Monday, September 1, 2008

Carpe Diem - or in Mom Lanugage - Grab that Moment!

My 18 year old son, suddenly appeared in our back yard. We had known he had to work all day, and nothing more beyond that. It was 8:30 and a beautiful night out, and suddenly he was there! I'm not embarrased to admit, my heart jumped a little as he turned the corner into my view. We have always been a close family. Being my first born - We went through our biggest successes with him, and learned a lot about parenting with him; admittedly, sometimes at a cost. His transition from High schooler to College student hadn't gone as smoothly as we hoped, and it had taken a toll on our relationship. Mix in some "first love" turmoil in his life, friends scattering across the country, and things had been a bit choppy for us. Nothing ir-repairable, but taxing all the same. Perhaps the rude awakenings of real life had been a bit of a shock to our guy, maybe we hadn't done our best throughout it all, we've never done this before. He didn't necessarily want to hear what we were saying. Following our instincts, we did the best we could. Lately, his 'ole good humored self had started to re-emerge. I was getting glimpses of the boy/man I know and love. Only, it is very hard to always know when to jump in and how deep to swim in the life of your pre-man. Over-involvement is the kiss of death; not being there, just in case he needs me, (or even needs to have me there and just be able to ignore me), isn't good either. Suddenly, at the twighlight of this balmy, indian summer evening, he was was there, in the emood to connect, to be a part of "us." It didn't matter that we had guests over, and were in the middle of a casual dinner. I knew these moments don't happen as often as they used to. Those wonderful moments when your child gets older, and farther from your reach - suddenly wants to be a part of everything. It was my opportunity to fully embrace "Carpe Diem" - I grabbed my mom moment, and enjoyed his very presence. I didn't try to take advantage of it and get a full catch up on his life, it's taken me a while to learn this, but I have. I siezed the moment, and loved the moment and anything it brought with it. I didn't look back, didn't wonder forward, I just was. I was in the moment with him, and I was grateful and thankful to have that time, no matter how brief it might last. He laughed, we laughed, a card game ensued, the banter of good-natured smack talk filled the air. Flashbacks of "go fish" at age 8, when he still giggled like a girl, filled my heart. We had that moment, and it was fulfilling because I finally learned one of the tougher "mom lessons" in life. During our time last night, I realized that taking that moment and living it to the fullest far outweighs the time wasted in trying to figure out our lost time, or hoping for future moments, wondering why it's different now and then grabbing hold too tight and trying to "force" it to happen. Whether we think we are holding on too tight or not, if your grasping and they are dodging, take a deep breath and pull back. Take what they give you and love it for what it is. I bet you'll find yourself much happier. Who knows, perhaps the gates to his life will open a little wider for you, inviting you in a little more often. From my perspective, as cliche as it is, we do need to let go of those we love in order for them to return to us with even more love to share.

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