Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Deep Guttural Love

I know he didn’t mean to hurt me.  It was just a small show of boyish independence.  Yet, that night, at that moment, it twisted and yanked and wrung my heart till not only tears escaped my eyes but sobs threatened to erupt from deep within my hidden places.
I have noticed the changes here and there in my oldest son.  He is growing up.  He is becoming more young man than little boy.  His voice has changed.  He would rather hang out with the adult men in our family than with his mom or siblings. He’s watching and repeating and assimilating all the man talk and gestures.  He’s not my little guy anymore. A change has taken place.  A call to independence for my man-child. 
The knowledgeable part of myself was ready to accept this.  My head knew this was coming and was a part of raising children.  I knew I could handle it.  I figured it would make me a little sad. 
I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that took my breath away, the night my son made a silly, unthinking, yet somewhat truthful statement as I kissed him goodnight.
Nothing more.  Nothing dramatic or disrespectful.  Just a kid being a silly kid.
But that simple response from my first born caused my throat to constrict with emotion. Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to make a quick exit, but not before I poured an extra measure of momma love into his younger brothers.
Joel saw the whole display.  He watched from the sidelines as momma gasped from the blow and son pushed on towards his goal of manhood.  In the quiet of our room Joel wrapped his arms around me and told me it would be okay, that this was a boy thing.  A learning to be a man thing.
I know.  In my head, I know.
I just wasn’t ready for this.
I wasn’t ready for such independence.  I don’t want him to stop liking my motherly kisses.  I’m not ready for this pulling away.  The inevitable separations.
In my heart I want time to stand still.  My head only shakes slowing back in forth in pity for my heart.  My mind knows.  This is a rite of passage.
I wasn’t ready for the pain that wracked my heart that night.  Tears threatened to spill and the ache in my chest was so immense that I struggled to take a deep breath.  My momma heart cracked open a bit more that night and deep, guttural love spilled out.
I needed something little to hold.  I needed a small someone to hold in my arms, to bandage my heart.  I climbed in my baby girl’s bed and gathered her sleeping, precious form close to me. I buried my nose in her hair, breathed deep and cried.
I cried for the ache of my boy needing me less.
I cried because I still want to gather him up in my arms and shower his tall almost 6 foot self in kisses and hugs.
I cried remembering when he was so small and we snuggled and I carried him everywhere and he loved my kisses.
I cried because this boy who is pushing for independence and manhood is and always will be my baby.
When the flood of raw emotions subsided, I eased out of my daughter’s bed.  I knew that this change was just part of the path of motherhood.  I realized that it was just probably one of those teenage hormone moments.  I took my puffy eyes and bruised heart off to my own bed to sleep off the disappointment of change.
Time has dulled the ache and I know my son, didn’t mean to hurt me.  It was just a kid response that slipped out.  And being the momma I am, I’m still giving him a peck on his forehead at night.  I can’t stop kissing that big kids head.  It is part of me and it just calls for me to place some affection upon it.
And just today I looked out the back window to see my big boy playing in the sandbox with his old rusty dump truck.  My momma heart melted.  He’s not too old after all.
Thank you Lord for my boy who is still boy, yet striving to be a man.  I thank you for allowing me to watch the transformation in his life.  He is a precious gift from you.  May I  forever be grateful for each step, moment and change that comes into my life through my son.


  1. I am going through this very same thing. From one mom to another I want to say "Thank you". Thank you for being a loving mom...Thank you for sharing...Thank you for your inspiration!!

  2. This is such a sweet post. It brought tears to my eyes.

    I, too, am not looking forward to the day when my boys no longer want Mama. I was reminded of this very fact yesterday while walking with my baby (my almost 6 year old). He kept wanting to hold my hand while I was trying to take pictures. At first I was a bit annoyed, but then HE reminded me that Alex will only by little for so long. And there will come a day when I will be the one wanting to hold his hand. I'm glad that God reminds me of the things that I may overlook.

  3. Oh your momma's heart is so sweet. I'm sitting here reading this while looking at my little boy. While I know he's going to grow up, I can't imagine what it must be like to experience it. But this is so good for me to read, a reminder to soak up the littleness because even though the days are long right now with toddlers, the years are short.

    And if anyone can raise up little boys to be Godly young men, I think it's you.

  4. Oh my goodness, you made ME cry!

  5. Oh my. I do hope this doesn't happen with girls. Or at the very least, is delayed super, extra far down the road.

    I love the way that quote looks in your header! And the pictures are so perfect for this time of year!

  6. Goodness...
    This of course is where I am at.
    Or have been for a time now.
    Makes me hold on tighter and longer with my younger ones.
    This made me teary, Jenn.
    Isn't is just awful and beautiful all at the same time?

  7. i can feellump in my throat..you have me in tears!

    ...going to go hold my boy...

  8. Awhh!! So, this is what I have to look forward to?

    Oh boy.

    Really love and appreciate your "mothering" example and honest "show of emotion" through your words. It's beautiful.


    PS: I love your new header - photos. :)

  9. Yes, it happens so crazy fast and I find myself holding them super close, knowing it all changes in a heartbeat...

  10. Oh, yes... I'm right there in the thick of it. My oldest is 15... almost 16 and it is a struggle sometimes, watching his wrangle his way into manhood. Precious but hard. It's put my on my knees more than ever!

    Thanks, too, for joining in and linking up with Koinonia Thursday's!

  11. I'm with you. My oldest son just turned 13 and there is a huge change and he is seperating himself from his mother. I have to remind myself that it is a good thing. A natural thing. He wants no displays of affection, no good night kisses. I knew it was coming, yet somehow still wasn't ready for it.

    I'm encouraged to know that this is natural and that I am not alone in my feelings. The first time it happened was at camp. I could tell he was completely humiliated that I was there (carrying HIS sleeping bag). I left there and cried and cried. I was so hurt. I felt disrespected. When he came back, I had a talk with him and we came up with a goodby that we could both live with. It was good.

  12. Loved this post. I'm seeing this with my oldest nephew, Josh. It is helping me prepare for when it happens to me with Josiah. I hate it and love it at the same time. Whatever happened to my "bugaboo"?

  13. Jenn, I have been away from blogging for so long. It was nice to come back and catch up with "old friends" though I am sorry for the changing of little boy ways to growing up ways. Change is hard. Period. No getting around it. I find it bitter sweet that when we raise our kids right, we are crazy in love with them and it hurts like the dickens when they grow up. Josh, our oldest boy has just a bit over a semester left then he transfers to a college four hours away. To some that would seem like nothing. He will be 21 in a few months. But I love him so dearly, and I dread him being gone. But that's good and I know it. I would hate to look forward to my kiddos leaving.

    Sending love and prayers for peace your way.

    Nite, friend.


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