I am sitting on my son’s bed, listening to him play on his keyboard with such expression, it makes me shake my head at the beauty. A lifetime of experiences has brought him to the point of playing this way. Piano lessons, yes, but also a passion for movies and their music, the drama of it, and of course the talent with which he was born.
As I look around the room, I see bits of the boy he has been. There are still sticky glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling from when his room was painted with the colors of space. There are trophies from baseball, golf, basketball, cross country…though he hasn’t played most of those sports in years. There is a huge Star Wars Lego AT-AT walker that he built the day after he received the kit from my parents on his twelfth birthday. There are “warm fuzzy” notes from his time at camp, letters he’s kept, socks on the floor, work pants folded on a chair.
As I sit on a corner of the bed, I remember a day (was it yesterday?) when I sat and rocked him to sleep in this same corner. My mother had given me the simple wooden rocking chair, and I was thinking of her rocking me as a baby in her own chair. I imagined myself standing in the doorway of this very bedroom years down the road looking at my teenage boy and I wanted to be able to say then that I used every minute well. We had waited for him for a long time and his presence was and is such a blessing. And I knew it would go fast…the ladies at the grocery store and the library always told me so, but I did not realize just how fast.
So, I tried really hard to use our time as the limited resource I knew it to be. Reading stacks of books, listening and dancing to every kind of music I could find, filling him with the knowledge of his faith and teaching him the best I could, the early years were physically hard but filled with joy. Just like those library ladies said, the time started to fly as soon as he went to school. There, I volunteered, went to games and concerts and prayed and rooted him on. Later, I nagged and worried and pulled back and prayed and used every minute I could to connect with him in a world that was becoming much more about his peers, as it should be. These days, I look to the future with him, help him plan and stay on course, laugh together in precious stolen moments, cheer him and chastise him. It is much more complicated now, and sometimes much less fun than dancing.
But there are still moments when he is mine.
Like now, when I am sitting on a corner of a bed and he is playing piano just for me and I am keeping still, though the tears are coming and I can’t stop them. I am holding on to holding him, because the time is short and he is pure gift.
My Mom gave me a little print when Brian was born that used to hang above his changing table and somehow is still up his room. Maybe it’s because he could never be bothered to take it down, or maybe he has some of the sentimentality of his mother, but I love it all the same. It reminds me that God brought us together to be family, and though times do change and we won’t always be under this same, safe roof, we belong to each other. And we always will.