Saturday, July 9, 2016

Into the Waves

We are first rocked to sleep in the waves.

I can remember coming home from work after a 12 hour shift. I'd get comfortable in the bed after my bath, and then he would start.

Kicking, hard, right in the ribs.

I guess that walking up and down those hallways lulled him to sleep...

Thirteen years later, I still sometimes feel like I'm being kicked in the ribs.

And then... we are born from that comfort into bright lights and cold air.

Is it any wonder that the first sign of life is that deep breathed squall?

There's the first bath...

where we're afraid to rub too hard because we may hurt their skin.

And then the kiddie pool...

where they wade in just enough to get their feet wet, and somehow we end up soaked from head to toe.

Ah, the joys of parenthood...

He's floating in Mamaw's pool, holding Mommy's hand...

and then floating in my arms, kissing me on the cheek.

And finally, I'm allowed to stay on the deck with a book in my hand, but I don't get much reading done.

Because there is infinite questioning about God and water and the clouds and the flowers and thunderstorms and pretend games.

He's just barely able to stand with his head above water...

If I close my eyes right now I can see him, at the water's edge.

He's got his water wings on, and his legs are brown as biscuits.

His front tooth had somehow gotten chipped and he can't really see, but I don't know that then.

He tiptoes up to the edge, just close enough for the sand to be wet, and then as the waves come crashing in, off he runs, trying to keep his feet dry.

Laughing, over and over...

a fun game.

I don't get too far away because he's a pretty brave boy and doesn't care to follow into the deep places.

Kind of like life...

meandering at his own pace with his own ideas and his own opinions and his own styles.

And I'm still watching him, breathless with fear, only not really afraid of him drowning anymore.

I'm afraid because this is a scary world and there's things that I can't control and I know that being a Mom I shouldn't really even try because part of them growing up is letting them face their fears.

So I sit at the water's edge and pretend to read my book while I soak up the moment...

He's got this girl.

She's a sweet girl, and I'm afraid he may be in love.

He says so, anyway.

And as I watch them in the ocean, as the waves crash against their tubes and he holds his Yeti cup of Coke up high and holds onto her hand...

I'm amazed and fearful and overwhelmed all at the same time.

He's beautiful, and so is she.

Young, with a lifetime of opportunity ahead of them.


Both fearful and fearless at the same time, a living, breathing contradiction.

And I snap a picture as the wave comes and knocks him out of the tube, and then another wave knocks her down, and I know...

Life will be like that. Take the air out of their sails. Knock them in the water, and it will cause their nose to sting. Salt burns an open wound.

I hope that I've taught him about floating... treading water... and not sinking.

I hope that I've taught him that love is an anchor, and it will hold you strong even when the waves toss you to and fro.

I hope that I've taught him that it's ok to say you're sorry and that a girl needs to know every single day how beautiful she is. I hope I've taught him to respect his elders and veterans and people who may be at a disadvantage.

He's young, yet, and sometimes I don't see those lessons manifested...

And a lot of the time I make him do things that he doesn't want to do.

A lot of the time, I struggle to breath because I'm just not sure...

And I feel like I'm drowning in motherhood a lot more than I care to admit.

But then the sun shines bright, and glistens off her blonde hair, and he gives her a hug and the waves crash around them and I'm thinking he's too young but he's too old and I'm reminded staring at the vastness of that ocean that I really have no control at all...

but He has a Father who loves him way more than me.

So when evening comes and it's picture taking time, I wade out in the water and tell him to pick me up...

because I don't want to be that Mom who just stands in the shadow.

and we laugh as we both fall in the waves...

He offers me a hand and I take it, much as I did 10 years ago as we waded back out to the sand.

I breathe it all in...

knowing His grace is sufficient and I am too, too blessed to be Caleb's Mama.

No comments:

Post a Comment