He looks at me as his eyes fill with tears,
I know it’s a dumb thing to ask for.
I pull him close noticing that he can now put his head square on my shoulder. I squeeze his shoulders and remember when these long strong arms barely reached around my neck. The once dimpled hands pressing against Mama’s neck. His shoulders slump as he goes on,
I feel guilty for asking. I know it’s too much. There are bigger things in the world. More important things to be upset about.
I don’t know quite how we got this far down the road. And, really, why does it have to go so fast?
I hold his face in my hands,
It’s not dumb. You can ask for anything. It’s just that as we get older we realize we don’t get everything we ask for. And it’s a tough thing to swallow.
He nods as his head drops.
It doesn’t matter how many times our mothers tell us this. It doesn’t matter how many times we hear the stories. This growing up thing is just so hard; and watching it is even harder.
My mother-in-law told me years ago as we chased my little ones with our hair on fire as they ran amuck through mini disasters,
It’s physically tough right now. The sleep deprivation. The messes. But, it becomes mentally difficult when they get older.
But what did I know? I was sure the baby Mommy phase would never end. The swirl of sleepless nights upon sleepless days, and finger painted diaper messes. The permanent hip jut carrying a whiny toddler while the baby screamed in the ten ton car seat.
The physical strain I was sure would last forever and a remnant still lives in mothering a little one of three. But, she was right. The mental part aches far deeper.
I want you to know you can ask for anything, but sometimes the answer will be no. I don’t want you to ever feel guilty for asking. Guilt is the lie.
And don’t you know, sometimes when you speak to your kids, you can hear God whispering right in your ear,
I look into his eyes and my heart aches. From the moment our eyes meet the deep blue newborn haze of their eyes, we want to give them everything. But we can’t. And we shouldn’t. We bleed and tear and ache for them, and maybe this is meant as foreshadowing. There’s a fresh pain when we watch their hearts ache, and there’s not one thing we can do about it.
I brush the hair from his forehead,
Sometimes the answer is no. And I wouldn’t be doing you any favors by teaching you anything else. But, son, I want you to know this. Believe me… believe Him. Behind every no there is a better yes.
And there is. There is a better yes behind every discouraging defeat. Even when the better yes waits far down the road. Even when the best yes is on the other side of the veil. We can’t give them everything. We want to more than we long for our next breath, but we can tell them the only truth that matters. Sometimes this path is rocky and rough, and sometimes we think we might just crumble before we can make it one more step. But we won’t.
We can teach them this; when the no is blinding us – the best yes waits in His open arms.
The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”