I have come to realize that parenting three teen aged sons is much like dancing.
Think about it for a second and just stay with me....
You hear an unfamiliar song. You know, one that you've never heard before, but even so... You kinda dig it. You find the beat and start moving to it and begin to feel pretty confident in your ability to move your body to the beat in a fashion that doesn't make you feel, or more importantly, LOOK like a total idiot! Suddenly the beat changes and your left there to find your rhythm again.
You listen intently.
You watch others and how they are moving.
You feel the music sink into your soul to bring on the moves.
Do you see the correlation here?
On any given day, I feel like the rhythm of this life is constantly changing. I may feel comfortable for a few moments and have the familiar sensation of knowing what to expect next, but that awareness doesn't last long before the beat changes once again... Leaving me feeling like a stranger to my own mind and body. I can't help but wonder what I look like to those around me, but especially to my own boys.
I've reminded myself and them that I've never done this before. There was no trial run before they came. That reminder certainly doesn't make me feel any better, and I get the strangest "DUH" stares from the three of them whenever making that obvious statement.
Yesterday I held within my arms a brand new baby. He wasn't even 24 hours old! Such a sweet, precious little boy... All wrapped up like a little gift. Holding him brought tears to my eyes because I know FIRST HAND many of the days that lie ahead for this little guy and for his parents. J and I have received our three such gifts in this same way. They came to us with such beauty... Everything about them so perfect and wonderful. Their little lives brought with them new responsibilities and yes, worries. The worry never leaves. It changes, but it doesn't leave. I remember the first night having Lucas home from the hospital... I literally DID NOT sleep. He did, but I did not. I HAD to listen to him breathe. I felt that I MUST make sure that his tiny little chest was moving up and down appropriately. I kept that up for a good long while until I had to crash and burn. This was all part of a beautiful thing called Motherhood.
Over the years, the worries I have for my boys have evolved. The rhythms of life have changed suddenly, repeatedly, and drastically. What at one moment has seemed familiar has quickly become unchartered territory.
We learn... From each other.
I am unexpectedly filled with a sense of knowing that this IS the new rhythm. It twists and it turns, but it is brilliant... As it stretches my mothering abilities beyond the boundaries that I set for myself years ago. I pray that these boys can see that and appreciate it. I hope that they can see that although I'm not by any means perfect, I am a mother who is constantly learning... Constantly being re-shaped and molded.
This dance of life is sometimes strange... But it is ALWAYS beautiful. It is one that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world! This dance is continually begging to be heard, to be seen, and to be felt. That is how we learn about ourselves and those that we love so much.
Lucas, Colby and Caleb.... I am the luckiest Mama in the world! I am even luckier to be side by side with you through this crazy, rhythmic life.
Today and always... May I have this dance?