Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In The Blink Of An Eye....


It starts right about here, with smiles and coos and adoring looks that make you believe it will always be just like this. You will always be the axis on which their world revolves. Though very demanding in acquiring whatever it is they feel they need at the time, a baby, [at least if your baby is anything like mine], has a knack for making everything you do and sacrifice on his behalf end up being worth it. In all the world, there is no more satisfying feeling than the feel of chubby, little arms wrapped around your neck as warm breath that carries the faint odor of milk tickles your neck, and the words that will hold you hostage for a lifetime are whispered, "I Love You Mommy."

For a time, this was my life. But as is the way with life, time passed and things changed. Contrary to many others, I don't happen to think change is a bad thing. I still had the pleasure of smiles and coos coming my way, but in addition, I had the sheer joy of hearing routinely one of the best sounds I have ever heard to this day, my son's giggle. By this time, the prankster in him had shown up. He lived to be funny and thought the most amusing thing on the planet was "to trick his Mommy". If someone had tried to make me understand this kind of love before I was personally introduced to it, they would have landed way short of the mark. There are no words that can possibly describe what it is like to feel the way I felt about this child, especially during this period. It was as if his very existence validated my own. He completely rearranged my priorities and all but eliminated the typical stresses of the twenties for me. Never, did I worry about things that were outside of my control. As long as Ryan was okay, Sharon was okay.

The clock kept ticking [faster and faster it seemed to me], and longer, leaner, more athletic arms now encircled my neck because of all the hours of basketball [then two and a half year old] Ryan played with his cousin Kendall on the Little Tykes goal in Ryan's bedroom. As they say, boys will be boys, and as the boys got bigger, the toys got bigger. The hugs were still plentiful, and the jokes though a bit more "little boy funny", kept right on coming. Little did I know, but I was being pulled deeper and deeper into this child's web and with each passing day, I was being wrapped tighter and tighter around his finger. I think it was Bill Cosby who referred to all the wonderful sensory sensations of dealing with babies as "false advertising". Sometimes I think he might be right. Though typically the optimist, and rarely the pessimist, there is a bit of the "NOTHING CAN BE THIS GOOD" ideology in me.

Skip ahead fourteen years to April 22, 2006. If you have ever spent any time with me, you know one thing for sure, I love a surprise. I thrive on setting up and pulling off elaborate surprises. On Saturday, April 22, 2006, I pulled off one of my biggest and best surprises yet. Here is the look on the face of my son as he appeared upon his very first glance at his surprise. Like I said, as the boys get bigger, so do the toys. You see, I always wanted my son to be independent, and self-reliant. I raised him to be that way. He has a good life, a very good life and that's exactly what I planned for him. It's why I worked so hard, in order to be able to do things for him that my mother always wished she could do for me. As they say, "Each one, teach one!" Well, I have a great mother and she taught me well. The other side of this coin is that when you raise a child to be outgoing and self-sufficient, you owe it to that child to facilitate his/her being able to go out and be outgoing. Until now, that meant chauffering my son all over God's creation, sometimes prohibiting me from doing something I wanted to do or from just sitting around doing nothing at all. NO MORE OF THAT!
But first, an oath....in front of witnesses and filmed for posterity on video tape. No, not even an oath, a covenant....yeah, that's it a covenant, a blood oath between mother and son before the keys actually exchange hands. Something like:

I, Ryan do hereby swear to obey all traffic laws and curfews. Realizing exactly how much my mother loves me, I will protect her "precious cargo" and will not participate in unsafe driving games even if encouraged to do so by my friends. I will appreciate the sacrifice that my beautiful mother has made so that I might have ACCESS to this vehicle which is now, and will continue to be owned solely by my mother, until such time as I successfully GRADUATE from high school. Then and only then, at the discretion of my beautiful mother will I own said vehicle. I do hereby solemnly swear that if ever my beautiful mother decides that she would like me to go out and pick up something even as trivial as a Snicker's bar, even if it is 2am, I will do so without attitude and with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I will refrain from filling the vehicle with riff and raff, and at no time, will it be utilized to transport "bucket-naked scrippers"....I, Ryan enter into this covenant here in the presence of my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother, three generations of women in my family in front of whom I would never tell a lie for fear of retribution too horrible to be considered in the light of day.

Once the covenant had been completed, the keys were turned over to this young man who it seemed just yesterday was running over my foot with his Big Wheel in our little two bedroom apartment. Where has the time gone? What happened to my little boy; and who is this man that now stands in his place? The hugs are still plentiful, even to this day; though the arms are so thick and muscular now that the hugs are sometimes a little like being suffocated. The time passes before you know it....in a blink of an eye....and once it has passed, it won't come back again. So to the mothers reading this post who still have chubby little arms wrapping around their necks, a word of advice, SAVOR THE FLAVOR! Before you know it, you will have achieved what it was you set out to do....send an adult out into the world.

9 comments:

Nikki said...

Aw, I got misty-eyed reading this post. Your son will cherish that vehicle because of the love you have for him and vice versa.

Safa said...

That was so sweet! You are such a caring and thougtful mom. As I was reading, I was thinking about my 4 year-old and trying to imagine him a teenager....I can't!

chele said...

Will you adopt me?

My son's arms are no longer chubby. But his 15-year old arms did give me a big hug this morning and I did hear, 'I love you, Mommy', that's right "Mommy".

I did a post today about doing things for my kids ... and just like you, as long as they have learned the lessons that you have taught than it is all good!

DP said...

He is a lucky young man.


I am happpy for you both.


Tell him to get used to running ALL THE ERRANDS

Serenity23 said...

This was so sweet. Man I bet he has already ran through a tank of gas. Does he have to work to earn gas money, ins. or anything? I can't imagine Tyler as "big boy." And funny, he has that same basketball goal from the photo.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH!

You got him the car, Tete! I know he about flipped his wig! I remember you talking about that last time I was home. You are awesome, Tete!

-Carmen

LadyLee said...

Great post, Sharon!!

The look on his face when he saw that car, Sharon... CLASSIC...

You have earned the award for the world's GREATEST MOMMY!!!!

DJ Diva said...

that was wonderful Sharon...you are the mother I hope I will continue to be....

I will be sure to take pictures when i get the twins their first car...But i don't it will match the look on your son's fsce!...That was priceless and I'm so glad you shared it with us....May God continue to bless you and your family!

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