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Friday, February 25, 2011

Life Gives and Takes Away

I spent the day at the mall yesterday with my boys. My 16 year old son Christian, had a driving lesson and the place that he took the lesson is located inside the mall. While Christian was out learning how to parallel park and do three point turns, I spent my time reading at the Barnes and Noble in the mall. The second I walked in the store my heart began to skip a beat and I started skipping too. Literally! My 13 year old son Dominic, was very embarrassed and walked away to the magazine section of the store with his cousins. I worked my way around the store alone and did all my usual rounds, journals, cookbooks, Christian books, stationary.... I did not purchase anything, but boy was it fun browsing. After 45 minutes had passed my son text me that his lesson was over, we met up and soon enough were out the door heading home.

Life just flies right by. In the blink of an eye my little baby boy has become a young man learning how to drive. By April he will have his license and be driving. I have his appointment all scheduled with DMV for his road test. If he passes my son will be driving a car on his own in April. It was only yesterday he was driving a fake steering wheel from the backseat of my car as he sat in his car seat. How could time have flown by so fast? Where did all of that time go? If only I could bottle him up as a little baby and keep him that way, safe and hidden inside the pocket of my heart. But, the truth is life just flashes by and our kids grow up and become independent. I wish I could capture them as they are in this picture that you see here. They were tiny little men that needed mom for everything. Now they are big growing young men that try not to need me at all. They walk away from me in stores because they are embarrassed of me. Or they go somewhere else entirely to learn something like driving, while I sit alone and wait for them to return to me.

Life... we get our chance with life and then life takes it's chances on us. All we have to do is decide what chances we will take, and what chances we will allow life to take on us, with the time we have been given. Chances to love and capture love. Chances to come undone and be vulnerable. Chances to pull back and reserve. Chances to let go or hold on. Then life fires back, it comes round and fires back. It gives, then takes away. It holds us and then let's us go.

People have told me my whole life that "change is good." But, what this really means is that something I did not want to happen has happened to me. I do not want my kids to grow up, become independent of me, and move away to live their own separate lives from me. I want them still clinging to my leg, holding on to me, never letting me go. But, life is moving. Faster then I want it to sometimes, and I have to let go and enjoy the ride. Find some joy in the letting go process, in the taking away process. For everything in life that is taken away, something is added back to us. So today, on this snowy February day in the Northeast, I hold onto the memories of my little men, and I release them into the life that I now press onward into. Knowing that through this release something more beautiful and lovely awaits me as my little men become big men.

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1


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