Falling In Love {Box labeled "Keep Forever"}

When one of my brothers was little, he often said he wanted to live right next door to Mom & Dad when he grew up. I am sure my mother loved imagining one, or any, of her children live so close to 'home'* and especially cherished the sweet sentiment of love and adoration coming from her tender-hearted little boy. 

These kinds of conversations are treasures for mothers--kept in a special box in her heart--a box dedicated solely to the memories labeled "keep forever".  Those precious exchanges between mother and son/daughter can have the power to relax even the most tense shoulders on the most wildly chaotic and exhausting days.

I have observed a few things about these kinds of heart touching conversations with my own littles.

1-The conversations {mostly} only happen when I am completely and totally tuned in to them. Cuddling, snuggling, sitting, holding, rocking, creating, listening, focused, eye-to-eye contact. I hate the distractions that take me away from more of this quality time...some distractions are necessary and good (driving, chores, necessary To -Do's, fulfilling needs, doing projects, preparing for events, etc) and some are fluff. I am constantly fighting my oft self-defeating attachment to the fluff.

2-The comments can be profound. Sometimes my children say things to me {or ask questions} that prompt me to dig a little deeper, respond a little wiser than I actually am--thus pulling me forward in my progression of self. They become the teachers and I the learner. Their straight forward thinking, energy of interest, and purity of spirit can instruct our conditioned adult minds, which I have discovered can be wonderfully enlightening and freeing.

3-No matter how beautiful, thought provoking (or awesomely silly!) the statement/conversation/question, I will not remember it if I do not write it down. This, I know for sure. I try to regularly write in my journal, and I have a stack of papers filled with things my children say to me--the funny, the wise, the questions, the mispronunciations, the ideas, all of it. Well, all of it that I remember to write down. Usually, I quickly scribble it on the white board and then transfer to paper. Those pages of handwritten pieces of love are treasures to me. 

I am holding onto one from two days ago that I need to record:

On Sunday morning, while snuggling with me under a big white comforter, my 5 year old J told me he wanted to fall in love with someone that looked like me and had my voice (after he read the words 'fall in love' on our wall subway art). He then decided "or maybe I can just fall in love with you---Dad can fall in love with someone else." 

I explained that while I didn't really want Daddy to fall in love with someone else, I was confident he will find a beautiful person with whom he will fall in love and be very happy. He then asked "will I have to live in a state far away from you?" 

J-running away from me on our Sunday evening walk-2 days ago
I remembered the conversation between my brother and my mother. I looked at my son and replied: "You don't have to but...you might live far away from me, but it will be fine--we will visit and talk as much you want!" My heart felt like it was squeezing super tight. For one thing: it is hard to imagine that future reality, when I've spent almost every day of the last 5 years with him. Even more heart-squeezing: this little guy loves me so much, he can only imagine his love being for one woman...his mother. I am far from perfect, but I am HIS.  

J & I: first day of school (5 years old)

And, even when he has fallen in love with his future sweetheart {and  lives in a state for away from me} he'll still be the baby I fell in love with first-- my baby J.

Mama & Baby J (2 months old?)

*Three out of four of us--my mother's babies--live far away. I live almost 1,000 miles northwest-ish of my parents, my brother to the east lives over 1,000 miles away...and that sweet brother whose child-self dreamt of living next door? He lives the farthest (ever wonder farthest vs furthest? I did.)  away of all of us (2,520 miles, to be exact--37 hours). That said, one of my brothers does live pretty close. As close as you can get, really.

. . .

Every day in November!  NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. Write a post on your blog every day in November. For the 3rd year, I've decided to tackle this challenge & enjoy the opportunity to switch to writing mode. Want to join me? Leave your blog link in the comments so I can follow you too! 


Linda said...

True. Right off the kitchen is pretty close! And yes...you all live SO FAR AWAY! But you know...we are so blessed with the technology to be in each others lives and faces ( thanks SKYPE!) and I love this post! All so true, to tender, so sweet. LOVE IT!

Katie Bradley said...

Those are wonderful thoughts, wonderful stories, and you're such a wonderful writer!

Linda said...

This post made me miss my little kids. They do say the most wonderful little things.

JosephJ said...

I agree! It's a pleasure to have a clear agenda just to talk the way they want to talk and listen to what they are thinking about. For my boys it takes a good series of questions to get them to loosen up and really talk about what they are thinking.

Most of the time, I think we are busy busy that they don't get to express their observations (more metaphysical than actual sensory). Good on you for pausing to record!