to furnish her new home, get excited with her about it, then weep in the shower where nobody can hear me. I don't want to put a damper on her joy. This motherhood thing is a tough gig, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I raised her and her brother to be independent, capable people, and they are living up to that. In spades.

    Still. It's gonna be so strange!