Yesterday at church I was talking to a couple of girlfriends and the subject of talking to our teenage/college boys came up. One was expressing her amazement that her son actually wanted to be included in an old family tradition of seeing CHRISTmas lights, which he had completely lost interest in a few years ago. It was heartwarming to hear how much that little act of seeing lights and having dinner afterwards meant to her and how it was the best present he could have ever given her.
As parents, we go through all the stages of life with our children, but the beginning stages of the pulling away are always the hardest.
It's a natural thing for our children to want to figure things out for themselves, and it's also natural for them to come back after realizing they actually don't have it all figured out. We as parents, love the second one. A lot.
Last night we didn't get our usual Sunday night hang out like normal. It was a little different. My oldest son spent most of the evening writing & studying for finals this week. He was holed up in his room pounding away on his computer. I peeked in to give him a kiss at bedtime and checked with him about his schedule this week, and when we could possibly all get together for dinner and CHRISTmas shopping. Between college and his job, I try really hard to capitalize on when he can be home with us and plan to have dinner together. A sit down, face to face dinner. And the kids have this tradition of a night of shopping, buying presents for each other, which is the highlight of CHRISTmas for me. I love the thought they put into buying the perfect gift for each other and the time we get to spend laughing and trying to keep secrets till CHRISTmas Eve.
This morning, I was reminded of my conversation at church and it helped me to realize the opportunities that are awarded to me, and to cherish those whenever they arise.
I was enjoying my early morning routine of coffee & reading the newspaper when my son came into the kitchen for breakfast. I asked how his night of studying went, we made small talk about funny You tube videos, and I laughed till my belly hurt watching the top 10 videos of some guys gagging after eating disgusting things. It was gross and hilarious, but heartwarming at the same time. I love hearing him laugh.
Afterwards, he was busy getting ready for school and packing his work uniform. Today was one of those long days where I wouldn't see him again unless I could extend my energy and caffeine to keep me up till almost midnight, because he had to go straight to work after school and would be there till close.
He had all his stuff ready to go and he paused.
And that pause lead to a question.
He asked, "Do you want to help me study?".
And I immediately and quickly responded with, "Sure!!".
Then, while I sat and watched him open his bookbag and get out several pages of notes, I was thinking of all the stuff I had to do today, all the things on my list, and wondering how was I going to finish them in time? I was reminded that my time with my son is limited. Very limited. He is getting older and will go off to another college way too soon for this momma, so I will take whatever time I have with him, and I will cherish it.
I spent my morning in the throes of biology, not knowing half of what I was saying nor being able to pronounce any of it correctly. All while listening to answers I have no earthly idea if they were even correct. But I know every curve of his face, every wrinkle in his nose, and every deep brown speck in his eyes. I just stared at him while he spoke of some language of microbes, archaea, bacteria & viruses and I LOVED Every. Single. Second.
Now I sit here bawling my eyes out seeing my son walk out the door with his uniform in hand, his bookbag on his shoulder, and my heart forever his. He is off to class, his job, and becoming a man. But he took time to pause today and include me in his ever-busy world and I will forever remember my lesson in biology and the sweet dimple in his cheek.