The Five Minute Friday word of today is "Grow" and many memories come to mind ...
The most profound is when my oldest son was just a few weeks old. My step-father, mother and I had just finished dinner. My parents got up from the dinner table and headed into the living room where my son was sleeping as sweetly as the newborn baby that he was at the time. I cleared the dishes from the table and was ready to help my mother clean the kitchen, so that I could get back to my baby. My mother never made it back into the kitchen, so I ventured on out to the living room to see what she was doing.
As I walked into the room, I could see that my step-father was watching Jeopardy. I looked towards my mother and she was squashed into the corner of her huge sectional. I walked a bit forward to see that she had my newborn baby in her arms. I said "Mom, what are you doing? Don't you want to clean the kitchen?"
She looked up slowly and said "I AM WATCHING HIM GROW" ...
I was a very immature 21 at the time and really didn't understand what she meant. I thought that she was being smart with me because my mother is on the cynical / sarcastic side at times. I was REALLY upset the whole time that I was cleaning HER kitchen while she was holding MY baby ... LOL :)
5 1/2 years later, I gave birth to my second son. I had matured a bit, though the "watching him grow" experience hit home a little bit when my 2nd son was a newborn. Now that I think back, I was very selfish about the time that anyone spent holding him because I was trying to "watch him grow" as I had seen my mother doing that day. In fact, I tried to carefully watch my first and second sons growing up, but I find that I forget a lot of the stuff my 2nd son asks me about when he was a baby "what time was I born?" ... "what was my favorite baby food" ... etc.
As a single mother of two boys, it is not always easy to watch your children "grow" in the same way that a happy nuclear family or grandparent can see because there are obstacles; many that others overlook and do not understand. They can distract a watching mother at times.
Regardless, as I sit writing this Five Minute Friday blog post (where we write freely for 5 minutes based on one word), I am overwhelmed with the opposite emotions that I felt 18 years ago when my mother said, "I am watching him grow". My 3rd child is almost 11 months old and I am just a few years shy of the age that my mother was when I gave birth to my first son. As I watch this little baby grow, I am flooded with love, joy, sadness, pride, hurt ... a potpourri of emotions that I possess for all 3 of my sons and how it felt watching them grow, but that oldest son is a young man that has moved off on his own.
It is hard to remember that we do not raise our children for ourselves; we raise them for God. Our reward is that we get to "watch them grow" spiritually, emotionally, physically and then they are off on their own with God to continue to watch over them.
In Motherly Love,
Mother Baby Child
This blog post was inspired by
Five Minute Friday: Grow