Sunday, July 31, 2011

Of Mothers and Sons

I heard it said once that the relationship between Mothers and Sons is a unique one.  I was watching Oprah  interviewing Danzel Washington as he spoke of the relationship between his wife and his son.  He talked about how close they were and he put it like this, he said "a boy's mother is his true first love and for a mother, her son is her last."  I always remembered that and when I had my son, I found truer words could not be spoken.  There is something amazingly special about the love of a son.  I am so fortunate to have experienced it.

My son was born weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds.  That was 12 yrs ago and I have all but forgotten most of that delivery.  I've watched him grow from that baby to a Kindergartner who's backpack was almost as big as he was.  I watched him walk down the halls of his elementary school on the last day of school before moving on to a new campus and fifth grade.  I've watched him fly through tennis shoes and as of yesterday, my baby boy is wearing a size 10.5 shoe.  I've watched him go from that little boy that I used to have to pick up to kiss to the little man that is pretty much looking me in the eye.  My son is growing.  His body endures the agony of growing pains while his mind is learning the world isn't always peaceful and fair.

My son is the designated grave digger of all pets and animals we find in need of a final resting place.  He does so with great care and compassion.  He loves science and art and is generally fascinated with this world of ours. He is caring and loving despite the fact that he must live in a house full of women.  I suppose that will only help him deal with women as he becomes an adult.  He's seen us at our best and at our worst.

Yesterday, my son and I went to the grocery store to do the weekly shopping.  I noticed how much he did for me, pushing the basket, reaching things off the upper shelves, going back to get things I had forgotten.  As we moved through the store, he saw a member of the national guard in uniform at the end of the aisle.

He said "mom, look there's a soldier".  I said yes and that he was most likely stationed at the base near our town.  We watched as the soldier moved out of sight down another aisle.

He looked at me and said, "I'll be right back mom."

With that I watched him head in the direction I had last seen the soldier.  He was gone only a minute or two then I saw him emerge from the other aisle.  When he was back with me I asked him what he had done.

He said " I went over and found that soldier.  I told him thank you for serving and shook  his hand".  I said "What did he say to you?" He said " He told me not a problem".

After that, my son asked me if that soldier would be fighting in other countries.  I told him I wasn't sure but there was a good chance, yes.  He then asked me if he could die.

I looked at him and said "That young man is serving his country because he has made the choice to do so.  He takes that responsibility knowing he may have to die for his country.  Yes, the chances are good he may die.  I would encourage you to pray for him each and every day."

I looked at the tears well up in my son's eyes.  Never have I been more proud of my son as I was on that day.  He was showing me and himself that he was becoming a man.  He allowed his compassion to take him up to a stranger and say something they might need to hear. 

I've always hated the idea that my baby would grow up.  I feared what the world would throw at his tender soul.  As he has grown, I've come to realize and remember that we were all some one's baby at one time.  We all endured heartaches and pain.  It is part of life.  My son will be no different and to spare him those experiences is to deny him the opportunity to learn and grow.

So, like yesterday in the store, I need to let go of the baby and now just marvel at the man and all he will do with his life. Its not easy because he is my last true love.

My Son

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