messy hands

Twisted Paperclips

Funny how the simplest things in life have the most meaning. If I could sift through everything in my life and boil it down to the one thing that mattered most – what my ultimate calling is – it would be that of MOM.

The joy I have in being a mother is difficult to express in words. Sometimes I think my heart will explode right out of my chest from happiness – or, not very often, there have been times when the pain of watching the world taint my son’s innocence rips at my soul. The most extremes of the emotional spectrum are at the mercy of this child of mine. I would drop everything, give up everything, to protect him and raise him at home.

UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE NOTES

Sure, the mundane of everyday grabs my attention and I’m distracted with cleaning, going out with friends, social media, and “work” on my computer. Next thing I know, a few weeks have passed without hardly noticing where the days went and I have barely spoken to him. But then, there are moments that stop me in my tracks and remind me what an incredible blessing being a parent is. Moments when I find twisted paper clips scattered on my office desk or the floor. For most, it might be annoying to find all your paper clips contorted and unusable or torn pieces of paper scattered about, bits and pieces of your favorite pen apparently used for a projectile device (and a distraction from homework), or pencils dropped on the floor. I dutifully call my son in and scold him about making a mess and not picking up after himself, but it’s never very harsh because I see those things as love notes and it brings a smile to my face (though I try not to show it too much!).

Behind my parental correction is a mother’s heart who is thankful for the messes I find in my office. I like finding reminders of him. Tonight, I dropped him off to see the premiere of a new movie with his friends. His first time to do something like this and he was so excited! He couldn’t wait to ditch mom and get in line with his friends (don’t we all remember those days?!). When I returned home, I walked into my office and picked up a paper laying on my desk, under it was a lego car he had put together earlier in the day. I smiled and took a photo. That 16-year-old boy who is so anxious to become independent is still a little boy at heart sometimes, and I love it!

lego truck
I love finding toys among my work papers.

The instant I got a glimpse of that lego truck, my mind flashed back to the toddler who called out “Mommy?” every 5 seconds. I desperately wanted to hold that toddler one more time. At the same moment, the pride I felt for the quality young man he is becoming made my chest swell up and feel like it was going to burst. No career, no amount of money, nothing, is greater than my calling as a mother. I am thankful that I have been able to be at home with him since Day 1. Even the years as a single mother, I chose to live on less so that I never had to put him in daycare or rely on someone else to raise him.

So bring on the twisted paper clips (I can buy more), and the toys in my office, and the pencils on the floor, or the rolled up edges of my desk calendar. They are signs of a beautiful gift from God, a loan for a few years of a precious life. My time to have him under my roof is speeding by at a lightning-fast pace. There will be a day when I will miss seeing evidence of a young boy, who is forgetful and messy at times, that brings fresh life and joy to this home.  How grateful I was for the years that he let me rock him to sleep, enjoying the moment that I knew would pass soon enough. Now I am grateful for every piece of laundry, unmade bed, tablet on the floor, socks in the bathroom, candy wrappers in the washing machine, dirty plate on the kitchen counter, and twisted paper clips on my desk. They too will pass soon enough.

red-hands

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