This week Little Man started Mother’s Morning Out and the first day was a complete waste of mascara! Of course, I insisted on being the one to drop him off for his first day….. thankfully my husband insisted on tagging along. All the while torn about whether I was doing the right thing starting him at 2 or if I should run him back to the car and save this challenge for another day…. like when he’s 3. As I walked him toward that preschool room, it would have been easier if someone would have just ripped my beating heart out of my chest. Just to get all the “right” things to say out of the way…. 1. I know its good for him 2. I know he needs socialization 3. I know they have to grow up some time. Am I missing anything? Well none of those things helped me this morning as I was a blubering embarassment at his preschool class and my husband looked at his usually unemotional wife like I had 3 heads. Now when I say that I cried, I don’t mean I teared up. I mean by the time I got to the car I had the “crying jerks” if you know what I mean. I am usually a very level headed and practical person…I am an attorney for goodness sake, I can rationalize and think logically through anything, I paid a lot of money for this skill. So why was I brought to the verge of needing to be medicated by a 23 lb blue eyed cutie walking into a classroom with tons of other kids?
Well I think it is because motherhood is the cruelest double edged sword in the world. It is our job to raise these little boys into men. I take very seriously my job to make my son a good man, husband and father one day. I want to him to be strong, independant, compassionate, kind and so many other things. I am constantly haunted by the man I want to help him to become. That’s not to say that I don’t want him to be his own person. I more mean I don’t want to stand in the way of what he can be and mess it all up because I don’t raise him properly or he doesn’t get the proper amount of rest or veggies. I am charged by Proverbs 22:6, “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life” (The Good News Translation – for this verse I like this version).
Independence…. a good quality in any man but what a complex word and concept. It’s something I personally cherish and would be willing to fight for…. Something my husband probably wishes I had a little less of at times. So as I drove to work I started to think about this internal battle of my heart and my brain…. perhaps it’s better described as a war between my brain and the rest of my body. My heart wants to freeze time right here, my arms want to hold on to him as tight as I can and hold him close to protect him from all there is in this world that can hurt him, my eyes want to continue to see that sweet giggly liitle boy (that still has a touch of baby in him), my ears want to hear that high pitched little sweet voice calling for “mommy” early in the morning hours forever, ahhh and my nose, my nose wants to always bury itself into his neck and smell that scent that only he has and soak it in like it’s aromatic gold.
My brain however, tells me that he needs this, that it is good. I imagine a mommy bird standing on the edge of her nest looking at how far down the ground is. She knows that a fall could be detrimental, it could hurt… or even worse. She must stand for days on the edge of that nest going back day after day thinking okay today is they day, I must teach them to fly. She knows they need to learn how to fly for she will not always be there to protect them and nurture them. They must be able to provide food for themselves, find shelter, find a mate and continue life. Their wings will keep them safe from predators and make them survivors. Learning to fly will allow them adventure and space to figure out who they want to be while exploring all this great mother earth has to offer them. She must know all these things are good and each of these are things she desires for her little birds. Yet she, she has to be the first one to push them over that edge toward the unknown danger. This takes a bravery that is unmatched by any battle or war. I could at least hold Little Man’s hand as I pushed him off his first cliff but it sure didn’t make it any easier.
In this battle my brain won despite the rest of my body pleading to stop time. So from mommy to my Little Man, “fly little bird and find your own wings, you are going to be great! My nest will always be here no matter what as you test your wings a little at the time getting braver and braver as the days go by and going a little further from my arms. I love you.”