As the mother of a son, I’m beginning to accustom myself to looking at the back of him. He begs me to rollerblade with him. Which generally means we start out side-by-side, hand-in-hand. And invariably, he blades ahead. Normally, not too far ahead of me. But clearly in front and not beside.
The same thing happened while ice skating. It took him a few minutes to get acclimated to ice skates rather than rollerblades, and he wanted me to hold his hand. Together we would pick up some speed, and he would let go and skate away until he lost momentum. Then he would turn back to me, come, and take my hand again, and get a “little push” as he called it, and repeat the process. After awhile, I knew that he didn’t really need a “little push” but I like holding my Man-child’s hand, so I didn’t argue with him. He enjoyed reconnecting with me, and then being admired for his great skating prowess, and I enjoyed providing the adoration.
And so it is with raising a son. He is born absolutely smitten with his mommy. To a baby boy, there is just no one quite like mama! Little-by-little, he gains confidence and a small measure of independence. He begins to step farther and farther from mommy’s loving arms. But is always quick to run back to them when danger lurks. And then over time, mother realizes that she is seeing the back of her handsome boy, more than she sees his smiling face running towards her. He is a Man trapped in a little boy’s body, after all. God created him to go off into the world to forge his way, to conquer, to triumph. But mother-dear is always watching with eyes of care and a heart of love and prayers for him. Quick to respect and esteem him as he learns to engineer his own future. She discerns that this is a taste of things to come, and rests in the knowledge that God has a plan for her darling boy. Even if he charges far ahead of mama, God’s eyes will always be upon him. She takes comfort that this new vantage point is just as delightful as the old one. Only in a different way.
For now, I’m glad that my Little Man still likes to climb into my lap and snuggle with me. He still brings his new Lego creations to me, first, to be viewed and admired. My name is the one he calls when he is scared or hurt. And though I know that things will change with time, I’m happy to be right where I am. Encouraging him on.