Mommas, Boys and Valentine’s Day

It was Valentines Day 2009. I was asleep in my bed but could hear whispers. I woke with the two of you standing beside me as I slept, smiling with pride and eager for me to notice the gift you had left on my pillow.

It was a plastic rose.

“We were playing cowboys and Indians, and we accidentally hit that wreath thing, and this rose fell out. It is just plastic, but it won’t die so you can have it forever.”

So to my dear friends and passing strangers – I wish you good days filled with plastic roses that will never die!

Just Not Today 

(To my son, Trey Biddy)

Holding you for the first time, I knew one day I’d have to let you go – but just not today.

When you took your fist steps, I knew they were the first of many that would one day lead you down your own path – but just not today.

Your first sleepover that I wasn’t called to pick you up in the middle of the night, I knew you would one day find your independence – just not today.

Delivering you to school on your first day in a back pack almost bigger than you and full of anything you would need to survive, I knew one day you would need your friends more than I – just not today.

With every milestone I knew the day was coming, when you would take a journey carved by many tears and smiles from those who love you most, and I would have to watch you go – just not today.

I knew there would come a day that I would face a special kind of storm that I would want to hold you back just one more time, to keep you here under my diligent watch and protection a little longer – and we both know that day is just not today.

Catching Plane

Checked baggage.
Shoes in tub.
Gate found.
Time to spare.

We roam the airport.
I reach for your hand,
as if you are still three.
You pull away and grimace.
After all, you’re 11 years and 12 days.

I choose People magazine over Us,
Reese’s over Snickers,
glance at you,
looking at caps.

When was it, exactly
that I put you down
out of my arms
for the very last time?

“People with children…”
they call.
We board.
Baggage stowed.
Seat belts clicked.
Electronics off.

You place your head against me;
asleep before we depart.

Note to self: Remember this; it could be a last time kind of moment.

Morning Delivery

(Taking Trey to school one morning. Written 2-2-09)

“You are the brightest
star in my sky.”
You grab your
backpack, glance
at me, almost smile
but roll your eyes instead.

“Be a leader today;
reach beyond your potential.”
You pretend you don’t
hear me, distracted by
something other than my voice,
but I notice as you sit up taller
and hold your head a little higher.

“You can do anything you want,
as long as you read and dream.”
You moan, “I know, Mom. You’ve told me
that a million times already.”
But you look out the window,
thinking, wondering, dreaming,
believing it is all possible,
and your eyes tell me what I need to know.

I savor every simple moment
God allows you and me,
knowing it will make the difference
between what you can be
and what you will be.

I cherish and delight in
every rolling eye,
ignored response
and grumbling
because I know you
hear me even though
it isn’t cool to let anyone
know you do.

I won’t quit, no matter
how big you get
nor how old I am,
because I know me,
believing in you,
is your first defense
against the voices
of this world
telling you what
you cannot do.