My oldest son Parker used to hang onto every word I’d say. Every. Single. Word. He and I would hang out for most of the day together and he’d always greet his Dad at the end of the day with, “Daddy, Mama said…” and off he’d go, repeating something I’d told him about that day. He really does have a great memory (I’m not biased or anything, right?) and he didn’t forget anything Mama said. 🙂
Parker and I were both so excited when he started preschool. His classroom was right beside mine, and he’d go into his room every day and announce in his high-pitched twang, “My Mama said we are havin’ hot dogs today” or “My Mama said it’s gonna rain today” or “My Mama said I should wear my raccoon shirt today”. It was as if he couldn’t go past the threshold without his daily Mama Announcement.
His little brother Peyton didn’t always listen to Mama as closely as Parker did. However, Peyton had a much more important person in his life to listen to…and that was Parker.
As Parker has gotten older, like all boys do, he has found other things to listen to besides me and his Daddy. He listens to his friends, his music, his games, and his shows. He’d never dream of entering his fifth-grade classroom with an announcement of ,”My Mama said…”
And I don’t think I’d want him to, as heartbreaking as it is to see him move away from me. No, I know I don’t want him to cling his Mama days for the rest of his life. But letting go, it hurts.
And it’s frustrating.
I find myself lamenting over the “not listening” when I trip over my boys’ shoes in the front hallway after many reminders to put the shoes up. I find myself mumbling under my breath when I see a sink full of dried-up toothpaste after prompts to wash it out when you are done! I find myself demanding, “Are you listening to me? Do you hear me?” when I think they are not listening to my voice as closely as they should.
And I find myself begging God for Parker to listen to me and his Dad when we warn him about choices in life, in growing older, in his speech and conduct. As he tells us what is going on at school, with people in his class, and what he has seen on the news.
And as I’m pleading and grasping for peace, my Father whispers to me.
Listen, Paige. Be still.
He reminds me that my voice was never meant to be the ultimate one in Parker’s heart anyway. His dad’s voice was never meant to be the one that took up the room in his heart. Parker has a Heavenly Father whose voice is big enough to be heard over the loudest noise of this world.
It was the Voice that spoke Parker into existence, that counted every hair on his head, that called him by name. It’s the Voice that delights in him, that calms his soul, that sings over him. The One who speaks life will never let go of my boy…His boy.
Yes, I need to keep praying. His dad and I need to keep guiding and speaking truth.
And I need to let go a little.
In early summer, Parker brought me a poem he’d written in school. It was for Mother’s Day. He had written:
When you thought I wasn’t listening, I heard you praying for me when I was scared.
When you thought I wasn’t watching, I saw you give supper to a sick person.
When you thought I wasn’t listening, I heard you singing songs at church. I saw you raise your hands.
He’s listening. He’s watching. He’s taking heart.
I guess I just need to do a better job of listening, myself!
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6