Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Season For Everything

Yesterday was Cade's 13th birthday celebration. Cade is our sweet youngest nephew from Hico. He's one of those one-of-a-kind kiddos that just make you shake your head. In the good way! He's very handsome, very articulate, a bit of a smart-aleck (in the funny way), and makes a really mean home-made salsa. I just cannot believe he's a teenager. While I am so proud of him (and his darling older brother Cooper), it breaks my heart that he's THIRTEEN. He might as well be 30. I can only imagine what his poor mama thinks watching her baby turn into a young man. She has MUCH to be proud of, yet I wonder what it's like to know that the tender years of raising your children are behind you. Knowing my sister-in-law, I'm sure she took full advantage of every moment presented to her!

Tonight, we had small group at church. Anytime we do, Monkey goes to Joyland and has a great time playing with his friends. Usually by the time we pick him up, it's already a little past bedtime, so we've made it a habit to put his PJs on him before we leave the church. By the time we get home, he's usually pretty tired and goes straight to bed. Tonight was no exception. There is something so cute about seeing our little guy run down the Joyland hallway in his fuzzy blue PJ's and a stuffed monkey in each hand. It gets my heart every time. :-)

After we got home, we snuggled and sang and said prayers before going to bed. I left his room with him blowing kisses from his crib.

"Muah!" as his little hand lifts into the air dramatically. So precious!

But within about five minutes, he was crying. I could tell he was just tired crying, so I let him fuss. But a few minutes later, his cry sounded a little more desperate, so I checked on him. He had thrown his stuffed monkeys on the floor, which upset him.

"Momma, Momo!" he cried, pointing to the ground. (Momo is what he calls his stuffed monkeys.) I picked them up and handed them back to him. As I did that, I bent down to hug him again. I'm usually pretty firm about not dragging out a 2nd bedtime. I lay him down, pat his back, say I Love You and walk out the door. He's learned not to fight too hard, because it doesn't get him far. But tonight those sweet little arms wrapped around my neck and he tucked his little head into my ear.


I broke my rule: I lifted him out of his crib and sat down with him for a 2nd bedtime. Usually during our bedtime snuggle, he chats with me in his limited vocabulary, recounting the day. "Truck", telling me about the trucks he saw on the highway. Or "De-da" if he's seen N's dad that day. "Ou'side" if he's played outside that day. Tonight he didn't talk. He didn't act tired either. He just laid in my arms, holding his Momo's tight and staring at my face. His eyes slowly blinking, but not breaking my gaze. It was sooo wonderful! Suddenly I thought of that scripture in Ecclesiastes:

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

As my son laid in my arms for another few minutes, and as we continued to just watch each other, I was so overwhelmed with a feeling of gratefulness. I knew that my window of opportunity to have quiet bedtimes like this were closing in on me. I don't mean to be melodramatic, but I know that if I'm not very careful, I can be so focused on the rules of bedtime (or any other situation) that I could lose out on opportunities to love on and bond with my sweet firstborn. 17 years from now, I don't want to see my son pulling out of my driveway on his way to college, regretting not taking advantage of more chances to be with him.

I ran my fingers through his soft baby hair. Someday it wouldn't be soft baby hair. It'll be coarse grown up hair. I brushed his tender cheek with the back of my hand. Someday it won't be so tender and soft. It'll be gruffed with grizzle from a 5 o'clock shadow. I hope when that season arrives, I will remember that I did my best to take advantage of THIS season while it was here: being a boy momma to a toddler.

Thank you Lord for giving me these precious moments. Thank you for giving me the wisdom to see that my season as a Momma to a toddler is fleeting. Thank you for reminding me to take full advantage of my son's tiny little life and all the silliness, joys, and challenges that come with it. And that occasionally ignoring the pile of dirty dishes or the bedtime rules does not make me a bad mother, but makes me a mother that is taking advantage of the gift You've given her. Thank you for giving us our sweet nephews, Cade and Cooper, that are a foreshadowing of what good parenting can do. Please forgive me for those moments where my patience is thin and my fuse is short. I pray that you please continue parenting me the way you want me to parent this little boy and his coming little brother. Thank you for being so patient and loving and consistent. Because one without the other two really don't have the same impact.


Flakymn said...

What a great post ...

Team Davis said...

*sniff* I often have the same thoughts if Eli cries at bed time (which is unusual.) I can't even imagine that he will EVER have a 5 o'clock shadow! Ugh...don't want him to grow up!!

Anonymous said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful to take advantage of life's sweet moments.

My boys are almost 11 and 9. My oldest's hair is coarse already. Changes are happening to his body and I'm not ready for it. My younger son is still so sweet and loving (as is my older one too). I rub their jaw/cheeks and try to store that memory away for when they have beards grown in.

Though I dread the teenaged years, they also will bring great joys.

Thanks for sharing.

Luke, Kristen and Pierce said...

This was beautiful. I'm going to hug my baby right now.

*sniff* *sob* and repeat.

Stacy said...

What a beautiful post!

Pandamonium said...

I completely agree and have those moments myself when you think you shouldn't hold on, pick them up, and rock them this long, but darn it...they are only this little once! I'm glad you had your second bedtime. :)