Friday, May 13, 2011

Remember When ....

My son had his spring pictures at school a few weeks back. For the day, we exchanged his tired and true uniform and replaced it with some jeans, a button up and a tie that screamed, “The difference between you and me is I make this look good ….” He looked incredibly handsome, and incredibly grown up. At six he has such a way of reminding me about grasping important moments in life; from a child’s point of view the world is an incredible playground of amazement. He also has a way of making me acutely aware that I focus on too much of the “what if” and not so much on the “here and now”.

“I’m going to look way different in my photos than I did in the fall Momma…”

“Well, you have grown like 19 inches it seems since October”

“No Momma. Two inches”

“Same difference”

“Maria is going to look way different too”

…. Cliff notes on Maria; she kissed my Tommy a few months ago on the ear. He blushes when you bring it up. I shed a tear at the thought of him growing up so fast ….

“Well sweetheart, that’s the purpose of fall / spring photos – it’s a snapshot of how you change throughout the year.”

“No, I mean she is going to look way different in her outfit. Last year she wore a black and white dress, with this headband that sparkled. I wonder what she is going to wear today …”

At first I was taken aback. How in the world did he remember what she had worn six months before? I can barely remember what I am currently wearing at this moment as I type! And why did he wonder what she was going to wear that day? What was the significance? Why was it important?

But then, the authenticity hit me. That kiss she had given him on the ear; when he first told me I was in a state of “what in the **insert colorful adjective of choice here**!!??” shock. I did not quite understand, or quite remember what it felt like to be six again and having little candid, uncomplicated moments of walking someone into their classroom, or sitting next to them at lunch and swapping your vanilla pudding cup for their chocolate one, or picking them first to be on your dodge ball team. That morning, as circles prove to do, mine became full, and with it the notion of what that kiss on the ear really meant. A summarization of innocence. Candid, uncomplicated moments of childhood.

That sweet innocence of childhood romance melted my heart. My darling son can’t remember to clean his room to save his life, or that he was grounded from the wii and not allowed to play just because I was in the shower and not present to vocally say no, or that finger painting on a wall is not an okay option when you are out of construction paper, but he can remember what Maria wore on a Friday…. in October …. Six months ago.

That morning I hugged him like I had for the first time. He is growing up. And at some point, the “Maria’s” in life are going to reject him, and worse, break his heart. He’s going to have to feel disappointment, and hurt. In some fashion he will experience failure, he will chase dreams he may lose, he will not understand and I will not have all the answers. But I will explain to him the same way I am explaining to you today: What doesn’t break us makes us stronger. Capture the snapshots of how you change in life from each passing season, remember what the important moments looked like, but also don’t forget that moments never fade … embrace them. The good, the bad, and the in-between. Those sweet, innocent, candid uncomplicated moments are still happening on a daily basis in our lives. Only now we are wearing our adult glasses and the view is hard to notice, or worse, hard to appreciate and value for what it is: A stepping stone into a memory that shapes our worlds, and our days.

I challenge you today, as I did that morning, to place aside your “gasp” on situations, and look beyond to the innocence of the moment. Your very own “I wonder …” is happening now. Seize it. Cherish it. And remember it … six weeks … months … and years later.