As I walked through the house tonight on my usual trek of checking and double-checking locks (thanks for this habit, Daddy), I had to move Puppy's new Cozy Coupe out of my way. Except when I saw it, I didn't see it. Instead I saw the delighted face of my sweet son, the expression he wears every time he crawls inside, shuts the door oh-so-carefully, and then begins to turn the key and spin the wheel around. In his little mind, Will is driving off to parts unknown, exploring the world and having adventures. I realize this and my heart breaks just a tiny bit.
Lord, it's going too fast. Slow it down, slow it down.
Then I remember earlier today when Will was zooming several of his cars across the landscape of my desk while I sat at my laptop. He was moving cars up and down a red ramp and must have dropped one and bent to retrieve it because I heard a sudden bump and the telltale shock-cry start up. I looked at him over the desk and our eyes met and there I saw the tearful, unspoken plea: "Mama, I'm hurt and I need you!" As quickly as I could I rounded the desk and scooped him up and rubbed his head and whispered in his ear that he was okay, it was okay, it was just a nasty bump, and Mama has a mean ole desk. I held him until he was calmed and as I began to release him, he held on tighter. I squeezed him back. And then I whispered "Mama loves you. I love you very much." And we kept squeezing and holding for another few minutes. And my heart broke just a tiny bit.
He won't always want me to hold him. These baby arms will grow and mature and change and reach for other comforts. Should I have been at my laptop? Perhaps I should have been playing with him, seizing every moment of his babyhood. I have to play with him more. Lord, it's going too fast. Slow it down, slow it down.
And earlier tonight, as I reached down to lift him from the bathtub, I could hardly register the wet weight of my big little boy. When did he get so big? I took him to his bedroom and toweled him off and we worked on learning another vocabulary word. He pointed to my elbow and said "ball," as he has done often before. I shook my head and said "No, Puppy, 'elbow.' Say it with Mama, ellll-booow." He looked up at me and said confidently, "bow." I shook my head again but this time with an encouraging smile, "Close," I said. "Look at Mama's lips: ellll-booow." He watched my lips carefully as I repeated myself, then with the sound of a question in his tone, said "ehh-bow?" YES! I shouted and clapped for him. Yes, sweet boy, yes. You learned a word. You're learning this beautiful language that your Mama loves so much. But not nearly as much as the sound of it coming from your precious mouth. I hear it and my heart breaks just a tiny bit.
One day we'll talk. We'll have so many conversations, my son and I. We'll be great pals and hopefully he'll love coffee and we'll drink it together and we'll have chats and he'll tell me about his life and his plans and his dreams. But please, Lord, not yet. Lord, it's going too fast. Slow it down, slow it down.