max at pool

From my perch on the sidelines, I am amazed how everyday you are different. The little boy who once was afraid of the deep end is now leaping in a rainbow arch playing sharks and minnows with the middle schoolers. The bow backed stand, arms crossed, goggles atop your head. I am a perpetual witness to this miracle, your life so full and so not defined by me.

Your freckles are mine, your fine Irish skin, but your life amazes me, shocks me, is so different from mine. And I know that with each day that passes, your life will be more and more a mystery. The code you speak, the language of boys, your posture, your stance. The way you move through the water, across the ice, on a field–such a mystery to me who trips over her own shadow and runs from a ball. Once upon a time, I knew every boo-boo, every scrape, every hurt feeling and could understand the storms of your moods. Once upon a time you came to me for answers and accepted what I said, but now you are certain I have no idea how things are–and to some extent you are right. I know nothing of sports and boys who play them. I can’t tell you how to shoot a puck better or how to slice a second of your backstroke. I am flummoxed about what to say to the team ball-hog, to the playground bully you stand up to.

And yet there are still, those holiest of moments, often in the evenings, or during a thunderstorm, when your wrap your arms around me, and ask me if I can keep a secret, and the sweet sorrow in your tender heart comes pouring out and I know you are still my baby boy, and that I am still the one who knows the landscape of your heart. While the details are fuzzy, I know the contours, the hills and valleys and know where the land is scarred and where it is more forgiving. And in those moments you and I remember that what I know is about being broken and being human, and falling apart and trying again and being human and loving and kind. And that really it is al that matters. I pray each day that you will continue to trust my broken mama self and know that this is a safe space to just be. I trust I will always be a keeper of your heart or the safe place where you come to be.

But for for now your being is in the water, at the pools edge, or in the snack shack and begging me not to take photos. For now your being is wrapped in a green towel looking for a ping pong partner, carrying a tupperware container of coins you saved up to buy junk food, loaning a dime to the big kids, wondering if it will buy you something more. For now your being is wrapped up in the learning that you can no longer learn from me, except when in broken failure (or something that feels like that) you sneak into my lap when no one is looking and whisper my name and time, the time that is flying by, stops still for you and me.

One Response to “Meditation on Max the summer he is 8”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Max got a hair cut!
    I like the look!
    Vacation soon, looking forward
    to seeing you guys.