My head is spinning at a loss for words at the moment, which always seems like a good time for me to write. And sort my thoughts out like a messy deck of cards strewn across the floor. Shuffle them all up nicely as the fingers hit the keyboard.
I remember taking my son with me to get my drum set in a faraway suburban town in New York where they have vineyards. It was less than an hour from Montauk, so it was close to the water and had a very beachy scent to the air. I found the ad on Craig's List and knew very little about the woman selling the drums. As I arrived I learned bits and pieces of her story that centered all around this drum set. She was moving out of the home and it was her son's drum set she was eager to get rid of. Her son, now an engineer. A grown man on his own. He used to play the drums in the finished basement with his friends and took very good care of it. I instantly loved that she was a mother that supported and encouraged her son to play such a loud collection of instruments. And provided a space for him and his friends to routinely rock out in the basement. I loved her smile when she spoke of him and I wondered if she missed having him around to take care of and watch over. As she assisted me in dismantling the drum kit and sticking it piece by piece, much like a game of tetris, into my tiny CRV, I kept my own little son tucked close to my side. He was less than 2 at the time. I wondered if he would one day play my new drums and have a band of his own as well. But I knew for certain if he did, I would find a space for him and encourage it.
I wondered about this mother's story as I drove away, wanted to know more about them. And how we were at such different places in life with motherhood. Me just starting out and her selling the drums he left behind years ago all dusty in her basement. Mother and son relationships especially intrigued me then as I had never been a son nor a mother before. I'm not sure how the script should read. But we're all writing our own as go, aren't we.
The past couple weeks the script is out of sorts. It has scribbles on it, lines I wish I could have said better or not at all, moments I wish I could redo, and some I wish I could enjoy over and over with this little son of mine. Who is now the oldest of three children in our family. He's getting harder now, more challenging and smarter. And I think and wonder often of his future, all the ways we can help him prepare for life and all that he needs to know. These days I consider more important things than what kind of instrument he will play. All along the way just really wanting to do it all so perfectly. And really kicking myself in the head when I don't.
Tonight I just read an email about a nice women who visits me from church once a month. She is one of my visiting teachers. I loved her immediately for reasons I couldn't place right away. She has a quick wit about her, an easy but sure smile. She's raised several children and I believe many are around my age. I read tonight that her oldest son passed away last week. I don't know any details and I don't need to know any of them to imagine the grief she must be feeling.
As I rocked my freshly bathed baby girl to sleep tonight I watched her face and thought about how new she is. How much I still get to experience with her. How many memories we still get to build and firsts to explore with her! How easy her needs seem to meet right now and how it might also get more complicated to teach her the older she gets.
I also thought about this mother and how many memories she has with her son. I hoped her mind is able to flash through them like a slide show of all the special moments they had in his life and how important their relationship was to each of them. And finally, I thought about how the children we get are just on loan. They really aren't ours. They are The Lord's and He's going to want them back one day. We don't get to pick when that will be. And that has been a nice reminder for me to have right now.