parenting

Be Still My Melting Heart

On occasion, children create moments that melt hearts. As a mama, you want to grab the nearest roll of the Quicker Picker-up to soak up every drop… Maybe because you’re a clean freak and can’t stand the thought of drippy heart staining your good linens … But, more likely, because you want to lock that messy ball of melty moment in a vault to sneak into and hold every now and again.

Even boys need to share the, albeit rare, heaviness on their hearts… especially when that heaviness is in the arena of sports disappointments. A mom sometimes panics when surprise tears well up in the eyes of her nearly grown little boy at the most random of moments.

Is someone hurting him?? Is it a girl??!? What kind of life altering struggle has befallen my son??!

He fights to choke out a few words that express a deep pain at a loss in that afternoon’s hockey game, and, while I feel relief in the quick realization that no one was breaking my son’s heart, or face, …  those choked up words strangle my heart and I still want to say all the right things!

After a little coaxing to understand the current hardship, in all my imperfect mama wisdom, I respond in soothing tones and share waaaaaay too many words while my mind questions me at every syllable…

Am I talking too much?

Am I being too hard?

Is he analyzing the thread count of his jeans??

Not being hard enough?

Maybe I should listen more?

Wow, the knees are pretty worn on those jeans.

Is this even helping?

He’s gonna pick a hole in those jeans!

Should I stop talking?

“Dude, leave your jeans alone for a sec!” I don’t claim to have any discernible amount of patience.  We arrive at the moment where I am certain his eyes have glazed over and the innocent jeans will need a patch, so I wrap it up.

“Ok, buddy, how about we do some Christmas shopping on Amazon?”

His eyes moved! He’s alive!! “Bored to death” seemed to be sniffing at the edge of literal there for a sec.

The evening then proceeds in normal jovial fashion… hugs, lame jokes, typical goofy atmosphere. With the regular bedtime routine of praying, tucking, hugging, tickling, and the sort, complete, hubby and I retire to the kitchen table.

The first 30 seconds are the most peaceful, as the boys lay in near darkness, holding their breath in ultra silence, doing that “hearing with your eyes” thing, waiting for the perfect moment to get up and go to the bathroom. Never fails. They take their turns staggering out with squinty “I just woke up” eyes because obviously sleep hit hard and coma-like in the past minute since tuck-in.

After the theatrics, the boys each return to bed, the next 5 minute phase of silence has passed and I hear a “Mom, can you please come here?”

“Buddy, I was just in there!”

This is a very regular occurrence… always one more hug…or kiss… or report of some cool mind-blowing trivia that must be shared this second lest it be lost forever.

I’m a sucker tho.. I always go in ooooone more time. I lean in to see his face, dimly lit from the hallway light, and my boy says …

“Mom, I just wanted to say thank-you for taking the time to talk with me today.”

Clean-up in aisle 2, bring the Bounty.