Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Notes at the end of raising a son

I have two grown children.

I feel like someone else must have typed that sentence. I'm filled with strangeness and questions.

Where has it all gone? Where is the boy child who nursed so long at my breast? Where is the little one who used to fall asleep facing me each night with a tiny hand pressed to either of my cheeks? Where is that scoundrel child who at barely two years of age unlocked a garden gate, crawled beneath barbed-wire fences, and crossed a pasture with horses looming over him in order to jump on the neighbor's trampoline? Where is my three-year-old so distressed by the change in his parent's marriage that he ran away and hid beneath the computers in the public library when my back was turned so that I spent half an hour frantic that I'd lost him? What happened to the darling bespectacled boy who was delighted by dinosaurs and all things Tolkien at four? Did he even go to kindergarten? I forget. And where is the little artist who chalked magnificent evening landscapes at six, and won drawing contests until he decided the competition wasn't for him? Where is my sullen, angry boy, hurt by injustice and turbulence at seven, eight, and nine, who prayed for a brother each night? What happened to the child who felt the world through the eyes of a frightened animal, so that he couldn't eat meat beyond his tenth birthday? How many dance steps for freedom and joy in those eleven and twelve-year-old feet? Wherein were the emerging gymnastic spring and natural head over heel spin? Why in my memory can I only barely recall the years he fumbled with clarinet and finally took up the skateboard? How now the images he pens? From what source does his music now rise, the insight in his thoughts, and the moments his tempestuous spirit finds occasioned calm? From where his maturity, his willing service and kindness? 

I've lost the years we spent searching for snowy geese in the Snake River wetlands and owls in the forests of Targhee. I'm missing the nights I spent holding him to my heart to hush the over-active imagination fueling his terror-filled dreams. I can't remember the last time I cradled him as less than anything fully grown against my neck. 

The Lord has given me a Man.

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