SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Letting Go

Children just don't know what they do to us, or better yet maybe I should say they don't know what happens to us because of them. Before I had children I was a bit of an emotional stoic. I very rarely cried, and not because I fought to hold back tears, there were just none to hold back. Then I became a mother.

The tears of a mother are not just connected to pain or injustice or empathy. They come from a place of emotion that has no other name. And in my experience that place is just full and ready to overflow at any given moment and without warning.

In ten days my second son is getting married. Named for his father and so very much like him. Big brown eyed toddler following Joey like a puppy, hesitant to join in on the playground until he eyed up the situation and had it all figured out. Never climbing in my lap to cuddle but wanting/needing me to scoop him up and love him with regularity. Spending hours fishing for the big bass and estimating the length of any fish within a quarter inch. Able to add three digit numbers in his head by the age of six. On road trips, terrified of running out of gas or taking a wrong turn. Serious minded but easily brought to outright silliness by just being around Chet. Dependable in school, on a team, in the family.

When Joey started his first job at the age of 14 I watched him walk down the produce aisle with his boss through a blur of tears. When Keith's turn came I waved him off without a thought. So, being this is the second wedding I should be immune to the "first time" mother emotions. Besides, I've had plenty of time to prepare for this one.

Keith met Nicole seven years ago when they were both fourteen. He "asked her out" five years ago and gave her a ring in April '07. I love Nicole and once joked with Keith that if they broke up he had to find a new family because she was already entrenched in my heart. Four years was a long time to try to keep an emotional distance with a girl that isn't yet guaranteed to join the family.

He was away at college for four years, being adopted by a church family there. He made it home for just the minimum of school holidays and then spent last summer in Georgia adopted again by another family. Add that to a serious girlfriend/fiancee to converse with and confide in and the ties to home have slowly and appropriately been severed. The child-become-adult is fully prepared for independence.

So why is it that as I'm driving through the bank parking lot and Big & Rich's song "Lost in This Moment With You" comes on I can't see where I'm going?


kristi noser said...

Cuz you're a mom, that's why. From the first Kindergarten bus ride to marriage, we get to have our mom-tears. You are a wonderful mom, and I'm glad you are getting to spread the love to another daughter. Congratulations to all!

Katie R. said...

It hurts and feels good all at the same time. Good post.

Joey said...

Not just because you're a mom. It's because "Lost In This Moment" is a crazy sweet song!!

Keithslady said...

Ah Joey, spoken like a true non-parent.

Joey said...

Of course, that's my only perspective!

Keith said...

Just wait until you hear your song.

Keelie said...

Beautiful Aunt Cindy! I'm almost in tears! Being a! What words can describe such an incredible gift?! Thank you for sharing this part of yourself! Love you!

kristi noser said...

Joey do you cry over that song in the bank lot too?

Joey said...

No Kristi, I only cry to that song in my basement at home (and only when alone).


Keithslady said...

Keith--I've tried to guess my song but you said I never would and I trust you so I'm not trying any more.

Keelie--There are no words, but I can just about point to the place in my chest they would come from if there were. The same place those tears are kept. (And you're welcome.)

Sister Kari said...

The tears of a mother may be something I'll never know but I've watched my step-son plenty of times and thought "this...this is the moment that parents cry at." For instance when little buddy got on a "big boy bike" at the bike shop wondering if it was his size yet and if it would become his birthday present. I looked at his father, my loving husband, who had tears welling up in his eyes and I thought, "yep, this is the one." PS - I love you, Cindy! Kari