Most of us parents have particular moments with our children when we know they actually see us. Maybe it’s the moment they’re placed into our arms. Or maybe it’s when they utter their first word. For me, I am blessed to recall countless extraordinary moments with each of my children, but there are sacred spaces in time when I am certain particular moments were reserved for me. Times where it was as if they knew I needed to be seen. These distinct moments are ones I wish I could freeze in time and revisit when I feel I am walking through the daily roles and expectations entirely invisible.
I believe their timing is channeled through something bigger than me. It has to be, right? How else would a 4, 2 and 5 month old baby know the exact timing when they can’t make sense of why that moment matters? Or do they?
I can tell you all of the special moments Benny and I share where the only witness is the faint background noise and air between us. However, there are these moments when I am reminded that there comes a time between a parent and their child that was written before the relationship was born. I have annoyed my husband with the redundancy of yelping, “Babe, I swear he just gets me.” I don’t think my husband appreciates what he may perceive as a competitive stance for our son’s affection. Or maybe the countless times and various ways I remind him (he’s forgetful after all). I wanted someone to know, hear and bear witness to what I saw until I realized it wasn’t meant for anyone else to see.
It was his invitation to me.
~It’s the times I get him up in the morning and his head peeks over to grin at me.
~It’s right before his bath time when I lay him down on the bed and say silly jokes and he laughs.
~It’s the moment when I glance over while I’m a miserable octopus failing to multi-task and he kicks his feet in excitement to break the tension.
~It’s the way he calls out to me and insists I don’t go further than he can see me.
~It’s the stillness when he’s in my arms.
~It’s his patient temperament when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
~It’s the safety he sees in me that I don’t feel in myself.
But, you know what? It’s the indescribable moments that I can’t quite put into words because the intensity of those moments is what no one can see.
Being a mother to three children under the age of four is hard (terrifyingly hard) at times. Thank goodness they’re good at redeeming themselves and sometimes it’s a good thing they do it multiple times within an hour. This week wasn’t unlike any other week in that it was filled with highs and lows. Today, he gave me an invitation. I was the only one he invited. His brother and sister were down for their nap and he skipped his nap to tell me something. He wanted to know if I would listen and if I would accept what he wanted to tell me despite the never-ending “to-do” list that could have easily filled the hour.
Thank God I did. I knelt down and laid over him so his face was inches from mine. He reached for my face and tickled my heart with his gummy grin. It was silent. He saw me and it was as if he wanted me to know without any noise, distractions or excuses to interrupt our moment. Then, he giggled. So I did what we always do and sang our silly songs together; except this time it felt different. I realized this moment between us was his invitation for me today. That when I can’t find the laughter because the darkness creeps in, he’ll invite me to join his.
Yup, he gets me. Flawed and all.
In love & truth,