Cherish the Present, Especially with Your Kids!
Have you ever just had a moment when it’s tangible and alive … the passing of time.
I was laying down with my son while he was trying to fall asleep last night. I offered to massage his hands while he wandered into his dreams.
I realized that I haven’t massaged his hands at night since my youngest daughter was born 14 months ago and he became a middle child and this last year hasn’t been easy on him.So we were laying in the quiet dark and as I was massaging his hands when I noticed that my little seven-year-old boy has developed callouses all along his palm. Last I massaged him, these weren’t there. He’s taken up gymnastics, climbing trees, digging massive holes in the dirt, riding bikes, ninja courses. I get it, from all that movement comes callouses. From all the wear and tear of play comes rough patches.
But they weren’t there the last time I massaged his hands. I didn’t feel the start of them, the beginning of this change. They kind of went from soft babylike hands to rough, used, active, beautifully worn in play-full hands.
The moment stopped me. My fingertips began to search for the baby softness of his palms and I couldn’t find it. But he was breathing deep and relaxing and enjoying this touch and all I could think was ‘how could I let 14 months pass by without being here with him like this.’
The next time I massage his hands:
Will they be different?
What have I missed?
What iteration of who he’s becoming got lost in the shuffle?
My son is a beautiful and sensitive boy … I can massage his head and feel every scar from every major fall he’s had. I swear his hair too … it parts in the places where his early childhood calls to me. He is my heart, he’s shifting emotion and all softness underneath. And yet right now, he holds tears back, he curls fists into himself when he’s upset, he screams because he says it’s the only way to get the anger out, he hurls words and things and he’s hurting inside.
I don’t quite know how he ended up where he is, feeling what he feels, but I know that after last night, I’m making a renewed effort to be present with him on his journey. To witness his childhood alongside him as presently as I can. And I’m definitely going to be making time each day to connect and massage his hands or his head, hug him, tell him I’m here and watch his efforts at learning new things (even all the parkour craziness he’s currently exploring … though I’ll need to find a good outlet for all the anxiety I get when I watch him! … Lol).
Childhood … It’s certainly not easy … even though we often say to kids, “you have it easy, wait till you grow up!” In childhood, there’s so much to navigate and maneuver in regard to our hearts, our bodies, our drives. On top of that … there’s so much to learn and do and experience. I want my kids to look back on their childhood and feel they were supported and loved and held. I don’t need them to look back and only see happiness, because life isn’t just about happiness. I want them to look back and feel it all, but to also have a sense that we had their back the whole time.