So my little guy is still struggling with concerns over the weather, and after trying very hard to keep him from seeing or hearing anything about the earthquake in Japan, he overheard adults talking and of course inquired of them concerning what he had heard so he now, too, knows not only the volatility of weather but the shifting plates in the earth that can wreak havoc.
Bless his heart, this morning before he ever got out of bed he asked again, “what caused the earthquake in Japan?” Then he said, “I was just worrying about it.” He then said, “I think the rain has stopped.” He amazes me with how cheerful he is most of the time even while accommodating for all the worrisome realities of life that he is beginning to recognize.
I can see him trying so hard to trust, to understand. And yet, I can see too, how one anxiety provokes another, and then another and another. Once the mind sets itself on a worrying path, it is a slippery slope that is hard to find your way off. This morning as we were driving to school Noah asked, “Mom, did you eat supper last night?” Well, of course I did and I told him so. I then thought back to the fact that I had eaten just after Heather left with Riley while Erick and Noah were still out for Karate. Then he said, “when you don’t eat it makes me feel bad, and I think I should give you my food.” By this point in our conversation I was thinking, “what in the world is he talking about? I always eat!” So I said, “son, when do you think I don’t eat?” He replied, “well, like now, you just have your coffee mug.” Ohhh, he is so right! I eat breakfast in the mornings before he gets up during the week. He usually eats his breakfast roll or waffle (he doesn’t put syrup on his waffles) as we are driving to school. “My goodness,” I thought, “this poor child is thinking things that never even cross my mind.” I never dreamed he thought I regularly skip breakfast, or that I don’t eat at all for dinner on those rare occasions that I eat quickly and alone while he is at his practice.
These little guys are looking and thinking and learning and grappling to understand the complex world around them while we miss so much of their struggle. I well remember as a child observing my mother and worrying about her. I loved her so much and wanted her to be well and happy in every way. I guess that is the heart of every child and what a precious thing that is. Makes me want to get this walk through life as a mother right so that the precious heart of my son will grow strong and sure and develop on the path of love that he is so clearly on right now. Oh we have our moments, as all children he can be a hand full, but that innocent goodness is still rich and pure and I want it to remain throughout his life.
What a journey this path called Motherhood takes us on! How we are changed as we nurture these little lives, so full of wonder and hope.
May we all commit to making a child smile today and every day as we cherish the gift of their presence in our lives.