November 19, 2012

enough time

Today is Lincoln's eleventh birthday.

 I should say that, "time flies," and wasn't it just yesterday that I labored this plump little eskimo baby into the world? One hour and forty-five minutes in all. From turkey dinner to baby. Jason didn't even make it to the delivery. Our midwife had 15 minutes to spare.  Or wasn't it just yesterday that I was: rocking him to sleep, going on late-night drives to get him to sleep, walking up and down and up and down the hallway in our apartment to get him to sleep, nursing him to sleep, singing him to sleep. (Please baby--sleep!) Cleaning baby throw up. Smelling like sour milk. Waking to his gummy, drooly, s0-hapy-to-be-here smile every morning. Getting him to giggle for the first time. Letting my younger brother feed him ice cream and sour cream alternately--watching him shiver and pucker with the sour cream, but innocently asking for more. Blowing raspberries on his belly. Worrying over his first fever. Fighting over who changed his next diaper. Listening to him wail during the four-hour drive back and forth between Portland and eastern Oregon. Tickling his rolly, soft neck. Listening to him say his first words: ball, Booth (our dog) and dada. Falling asleep with him in our bed, with one little leg and one little arm draped over my huge pregnant belly (hello Jack!). Sometimes feeling totally claustrophobic when his body would marsupial-cling to me, heart thumping against mine, sweaty, sleeping head on my neck--and yet feeling in my gut and bones that this was one of the most important things I would ever do. Watching him sleep.  Watching him sleep-- long eyelashes touching his round chipmunk cheeks,  floppy ears getting squished and red, chubby hands twitching and unclenched, belly full and perfect. Every day filled to the brink with our love, frustration, surprise, weariness and delight over our firstborn son. does feel like yesterday. 

However, with every day that goes by, and every birthday that he gets to check off as a milestone in his life. I'm a mess.  I am aware. Ideally? I know he is going to grow up and leave our home.  With every milestone there is a grumbling of sadness. I know that this is part of life. I do want to raise a son who is not afraid of standing alone. 

Jason laughed at me when I cried in our bed after Lincoln's second birthday. "It's going too fast!" He didn't understand. He was so excited with every marker in time. "One step closer to manhood!"  

Then we had our first daughter.  Now, he clenches his jaw when we talk about having teenage girls. Now, he grieves when our girls grow through another shoe size. Now, he feels time passing with a tiny bit of pain.

Consequently, I've been thinking about time a lot lately. 
Instead of, 
"This is your life, it's ending one minute at a time. "
 (Chuck Palahniuk.) 

I'm trying to remember this:
"That in Christ, urgent means slow.
That in Christ, the most urgent necessitates a slow and steady reverence.
That in Christ, time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time.
In Christ, we fill – gaining time.
We stand on the brink of eternity.
So there is enough time."
( Ann Voskamp.)

There is enough time for our children to grow older. There is enough time for their mistakes and mine. There is enough time to be slow. There is enough time to enjoy. There is enough time for him to turn eleven, to sigh and slurp up who he is today, and be fiercely and determinedly loyal to who he will be tomorrow.

"So I am proud only of those days that we pass in undivided
when you sit drawing, or making books, stapled, with
messages to the world...
or coloring a man with fire coming out of his hair.
Or we sit at a table, with small tea carefully poured;
so we pass our time together, calm and delighted." 

My Son Noah, Ten Years Old  by, Robert Bly.

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