It’s hard to admit how often I’ve dismissed “play time” with my boys because of something else I’ve chosen over them. I know it was a good exercise, for them to wait patiently for me to play. It helps them realize they can’t be the center of attention all the time. They must learn to wait their turn while a task is being completed and that not everyone will jump upon immediate request of affection. But that doesn’t help me feel better about the years I’ve missed in exchange for meaningless tasks. Deep Sigh.
Well – lesson learned. I have since grown to fully understand how it feels. I see my kids with their phones, video games, bike riding, friend visiting – and the tables are slowly turning. I find myself wanting to spend time with them and THEY are suddenly becoming “busy”…. oh….do you hear that? It’s the sound of this mom’s heart tearing. Which, I know, like any muscle…tears are only indicative of strength after healing. Still bitter sweet knowing they are exercising their rite of passage to independence. On one hand I feel confident I’m doing something right. I haven’t made them feel like they can’t do life without me. They venture from home for a bit, then come back and hug and hang with me. They appear well rounded and well adjusted.
Time is officially working against me though. I find myself fighting back. Offering to do things for them they can do themselves hoping to show them love because we don’t hug all the time anymore, they don’t sit on my lap, or cling me to death… Well – let’s just play the Enabler card now, shall we? I have created an inner battle around my role in the family. Confused about how to nurture without enabling and how to instill responsibility without abandonment. I’m rearing men…not baby boys. Because, let’s face it…a grown man still attached to his mommy is in NO way attractive. So, I’m putting my big girl panties on, (pretty ones…of course, so not to lose my femininity in a house full of guys)… and keeping my expectations high of their level of involvement in this family. And I know deep down it will pay off…but I will still long for the days of true tender love, bonding, and innocence of holding my babies as they sleep since they are long gone. As they should be, because how awkward to hold my 145 lb 13 year old as he sleeps, inevitably drooling on me as I suffocate. No thanks.
Lord, thank you for the time I have with my children. I struggle fiercely to hold on loosely as they grow into men that follow you, not me, thankfully. Please watch over them when I can’t. Mainly because I fear I would not be able to act responsibly if someone were to harm them. Deep breathing as I place them in your loving and protective hands. All my love for your forgiveness of my daily blunders. In your name I pray for so many…