I never wanted children, but when my son was born, I was a goner.
He will be, always, my true love which has no competition for my husband because it so different. My oldest son turns 10 today. Needless to say, I am an emotional wreck.
Double digits? The first five years of his life my writing consisted mostly of my 4 bad mommies site, dozens of essays, and blogs on motherhood and parenting. I lived in that world and loved it hard. Looking back at the last decade, seeing how he grew to be a boy that humbles me from his kindness and joy–I am at a loss for great words.
There will be plenty of fun stuff coming this week – including my new cover reveal on 2/6 of Chasing Me. But today, on my son’s birthday, I want to remember. The below blog was written five years ago while I was struggling to accept him growing up. And as usual, I found a correlation to writing because that is the way of my True North.
Throwback Tuesday, my dear readers. This is for you, Jake. I see your faults and strengths and as a mom, I love you anyway. But I have to say, your soul is special and you bring a kindness I don’t see as much – something this world needs desperately. Simply put, you humble me and remind me how beautiful the world can really be.
Thanks for letting me be your mom. Happy Birthday.
Cliché after cliché has been written about time. Time heals all wounds. Time passes so quickly. Time after time…and the list goes on.
The other day, I took my oldest son to get a haircut. He was starting to look like a rockstar, and he likes getting haircuts, so we headed out and the stylist gave him a buzz cut for the hot summer months. As the hair fell off to the side and his face was revealed, I felt my heart literally jump out of my chest.
He was getting older.
His normal apple cheeks had thinned. His best asset was always his eyes, huge, chocolate brown with eyelashes any woman would be jealous of. Now those eyes dominated his older face and took on a different quality. The mischievous glint that always gleamed there danced in the light of the salon. I noticed he was much taller than the last time he sat on the chair, and he conversed with the stylist in a grown up manner.
He was changing. Right before my eyes, on a daily basis, my first born baby was growing up. Five years had passed like lightning – a blink of the eye – a moment in time. I remember thinking to myself: I hope I didn’t miss out on too much while he grew. I hope I didn’t wish away his age under the physical and mental exhaustion that is part of a being a mother in 2010. And then I calmed because I knew, deep in my heart, that I had truly been there.
Each moment of parenthood and life makes up the whole journey. And I had long way to go to witness many more moments. But I do remember…laughing at each disaster that occurred, and loving him in the best way I could day by day. I remember reminding myself that one day my son won’t be wanting to spend every moment with me, or kiss me openly, or hold my hand or snuggle and say “I love you.” A different time will be unearthed, and I will be truly there for that also.
A little of my heart broke at that moment in the salon. It was a life changing revelation, and I was a little sad along with being proud. This reminds me so much of my writing journey. In the beginning, my manuscripts were pure raw passion – unformed pieces that flew off the page and made me feel alive. As time passed, my thoughts and writing evolved and changed based on my age, experience, and journey. They deepened in a way and I could only go onward, not back. I could never write like I once did because I was a different person. But I could accept the changes and make them the best they could – use the experience to forge something new. I thought once I was published it would be so much easier to get published again, yet here I am five years later, still struggling to break back into the market, and write something for me and something that fits – the perfect blend that every writer struggles for. I love my writing now, but it’s harder. Sometimes, I think I know too much, and it’s easier to get waylaid on the details rather than just hit the seat and fly. Sort of like parenthood; and growing up.
Children and writing are the two cornerstones in my world right now. My passion and devotion to them will make a mark on this world in my own way. Natalie Goldberg said it best, in her fantastic book, Writing Down the Bones:
“Our lives are at once ordinary and mythical. We live and die, age beautifully or full of wrinkles. We wake in the morning, buy yellow cheese, and hope we have enough money to pay for it. At the same instant we have these magnificent hearts that pump through all sorrow and all winters we are alive on the earth. We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn’t matter “
We all buy yellow cheese, don’t we? And we all want to mark our place. Words on the page scream:: I WAS HERE. I lived and mattered and loved. Children do the same. Mistakes get made in both writing and parenthood, but as long as passion and good intentions are present, all of it will matter in the end.
Pay attention. If you pay attention to your writing – wherever you are and whatever you write – you will not be wasting precious time. Same thing for the kids – be in every crazy wonderful moment and you will never have any regrets as time marches on.
Jennifer, thanks for sharing a bit of your son! Happy Birthday young Man 🙂
Thank you so much!
I know how you feel I have three sons and my oldest son is turning 12 in June and I just look at him and wonder where did the time go. Then I look at my youngest son who is 4 already and really get sad because right now I still get hugs from him. I didn’t know true love until my children were born. I love my husband but it is not the same.
Aww Susan, you’re going through the same thing! And yes to true love – children really teach that!
Jennifer, I cannot believe Jake is 10!!! I started to cry when I read this. It seems like yesterday when we were at Louise’s, smiling at our little ones. Time surely marches on and I trust we give our children the skills and heart they need to become the best people they can. What more can we do? Be the love we want to see in others 🙂 Happy to read your blog too 🙂
Christine! OMG it seems like yesterday they were so small and adorable! LOVE the way you described it though, we give them what we can, lots of love and support, and hope for the best. So nice to hear from you!