On Growing

It caught me by surprise today, sort of like the way you walk unobservantly by a tree every day until one day its blooms stop you dead in your tracks, in awe of the wondrous flowers that have burst forth, shocking you into awareness with their very existence.  I was shocked into awareness today, but not by flowers.

Gabe is growing up.

Tahd came home last night, just before the wee hours of the morning dawned.  Gabe, tucked fast asleep inside our cozy bed, was oblivious to his return until this morning, when he popped awake like a jack-in-the-box, ready to START THE DAY!!! with mad energy – energy that came, I’m sure, from his excitement over the fact that his dad was laying beside him.

Today was a regular day, with dental appointments and school and errands and cleaning, all made better by the fact that Daddy was here, at least for a few days.  As such, Tahd found himself with a little shadow as Gabe tagged along behind him for his various chores – in the kitchen, in the dining room, up the stairs, down the stairs.  As Gabe came up from the basement ahead of Tahd, he tripped on the top step and slipped down a few on his shins.

A yelp and big tears tore at my mama heart and I rushed to the stairs to scoop up my baby.

And then? It happened.

I felt it – this giant human, this heavy person who was once my baby.  I could hardly lift him up. Now, I know things have changed a little bit around here; what were once arms of (moderate) 😉  muscle and strength have become a little more soft and gentle.  But to be practically unable to pick him up?  Caught me by surprise.  And it reminded me… at some point,  I will have picked him up for the very last time because I simply won’t be able to pick him up anymore.  When will that be?  Was it tonight?  Certainly not – I’ll at least be sure to pick him up again tomorrow, just because I can.  But it’s coming, and I guess it’s not so far off.

A little later, I saw this…

Tahd had fallen asleep on the couch, and Gabe had found his way into the crook of Tahd’s arm.  And there he stayed for the next 30 minutes while Tahd slept and Gabe watched Garfield.  And once again, all was right in my world.  My days of lifting and carrying my “baby” may be numbered, but doesn’t this look like a little piece of heaven?

I’ll take it.

So many times in life, I’ve lost what I thought of as the good, the beautiful, the lovely – the things that strengthen my heart and make me smile.  It’s scary to look ahead and know that loss is inevitable. When I look ahead and can only see the loss, sometimes it paralyzes me. But time and time again I’m reminded that loosening our grip on what we currently possess frees us to embrace the new and the good, which sometimes turn out to be the new and the better.

What it has never been? The new and the awful. It might have begun as new and difficult or even new and gut-wrenching, but it has always worked its way into new and very, very precious.  I have to remember this while I watch Gabe grow. The breathtaking days of babyhood give way to the charming days of toddlerhood, give way to the intrepid days of preschool, give way to the precious days of youth…  We miss the familiarity and grace of the days we leave behind, but we’re greeted by blessing that’s not always apparent until we fully let go and embrace the new day, the new stage, the new way.

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Comments

  1. It’s always hard to think of losing something. Losing the babyhood. Losing all that comes with it. It can be so hard to imagine all the good that is still to come, but it is! Hold on to those moments, but remember that there is still so much to experience with these little beings. (At least that is what I am going to have to keep reminding myself.)
    Brenna´s last blog post ..June Fifteen Reusable Shopping Bag Giveaway!

  2. I agree with Brenna; although the end to one path comes, more paths open up.

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