Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mother's Days & My Selfish Ways


I hate that time.  As an admitted and proclaimed early morning riser, I have an unwritten 5:00am rule: 5am or after, get up and start the coffee. Anything earlier than 5am, get your butt back in bed young lady.

But the dog barked. And the husband snored. So the mama got up.

I opened the front door for her and then parked myself in my spot. The spot on the stairs where I wait for her to finish doin' what she's gotta do (which just happens to be more and more frequent as the years go by.......I can relate my furry friend).

Out of nowhere. Tears. A flood. And a heart that seemed to sting that kind of "ketchup in the cut" sting. Ouch.
From my perch I glanced down the stairs and saw the college boy's room. Empty.  And although it's been empty for a few years now as each school year passed......this year, even summer would miss his infectious smile. And dirty socks.

I turn my head and look down the hall.  One of those bedrooms sits empty this early morning too. The carefree teenage girl who's away at a sleepover, quite possibly falling asleep as her mama sits on the step sobbing at 4:40am.  She reminds me frequently that she is "almost a freshman" and will "get my permit in like 7 months" and "Can you believe I graduate in like four years Mom?"

Even the last of the crew. The one who I never deep down really expected to arrive.  He'll be waking up soon, I just know it.  He finds his way to Mama in her Jesus chair and nestles snugly into the place between the two arms....mine and the chair's. Not to mention the arms of his savior.  He wakes each morning with an excitement and vigor and zest for life.  "Mama, mama! In ten more days I get to graduate!"  Kindergarten graduation.  Another cap and gown. Another set of tears. Through watery eyes I can't help but giggle a bit as the song "Another One Bites the Dust" quickly plays out in my mind. On cassette of course.

These are my babies. I am their mama.
And I have to ask myself sitting on the steps in the wee of morning if some of those tears are selfish tears.  
Of course they are.

As they get older, I get older.  Now don't misunderstand, I love this age. Big time. When I write on your Facebook wall "40s rule" and "40s rock" and "Welcome to the Best Decade" as you join the club, believe me when I say........I mean it. I have found freedom and tasted victory and discovered true life while here and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 
There is something about the time that has passed away. Sometimes I feel as if it was time lost. Time not well spent. Time wasted.
And some of it was. It may pierce the flesh to admit it, but remember what I said about that 40s freedom?

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 

Psalm 90:12

Teach us.  
Two words that usher in grace.  Two words that indicate this isn't something that I was born knowing......but rather something I needed to learn.
A 44 year old student?
Why not.
I'm game.
I'm actually more open to learning and growing now than ever before. (see again the 40s clause)

"Where has the time gone?"

"How did they grow up so fast?"

"Could someone slow down time please?"

Heard these?  
Don't lie, you've done more than hear them, you've said them.
All of us mamas have.  I think it's in the handbook under "What to Say when Your Children become Taller than You, and Start to Drive, and Hit their First Home Run, and Lose their First Tooth, and Dance their First Recital, and Graduate Kindergarten". 

I realize as I say those words how selfish a mama can be.  Allow me to go first....

While I mourn the loss of a college son's empty bedroom, there's a mama out there mourning a much deeper loss.
While I weep at the thought of a teenage daughter's catapult into high school, there's a mama out there who would rejoice at the opportunity to witness the jump.

While I sob as the youngest prepares to walk down the Kindergarten aisle of pride, there's a mama out there who never had the chance to tilt the paper cap and wipe the Oreo crumbs away.
While I feel sorry for myself and all the things I must Goodbye to.........there's a mama out there who never got to say Hello.

Lord, teach me to number my days.  Not to wish them away or pray they'll stand still.  Not to squander the minutes while missing the moments.  The small moments.  The really small moments.  Not the ones captured for social media display, but the ones only the heart can snapshot. The skinned knee that only my kiss could heal.  The last-minute suppers around the little breakfast counter.  The "bust-out" family laughs that only we understand. The bad dreams that cause them to run to us.  The big dreams they choose to share with us.

Twenty one years ago I was due with the first of what would eventually be three.
May 8, 1994.
Mother's Day.

Thank you God for real live blessings.  

Forever His,

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