“The days are long, but the years are short.”
There are days that seem to never end. They seem to go on and on with no end in sight and no sign of a stopping place. Between endless demands that make us feel like we are inadequate at best and our own insecurities, we moms often feel like time is crawling by but passing so quickly that we can’t catch up.
But tonight was a moment. A moment to that made me stop and think. A moment to catch my breath and realize that this…..this is what life is about.
I recently took a second job to help pay off a bill that has been hanging over my head for far too long. I don’t really want to sacrifice time away from my family, but I know that in the long run, it will be more beneficial to us, and it’s only one or two days a month.
So, I worked today, and I didn’t get home until late. Much later than normal.
I quietly opened the door, and crept in. I knew everyone would be asleep by now, so I was trying really hard not to wake them. When you have 4 kids, this can be an acrobatic endeavor.
As I turned down the hallway, I heard a small voice say, “You broke your promise.” I stuck my head in my little boy’s room, and said, “Hey, bub. What are you doing still up?” He said, “You broke your promise. You promised you wouldn’t stay out late again.” (I did tell him that the last time I worked late.)
I saw the worry on this little face…the little bags under his eyes where he had fought so hard to stay awake. I saw the quiver of his little 7 year old chin that is starting to shape into a big boy with his new front teeth, one hanging lower that the other. I see my baby boy, but I also see the little man that he is so quickly becoming, right before my eyes.
This was one of those moments.
These moments weave into one another until a beautiful tapestry is created. Our tapestry. The one we will look back on one day and realize that even though many of the days bleed into years, sometimes becoming a vague, hazy memory, we also have moments in time that stop us in our tracks. In these moments, we burn an image into our mind that will be with us forever.
Tonight, this image is you. My little boy of only 7 short years. Swollen eyes, quivering lip, small voice. Your only care in the world is your Mama getting home safely.
I could have dismissed you as being silly, and sent you to bed. But tonight I listened to your little voice, I heard your worry, and I kissed it all away. I tucked you in tight, and you drifted off easily. All was OK in your little world.
Then, I thought….I thought about how all too soon these tides will change. It will be me who is waiting up for you. I will be waiting for you to get home from a job of your own…or a night out with friends….or a date.
I will be the one with swollen eyes and a quivering chin, praying for safety as the night goes longer. Not being able to sleep until all is right in my world again, and I know you are safe.
And I hope you understand.
I hope you are patient, and I hope you remember waiting up on your Mama.
I hope you know how much I love you and how much you mean to me.
And I hope these days are far, far away.
In the meantime, I will keep cherishing our moments. I will keep pushing through the day-to-day, grasping at these memories that will linger once the time is gone. I will keep you close to me. I will kiss your cheeks, wipe your tears, and calm your heart.
And I hope that one day, maybe you can do the same for me.