I watched you–wild and fearless–in the water and saw the boy you are becoming.
You laughed at the sprays, danced in the drops, gulped down a fire hydrant’s worth.
I saw you at five. You have journeyed miles since four. I saw you at six, seven, eight starting to care how your hair falls and what jeans you wear with what accent T-shirt.
I saw you at eleven, turning away from me, gravitating into the pull of manhood.
I saw you at sixteen. You were beautiful.
All boy and all man and all caught in the in between. And I saw how my own heart got stuck in my throat and my mama arms were no good to you anymore. I saw how she might see you one day. And I ached for how she might hurt you and how I might have to strike that fine line between meddling mother and refuge for the little boy that still hides out in your heart.
His joy is treasure to me. I stockpile it now by the pixel load.
I saw you at 18, 19, 20 stepping over the bounds of boyhood and into yourself.
I saw you choosing calling and career above and beyond what I can imagine now. I saw you beat drums and live Africa and laugh with Karabo. I saw you dig your own roots deep, deep into the loamy soil of faith, growing up and over me and mine.
I saw with wonder the who you are becoming. And right there, in the spray ground, while you were still four, not yet five, and a mama’s ocean away from 20, I saw the standing ovation. Me in the jean skirt and “I love USA” T-shirt. I stood, soaked by the water and the memories that have yet to play out and I applauded both you and your Maker.
Because how could I not see how He is finishing the very good work He has begun in you.
This makes me sad. I have two small boys who are starting to look like men, hints of it at least in their corners. But, when I look at them, I usually choose to see the baby that I think will forever be in their faces. I want to freeze time sometimes…and sometimes I want to see the future.
You’re little boy man is adorable. It hurts my heart.
“Choosing to see the baby” – yes I’ve been doing that up till now. And then, suddenly, on a summer afternoon at a sprayground I couldn’t help but see the boy and the man he is going to become. And it hurt my heart. But in the good way, you know?
And now I am crying. Because I have a little four year old who, I just realized today, won’t always ask, “please rub my back, mommy,” at naptime.
I know, that kills me!
This has me in tears it has struck home what I have been hiding from. My daughters are becoming young women. I never wanted them to grow it feels luke it has happened overnight. Thank you for your beautiful words xx
lovely, well written and so beautiful
wow. I love “and I applaud you & your Maker”…good stuff.
This brought tears to my eyes. Our boys are so special, aren’t they? I hate to let go of little things. This week my three year old seems to have dropped his one afternoon nap. This has always been our special alone-together snuggle time. What can replace that?
Mine is dropping nap time too. But I’m sad more because of the fact that this means mama don’t get no down time – you know? ;)
I always wonder why my son likes getting shot up the shorts like that – glad to see he’s not the only one who thinks that’s hilarious!
Boys. It must be in the genes.
Oh how beautifully you put into words what I have felt time and time again. (only the female version!) How often I have looked at my girls and thought the exact same thoughts. Looked at the boys in their classes and thought: will you be the one to break her heart for the first time? Watched them brushing thier hair and imagined them primping before prom…see them twirling in a new dress and saw flashes of a wedding gown…
You put into words the deepest recesses of my heart, and that can be dangerous when I am reading you at work with no tissue my friend.
Oh the ultimate compliment – the need for waterproof mascara! How big you made me smile at that one. And thank you. And I will start putting “tissue spoilers” on my posts from now on! :)
THAT was absolutely gorgeous and brought tears to my eyes. And I don’t even have kids…but oh, seriously just gorgeous.
The end. :)
Those words you wrote about your boy were so simple. So elegant. So heart felt. Thank you.
I will join the chorus.
So poetically and perfectly written, described, lived.
I know this to be true, too. And it fills and breaks my heart all at the same moment.
I could just sit and weep over this Lisa-Jo – tears of joy and a little sorrow. I watched a video this weekend of my “little boy” ministering to people in Sri Lanka. I saw him standing on a street corner singing the gospel; watched him preach and pray with those who had come with seeking hearts; saw his passion for the Lord. And the tears flowed and I remembered that little blond haired toddler who I longed to somehow freeze in time so that I could forever hold him to my heart. It is the same with his older brother and little sister.
I am there – at the place you look down time and see. It is all you have said and so much more.
My heart just jumped into my mouth. Oh man, I can only imagine what that will be like. Thanks for the glimpse.
I love how you love your boys. This made me cry.
I love how you enter into the feeling with me every time. You’ve got the special!
This was beautiful. I am going to have to take a moment to collect myself! :)
love entering into that place called motherhood as you journey through it… you make it magical :)
Someone’s gotta see the forest for the (dirty, stained, bullied, wrestled, beaten, jumped on, broken) trees.
PS: Took me a second before I realized it was you – love the new gravatar!
Like Linda, I too am there. Looking at the men and the woman who were just 4, not yet 5 , and was it so many years ago? It seems like yesterday. And she is right. It is all that and more, you know.
And even though I too am sad at times that I no longer have any 4 year olds of my own to watch and dream for and pray for – I have a million snapshots in my heart of the moments you have described so beautifully. And now, I have a little granddaughter too. I look at her, and I too see glimpses of the woman she will one day be……
Yes, that’s why I’m stockpiling these pixels and words. So I never ever forget that sunny day in June when the water celebrated summer and my son.
I just love it!! The pure joy in his face is priceless. What a blessing to have a front row seat to watch how HE does HIS work right before your eyes with this little one.
Oh, no! You were at ‘my’ park and I missed you! The feelings go for little not-really-toddler-girls, suddenly thin and coltish, too.
What a powerful post. So heartfelt and touching. My boys are 3 and 1… but I can see glimpses of them as men already.
It takes the breath away, doesn’t it?
Why do you have to make me cry?! My baby’s only 4 weeks old and I’m now worried about him leaving me behind. My oldest is 6-years-old and I’m terrified about losing him next year to the dark clutches of kindergarten! Beautifully written, Lisa-Jo!
It happens so fast; you blink your eyes and they’re laughing as they put your grandson in your arms. Great post.
Hard. To. Even. Imagine.
I’m watching my own children grow up way too quickly. I’m excited to see what God has planned and what amazing things they’ll do in the future, but…
Beautiful and touching post. Thanks you!
Thanks for having me. Summer is a most beautiful inspiration for words.
Sometimes I look inside myself and I see the little boy I once was. I’m never quite sure if he’s stuck there, refusing to grow up, or he’s just enjoying himself and reminding me to play a little bit with his innocent and hungry joy and wonder.
But I remember when my own little boy was only 10 or 11 months old. Like you, I’d find myself looking into his droopy eyes just before I’d slip him into his crib, sure that I could see the man inside him who was straining to converse with me and eloquently articulate what’s on his mind and heart.
He’s six now. The little boy inside me loves playing with him. And the man in him sure has a lot more to say these days.
Love that image – the little in you meeting the big in him on level footing.
Oh, yes! What a glorious post. Beautifully written, friend. With a boy of my own, I could taste the bitter sweetness of this gift of motherhood we’ve been handed. I am constantly reminded that these days are so fleeting. So . . . ungraspable. So . . . . unfreezable.
Thank you so much for the reminder today to SLOW DOWN and ENJOY.
ahhhhhhh, as a mama who is currently “seeing” my boy at eighteen…..this was perfect.
Oh man, can’t believe I will see that for real one day!
This is beautiful.
Love this sweet picture… all my bloggy buddies are making me want kids! haha :)
Savor every moment of this beautiful season..
Oh yea, and I met Caroline Collie last weekend in the Cape! She is so sweet!
Very cool. I would be proud if my mom had wrote that!
Beautiful!!! Oh..my goodness..pass the tissues. :-)
My mom journaled to me as I grew up… I have books full to prove it :) and the treasure that lies within those pages for me now is priceless… special days, special events, special thoughts all chronicled for me, her daughter. These words, these precious thoughts that you’ve written to your little man will be treasured the same way one day, I can promise it!
Oh, mama. This one tugs at my heart. Squeezes. You know I get this. I see this often in my boys, but I haven’t sat with the thoughts. I whisk them out quickly because they feel like too much to bear. I don’t know…but I do know that this is gorgeous. Thanks for linking for me to find it.
(p.s. Did you link my About page to my own Linky?? I’m a tad confused..)
I just stumbled upon your blog this evening and wow- you’re writing is BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait to read more. Thanks for sharing! (And this post is so true – how can a mama’s heart have so much joy and hurt all at once as we watch our children grow?)