Friday, December 27, 2013

Reflections

There are times when tragedy strikes and swift action is needed. We surge forward driven by adrenaline and instinct in order to prevent, aide, or repair.

But then there are the kind which strip us of all power. We are helpless to change, prevent, aide, or repair. We can only grieve. And continue the constant march forward. There is no stopping. No pause. And the most important thing to do is simply to love. Love more. Love hard.

In the wake of such, I am drawing my children a little closer. Studying their faces longer. Extra hugs, more kisses. And more remembering.

I reflect on who I was when they were born. And who they were. Each one was so distinct in their personalities from even before they were born. They are each so incredibly powerful and rich in love, passion, and spirit!

I have been reading some of my earlier letters to them that I hope to give them when they are older. With each year I have allowed life to keep me busy enough to sort of let this drift to the wayside, but I really wish to catch up with it again. The letters take a different path with each child, as well they should. And my hope is to allow my children in the future to gain a window, a peek, at me from the past. To encourage their future selves to get acquainted with the present me. And maybe even their past selves.

Until I gift these letters to them however, I treasure re-reading them over and over myself. At the very start they were very factual, first time Zak rolled over, weights, etc. But somewhere in Zak's second year of life I found my voice. My voice to him and for my writing. I found our conversation, even though for the time being it's one-sided.

I thought that I might periodically share bits and pieces from these letters here. Perhaps it will inspire you to start your own little traditions, and future conversations with your sweet babies. Or to reinstate ones that time may have let drift. But no matter what little rituals you have, tell your babies how much you love them, hold them close, breathe them in.

***

(This was written after a particularly exhausting mid-week Bible Meeting, the majority of which I spent thwarting escape attempts, and pulling him back from the water dripping off the eves countless times, which of course rendered his pants wet and my skirt subsequently ruined after having sat him on my lap. We pick up right about here...)

An excerpt from a letter to Zak, written May 11, 2004:

...I pull you once again onto my lap and wrap you in your blanket and hand you your cup (you are already sipping from your bottle).

I actually get to hear quite a bit of the closing talk thanks to your drowsiness. You drift as you hold on to your red truck, moving it back and forth occasionally, trying to stay awake.

As the talk comes to a close, your eyes are still barely, but nonetheless, open. I transfer you to your chair and begin to pack up our meeting bag. I hand you the songbook to hold and as I am finishing up, the song number is announced. Sitting up, I see you have the songbook open. You slide off your chair once more and stand attentively in the row. The music begins and you very seriously look at your book, and then, very sweetly and ever so adorably, you begin to sing.

I sit in silent awe for just a moment watching my son, my little boy, no longer a baby, standing, singing. All on your own and without any prompting from me, you participated from your innocent little heart. I pull out the other songbook and turn to song #18, quietly, so as not to interrupt. I join you. You turn your face to me, I smile, you smile, look back at your songbook and sing some more...

I don't remember much from the closing prayer. I must confess I was distracted, holding my boy close in a hug. A boy I underestimated, thinking you don't notice the little things we do in our daily lives, just because you don't actually participate yet. Today, I realized you were just waiting for me to hand you the songbook. You know what it is for and need no instruction, for you observed, and through observation have learned so much.

...I anticipated a long evening with a tired baby. I discovered...a boy with a song.

I love you.

Love,
Mom

1 comment:

  1. We almost miss the music in our earnest prep of the stage. Children are our next production, primed to sell out the house. But they never care about the set. Only ready to start singing...they already know the song.

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