Thursday, October 15, 2009
Eight Is Great, But I’m Not So Good
Chandler turned eight today, with much fanfare and celebration, smiling from the moment he awakened, embracing with innocent awe the fantastic realization that he was a whole year older. Tall and lanky, kind-hearted and so loving, this middle child of mine has grown up faster than any reasonable calendar should allow.
Cherish your time because it goes by so fast, advice relayed to me repeatedly over the years from the wise, seasoned moms who have gone before me. Remember these days because they will soon pass by; counsel I eagerly acknowledged as though somehow my acceptance would make the timeframe with my children the rare exception.
“What?” he always asks me, when feeling the heaviness of my stare, not knowing that I am trying to commit his boyish face to memory because history would suggest that when I blink it changes. I watch him and want to remember the lopsided grin, the cheerful expression, and the eyes filled with so much affection.
“Did you need something?” he inquires, puzzled by the intensity of my gaze. I want to ask forgiveness for my rudeness, explaining in detail the desperation to imprint his sweet face in a safe place that promises not to fail me when I want to recall. “No, I just love you,” I will say instead, knowing there are not enough sane words to make him understand.
I believed them when they said it would go by too fast. I wholeheartedly responded when told to cherish and remember. I have been present, and intentional, and in the moment on all occasions, yet still the days rush by, leaving only a hazy memory in its wake, despite an exceptional willingness to comply with advice given not to forget.
So I continue to stare at him – at them – and memorize, all the while supporting and participating in the enthusiasm of yet another year and milestone. For Chandler - this momentous and very joyous day - turning eight is so great.
But the truth is, I’m not so good.