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Now before you go on thinking this is going to be a sob story about the woes of having a 14-year-old in the throes of adolescence, take a deep breath. It’s not. Well, maybe it is, but not in the way you’re thinking.
Yesterday our internet was down… again. It’s been happening a lot lately and has been super annoying. Don’t the people know that we need the internet like we need air?
The first few times it went out I was mad because I really do have things to do and only the internet can help me do those things. Like catch up on Facebook. Or hit that online sale. Or… really waste my time in other ways that disguise themselves as being productive. (It’s a problem, I know. But cleaning the bathrooms and folding laundry just aren’t as appealing 😛 ).
But this time something was different. Maybe it was because the sun was out and it was warm and I had just had the privilege of going on a field trip to the beach with our first grader and was finally feeling a little rested. Whatever it was, I started to look at the internet outage from a different perspective, like maybe an opportunity to get things done or to pause and look at life differently. Because yesterday, as I was on hold with our provider I experienced something that could only be called a divine mothering moment.
I know, I know, being a mother to a 14-year-old teenager that is obsessed with gaming and creating YouTube channels with his friends and making videos while arguing with his parents about all of the time spent doing the above doesn’t sound divine. But there are moments, and yesterday afternoon I had one.
Because of the internet outage (our 3rd in 3 weeks) I called our provider, which meant I would spend a lot of time on hold. So there I was, sitting on the back porch in the unseasonably, delightfully warm sunshine with an attitude of frustration. The hold music was staticky, but semi-soothing (smart move, Frontier). Then it happened.
My oldest boy came outside and meandered over to our raspberry bush. Because of the recent warm spells the bush has had an early bloom and we’ve already harvested some delicious sun-sweetened raspberries. (YAY!)
I started watching him, reaching his long arms over the tallest parts of the bushes and grabbing the berries and popping them in his mouth, totally unaware of his mom staring at him.
A few seconds in I had a flashback that just about killed my heart in that “Are you serious, this boy is my baby” kind of way.
I saw this little boy…
… in this young man.
*Cue all the emotions*
I sat there watching my man-child and the tears started flowing, one-by-one.
Watching him pop raspberries in his mouth just like he did when he was 3.
Back when he was certain he was Thomas the Train.
When he would crawl around on the ground rescuing Roly Poly bugs from imminent doom and collecting them in jars, naming each one.
When he would sit in the back seat of our van singing quietly to himself, “You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name… You are amazing God!”
That same little boy is now 5’8″ and has a size 11 shoe. Bigger than his dad’s.
That same precious blond boy who talked with a lisp and fumbled over his “R’s”now sounds like he’s 32 when he answers the phone.
The same one who now sits shotgun in the car but refuses to sing because it’s too embarrassing.
He’s still my little boy. And he still has so much to learn before he’s off on his own four years from now. There are so many things I want to teach him and speak into his heart.
For all the times the sweet old ladies would tell me “Enjoy every moment, dear, the years go by so fast” and I wanted to snap back, “BUT DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW HARD THIS IS?! I HOPE they go by fast because I’m drowning here!!!”, for all those times, I now wish I had a few more moments to snap up memories of my little boy.
So there I sat, phone to my ear, staticky music in the background and my own real-life memory montage flashing before my eyes. It was a gift; a Divine gift that reminded me that the days are indeed so very long, but the years are short. I can choose to plow through them, just trying to get to the other side, OR I can slow down and savor the moments, especially the precious ones.
This life we live is so full of distractions. When I am old and grey I want to make sure that the memories I have are filled with things that matter, like my wonderful children who make me cry, sometimes intentionally, other times just because they’re wonderful.
The 14-year-old boy looked at me with a goofy, raspberry-seed covered, teenaged grin and said, “Mom, what are you looking at?”
“You, Bubba. I love you.”