Thursday, April 30, 2009

He's not grown up yet

As the mother of a young boy, there are often times when I think to myself, "He's growing up too fast."  I still remember him lying peacefully asleep on my chest as a newborn.  I remember all too vividly the first words and first steps and first day of school.  I have so many fond memories of him and his baby sister - he loves her SO much.  He's 8 - almost 9 years old already.  We have only 9 or 10 more years with him at home.  Halfway done already.  These thoughts occasionally crowd my mind and make me happy and sad and nostalgic and worried and excited all at the same time (spaghetti, of course).  

And then there are moments like last night that make me realize that life is not going too fast. It's just the right speed.  And, he's not grown up yet.  He's still my little boy that needs his mommy's love and comfort.  I never want these moments to end.  

I picked him up from after school care, car packed with all the gear to go to baseball practice.  We ate leftover pizza in the car on the way from the school to the ball park.  (He was trying to multi-task and play his Nintendo DS at the same time.)  We got to the field and he practiced for 2 hours, then back into the car for another trip across town to Wednesday night bible class.  As we got in the car, he asked me to get his game case out of his school bag.  He keeps his DS games in a little plastic case that is smaller than a credit card -it holds 4 games.  We looked in his bag, but couldn't find it.  So, when we got across town, we looked all through the trunk and still found no game case.  He started to get upset and worried.  He went to his bible class, and while he did, I drove back across town to the school yard where he had been playing outside when I arrived almost 3 hours earlier.  I was hoping maybe it had fallen out of his bag into the grass or something. I don't know what I was thinking.  Of course, I didn't find it.  So, I drove back across town to the church building, just in time for him to be done with class.  I broke the news to him:  I had searched the car, I had searched the school yard.  It's lost.  Or stolen.  Who knows.  

That is when the moment happened.  I witnessed with my own eyes that he is not grown up yet. Because he cried.  There were people everywhere, even kids his own age.  And he still cried - big tears rolling down his cheeks.  He was so upset at the thought that 4 of his best and favorite games were gone.  Just like that.  My heart broke for him.  I felt a loss, too.  That was about $130 worth of games in that case!  But my loss was nothing in comparison to his.  So, I put my arm around him and let him cry.  Let him mourn the loss.  It took a while.  I told him to keep up hope that maybe someone found them and will return them.  Eventually he started to come around, and then started playing a game (one was still in the DS).  

On the way home I happened to remember that I thought I saw the case on the living room table that morning.  As we got closer to home, I was more sure that the case was on the table all this time.

And . . . sure enough . . . it was!

There wasn't as much joy and happiness and there was grief and sorrow.  It must have been silent relief.  The games are found, the crisis is over, but the memory of my little boy's pain will remain.  As a pleasant reminder that he's not grown up yet. 

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