Sunday, November 10, 2013

Little Man

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said,
Suffer little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
Luke 18:16
(KJV)

I was trying to remember who started calling Zachary "Little Man" first.
Was it Kevin?
Or Mom?
I know it was one of them.
I can't remember which.
I just know they have both lovingly called him that for as long as I can remember.

I sat with Debbie & Mark today, 
watching Zach and his Uncle LD carry out one of their favorite traditions.
Whenever we eat together at Taco Bell, 
the two of them take a walk to the Cook Out across the street to get a milkshake,
after they are finished eating.

"He's almost there", I thought, as they walked side by side out the door,
and I checked to see if Zach had yet reached LD's height.

Being a former professional wrestler,
LD always teases Zach and tells him when he gets to be as tall as him,
he will use one of his wrestling moves on him.
Zach is terrified!

He is almost there.

It hit me, as I sat there watching them, that our little man is growing up very quickly....
and is not so little anymore.

Zach will soon be a teenager.
A teenager.
Can you imagine?
How can this be?
Where's the little bundle they placed in my arms....
just yesterday?
How did this happen....so quickly?

I mean, really....did I fall asleep and miss something?

Where is this little boy?

And who is the big boy who stood by my side at Mom's grave the other day
and let me cry on his shoulder?

Shouldn't he be crying on mine?
When did we reverse that role?
How did he get so tall?

I miss picking him up and holding him in my arms.
I miss rocking him to sleep.
I still make him come and sit on the arm of my favorite rocker/recliner
every now and then...just so the two of us can sit there together.
It is becoming harder to make that happen.
He usually won't stay there long.
It's just too uncomfortable now.

The other day, I was all teary-eyed talking about how big he's getting,
and he turned to look at me.
"Mama, I will always look up to you...
even when I am bigger than you."

Whew!
He always knows just what to say...
to break my heart in two.

"Oh, Zach!", 
I managed to mumble through flowing tears.

"It's true, Mama.  I will.
Don't be sad.
I'm just growing up."

"One thing for sure, little man.
No matter how old you get,
you'll always be my baby."

"Oh, Mama!" he laughed, as he walked away.

I'll always remember those baby days.

All of the little things he used to say and do.

I guess I'll never stop yearning for those sweet, new-to-motherhood days...now and then.

Those long, summer days when I would feel a sense of comfort
thinking about how it would still be four years, 
then three, 
then two, 
then one....
before he had to start school.
The hours we have spent on the floor in his room....
building farms with a train running through it just so,
building zoos,
playing games,
watching videos, 
and reading books together.

I still remember the feeling I had when Kevin used to hold Zach.
I'll never forget how he held him on his chest for hours
during the first night of his life while we were still in the hospital.
He didn't want to put him down.
It has always warmed the deepest part of my heart to watch the two of them together.
It still does.

The other night, I happened to look up as Kevin was holding Matthew,
walking up the walk towards the door,
and, for a moment....just the slightest moment....
I was transported back in time.
The baby in Kevin's arms was Zachary....
not Matthew.

I know....it's silly to be so sentimental.
I just wish time didn't go by so fast!
We wait so long for them to get here,
then the baby days go by like such a blur.

Now, Zach is big enough to hold Matthew...all on his own!

Thankfully, some things have not changed.
Zach still likes to have Kevin and me around.
The activities we do together may be different, 
but the bond is still the same....
only deeper....and stronger.

I love being a Mama.
Love is an understatement.
This is what I was born...and called by God to do.
I guess I've always had a hard time understanding women 
who choose to not have a child of their very own.
After struggling for so many years with infertility,
and after longing and yearning so painfully for a child of our own,
I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around the concept 
of not wanting a child.
I just don't get it.
Because I can't help believing that hidden deep within the heart of every woman God creates
there is an innate, deep-seated need to aid Him in the miracle of bearing children.
I realize, due to many circumstances, it isn't always even a possibility.
But, the desire is still there...right?

Loving a child fulfills a woman's composition.
God doesn't always choose to allow a woman to bear children of her own.
Sometimes, He places other little ones in our lives who aren't our own...
but who need a mother's love....just the same.

Women are tender-hearted creatures...
created by a loving God with a driving need to love and nurture.
How blessed by God we are when He places these little lives into our hands and homes..
and lives....
to pour that love and nurturing into!

The other day I watched Zach and Austin playing
on the big rug in the middle of Mom and Dad Smith's floor.
I ran and got the video camera, turned it on, and just let it record...
I just wanted to record those moments as they played there, oblivious to being watched.

Memories flooded my mind of all of the years they have played on that big rug.

Played while the family visited around them.
Played when they thought no one was paying attention.
Played ring-around-the-rosey and all those childhood games.

I cherish the times I have sat with them on the floor...on that rug....
while we did crafts together or sometimes just acted plain silly.

I never regret those kinds of moments.

They've graduated from those ring-around-the-rosey days.
Today, it's more like action figure battles and police-chase battles
and push-ups and muscle-building exercises....there on the floor....on that rug.

I'm glad they still play.
I dread the day they decide they are above that.
Maybe they never will.
After all, we're in our 40's and still feel and act like kids. :)
Just one of the many, bountiful benefits and blessings of having them....
you get to enjoy childhood all over again.

Our little man isn't so little these days.
How I thank God for every second God allows us to spend raising
this sweet boy together.
The phases of childhood come and they go...
it's all a part of life.
We are powerless to change anything or make time stand still....
or go any slower.

The only thing we can do is "redeem the time".....
make the very most of every moment of life.

Little men become big men....
but we mamas and daddies love them always...
just the same.

6 comments:

  1. What a precious post about your boys, and I am sure they will always love you and let you cry on their shoulders :) What fun and what great memories! Love the photos of them.
    Have very blessed week, sweet friend :)

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    1. Oh, dear friend, you touched my heart so much today! Thank you ever so much for stopping by and your kind, gentle words. I trust the Lord will bless you richly for the dear encouragement you consistently are to me. Love, Cheryl

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  2. Hi Cheryl. Goodness, the whole time I was reading this I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. What precious moments to remember. Thank you for sharing them with us. You are just the kind of friend I would have enjoyed raising my kids with, having coffee as we watched them play, or playing with them. Love, Deborah

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    1. My precious friend! Thank you so much for your sweet words. Wouldn't that have been a blessing? To have you near and close as we would share those moments. Thank God we can share them here, and even though we are not face to face, we are kindred spirits in the Lord's presence! You are so dear to me. Thank you for coming by here today. Love, Cheryl

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  3. Boy, can I ever relate! They grow up all too quickly & it's hard on us mommas. Also, wanted to say how much I appreciated the kind comment you left on my blog. It touched my heart. And lastly, I LOVE your header photo w/the barn & quilt. Simply beautiful. Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Angela! So glad you stopped by and left such sweet encouragement behind! I am so happy to have "met" you today! God is good! Love, Cheryl

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