Today my sweet, smart, loveable middle son becomes a teenager!
When my boys were very small, people would tell me that “the years fly by” and I – one hand shaking a warmed bottle for baby and the other holding a flailing, tantruming toddler to my hip – would scoff, and think “are you kidding? This day just took four years and its only noon!” but guess what? The years, and time? It flies by.
And let me tell you what I have learned from parenting.. I learned that I mess up. Like, super often.
I tend to look at my well behaved, happy kids and feel relief. I feel like they got that way “in spite of” me and not “because of” me.
But, as I remind those close to me all the time – there is no condemnation in Jesus.
And so, my “middle one” is moving on to a new season of life and I am excited for it.
And although I won’t feel guilt for my past parenting mistakes, I can’t deny the fact that I have regrets (what Mama doesn’t?) and on the momentous occasion of my son’s big 1-3, I am using those regrets to fuel the making of a vow. I am sharing it on the blog in case, perhaps, a few of you may need to make this vow as well?
I vow to be more present.
I vow to focus more.
I vow to look up, look close into my son’s faces, and lock eyes.
And I vow to listen to them- not just hear and nod.
(I am crying while typing this, you guys, because I just wish…wish I were better at all these things.)
The faces of my baby boys are gone now, captured in photos and videos, but no longer visable in the here and now.
Long gone are the chubby baby hands, the lispy first words, and the days of holding them close in my lap (only one of my three sons remains slightly shorter than my own 5’3″ stature, so it would be awkward to hold them now!)
I remember those days but in a blurry, unfocused way and I know this is caused, in part, because I didn’t do a better job of being present.
(No condemnation..no condemnation..)
But I can start now – I have the days to come. I have this day .
A day to stare close at the handsome awkwardness that is my Teen Son.
To memorize the gangly arms and legs of a boy unsure of his own height as he trips over his own feet.
I can hold tight to the sound of his voice as it randomly cracks into a lower register – changing already into the voice that will someday be his “grow up guy” voice.
I can be here now, focused in and listening.
Our memories for the future will be laced with detail only to the degree with which we choose to be present today.
So, Lord Jesus, remind me…remind us.
Remind us all to stop and remember today.
Remind us that we will want to recall these next years, not as an unfocused blur but with the crystal clarity of someone who lived it, fully awake, alive and in the moment.
We have today guys – connect with the people and the life happening around you. Because..time flies by.
Holding tight to the moments and Authentically Yours,
“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Psalm 90:12