Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Please stay, mom."

Things have been so busy the past few weeks.  I'm just amazed that it is already nearly June and school is going to be out for the year!  This has been a precious year for my two boys- Josh has been in a half day Kindergarten program at our local Waldorf school where he has been playing and learning in other ways.  He hasn't learned to read and I'm happy about that.  He has learned to jump rope, cross the monkey bars forward and backward, climb trees, set the table, and retell a story.  His vocabulary has expanded and his love of school is palpable.  My older son moved to the school in October.  It was a more challenging transition for him, but he has really blossomed in this class.  He has found his artistic side and really enjoys all of the outside playtime they get.  He has taken more responsibility for himself and his projects.  I'm very proud of both of them!

This weekend was a big deal at our house.  My husband took both the boys camping with the Cub Scouts and both of my boys have "crossed over" to a new status in scouts.  My older son became a Boy Scout yesterday, after earning his Arrow of Light.  And Josh, who will be in first grade next year, crossed over into Cub Scouts as a Tiger.  I came to watch the ceremony after I spent the morning doing a workshop, so I hadn't seen them since the previous afternoon. 

Pride welled up as I watched my boys both take their steps across the bridge.  How did this all happen?  How did they both get so big?  How is it possible that my babies are, well, no longer babies?  It has been quite a journey for us and I really feel like I was graduating, too.  This is a new phase of life.

The park was closing at 8PM, so I was planning to leave before that happened.  I bent over to each of my boys to let them know that I was heading out.  I wasn't planning to spend the night and thought I should go before I was locked in!  My 6 year old kissed me goodbye and skipped off to play.  My 11 year old stopped me and said, "Don't go.  Please stay, mom."

I thought about the gate and the long list of things I still needed to get done that night, including some time to just spend by myself relaxing after my day of working.  I was really looking forward to some down time.  But he was asking me to stay.  How long was that going to go on in his life?  How many times in the future was that going to happen?  I can't say, but I just know that it was happening now.  And it was really special. 

I started working on how I would be able to leave the park and asked a little more about how long he wanted me to stay.  I was working it out and feeling good about it.  A few minutes later, he came up and said, "It's OK if you have to go."  I asked if he wanted me to stay and he said, "Yes."  I looked him in the eyes and said, "Zack, if you want me to stay, then there is no other place more important for me to be.  I would love to stay."

I could see him visibly relax.  This is true.  There is nothing more important than being with him now.  Everything else can wait.  And it did.  True, it was more work to leave later.  I had trouble with the locked gate, but even as I worked to figure it out, I was so glad that I had taken the time to just be with him.  There is nothing more important than relationship.  Nothing. 

There will always be a to do list.  There will always be something else that can distract us or take us out of the present moment.  But these times with our children are precious and we can never turn back the hands of time.  Seize the moment and connect.  Let your children know they are as special as they really are through your actions, not just your words. 


Annie said...

And those requests are so rare and precious when they are 11!

I have a wonderfully affectionate and loving 11-year-old, too. There have been a couple of nights when I've not gotten in to read and cuddle before he went to sleep...I regret each one of them...

Rebecca Thompson, M.S., MFT said...

I'm sure that you let him know that you wish you could be there when you can't (or you've missed a time). That's going to happen. I think it is just as powerful to let them know that we're sad when we miss one of those times, too. They need to hear that from us!

Sounds like he is lucky to have you for his mama!!

Sarah said...

That is excellent advice Rebecca.