I saw a post on Facebook last week. A mother had taken her son to New York City to celebrate his sixteenth birthday. She said the best part of the entire trip was when they were walking down the busy sidewalk and he nonchalantly slipped his hand into her’s. Her heart swelled from the love she has for her son, as she captured the moment in time. Because she knows deep down, that the days of her son holding her hand are drawing to a near end.
I can relate.
The very same thing happened to me at almost the exact same time in my son’s life. We were hiking, all of the family. My son was probably 15 or 16 at the time. He was walking beside me and suddenly I felt him grab hold of my hand. He didn’t look at me or say a word. And neither did I. We just continued to walk, holding hands with my heart overflowing with love for this child of mine, this boy who was turning into a man.
It didn’t enter my mind that this was the last time my son would reach for my hand as we walked, in this moment in time.
It reminded me, too of a post I had written; Very First Last Time when my youngest was getting ready to graduate high school.
I was able to revisit my memory as I read this mom’s Facebook post. I even sent my now 25 year old son a text. I told him I just wanted to say “Hi” and to tell him I had remembered a special time with him today. Of course, he asked me what the memory was, which I wasn’t expecting, but I told him anyway.
He didn’t respond and that’s okay. To him it probably means nothing. After all, he is a man with no kids of his own. I didn’t expect a reaction from him, but I would still like him to know that out of my three children, I don’t remember the last time my oldest or youngest held my hand. I don’t remember where we were or what we were doing. But I remember this, middle child of mine, because it was special to me. You didn’t know it at the time and neither did I, that it would stay with me for the rest of my life.
How can we know?
These special moments of mothering slip by, most often unnoticed. And that’s the way, I think, it was designed. Each moment in time, no matter how big or small, has a way of grabbing hold of our mother’s hearts and never letting go.