Sunday, March 10, 2013

Let Me Hold You Longer

The day my son Crew was born a friend of mine brought him a present. The present was in a box that said,"C is for cuddlebug. From the moment you were placed in our arms, you snuggled into our hearts." What a perfect way to describe the way we feel about our precious Crew.

Yesterday as I was going through some of the clothes that Crew had outgrown I decided to put some of my favorite items into this box.

What were some of  my favorite items that I put into his special box?

The outfit he wore home from the hospital:

His first Thanksgiving outfit:

His little plaid shirt he wore for his first Christmas:

His puppy dog socks that were the cutest thing ever on his little feet:

His green Ralph Lauren outfit that he looked so handsome in:

His nightgowns that he wore every day for the first two months of his life:

His owl hat from his newborn photo session:

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

I think I may need a bigger box. As I looked through his clothes I started to cry. Where has the past four months gone? Is this how the rest of his life is going to be? Is is going to fly by so fast that I do not even notice it until I find that favorite shirt that no longer fits him?
Later that day during Crew's playtime I came across a book. "Let Me Hold You Longer" by Karen Kingsbury. I started to read it to Crew and two pages in I began to cry. Luckily, my husband Daniel came in and picked up the book and finished reading it without skipping a beat.
"Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts;
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.
The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip,
The last night when you woke up crying,
Needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket
Wanting to be rocked.
The last time when you ran to me still small enough to hold
The last time when you said you'd marry me when you grew old.
Precious simple moments and bright flashes from your past
Would I have held on longer if I'd known they were your last?
Our last adventure to the park, your final midday nap
The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.
I never said goodbye to all your yesterdays long past
So what about tomorrow? Will I recognize your lasts?
The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond
The last that you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn
Silly, scattered moments and bright flashes from your past
I keep on taking pictures, never quite sure of your last.
The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight,
The last time that I tuck you in and pray with you at night.
The last time when we cuddled with a book just me and you,
The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two.
The last piano lesson, the last vacation to the lake
Your last few weeks of middle school, last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days that haven't come to pass
But as I do I sometimes miss today's sweet precious lasts.
The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test
The last time when I shout that "Yes! Your room is still a mess!"
The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there
The last time that you spend the night with your old tattered bear.
My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass
I want to hold on longer, want to recognize your lasts.
The last thing that you need my help with, details of a dance,
And the last time that you asked me for advice about romance.
The last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams
The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.
I've watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass
If I could freeze the hands of time, I'd hold onto your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning, you'll be going far away
College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way
One last hug, one last goodbye, one quick and hurried kiss,
One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed.
I'll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed
So let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last."

The first page of the book is a young mother in a rocking chair holding her new baby boy. Her eyes hold the promise of new beginnings and many exciting adventures to come. There is a little puppy sitting beside the rocking chair.
The last page is the now aged mother sitting in a chair looking at a family photo album reminiscing on her son's life. The puppy from the first page is is now old and gray.
That last page is what got me. My once young puppies are now turning gray too. We are all victims of time. Every one of us. Am I cherishing and relishing in every single moment with Crew? I never know when his "lasts" will be. Am I taking my dogs for as many walks as possible? I never know when their last walk will be. I do not know when the last laugh I will hear from my brother will be or the last hug I will share with my Dad. I don't know the last apple pie that my Mom will ever bake or the last "I love you" I will hear her say. I never know when the last kiss I share with my husband will be.
One of my all time favorite songs is "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac.
"Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I've been afraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too"
One of my greatest fears in life has always been time. I fear getting older, but more importantly I fear the people I love getting older. It is true, we build our lives around the people we care most about. We are all getting older every single second, even children get older. We need to spend every possible second creating those beautiful memories that will carry us through the changing seasons when those special people grow up or move away or go to Heaven. I want to live my life never knowing when those precious "lasts" will be. I want to take advantage of every opportunity to create those special moments because I never know when those moments will become merely a memory. A page in the family photo album. A "last" that I did not recogonize until it was too late.
"So let me hold on longer God to every precious last."
Image by Truly Blessed Photography



Monday, March 4, 2013

Lessons My Son has Taught Me

Having received a high school dipoloma, a college degree, countless hours of on the job trainings, and all of the life lessons I have learned throughout my journey I truly believed that I had learned everything that I needed to know about life.

That was until the day that Crew James Patel entered this world. The past four months I have learned more about about life than I ever did in 26 years. Crew is an amazing teacher. How could it be that a baby has taught me so much about life and who I want to be and he hasn't even uttered a single word?

Lessons my son has taught me:

Patience- Crew taught me patience before he was even born. I waited nine long, HOT, uncomfortable months to meet that precious baby boy. And what did he do? He decided he was going to make me wait longer! Not only was he late, but the doctor had to help him along! After being induced, pushing for over 3 LONG hours, and 3 vacuum attempts by the doctor I met the most beautiful baby boy. He taught me that all good things are definitely worth the wait. Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He hath made every thing beautiful in His time."

Love- The moment I saw Crew I fell completely in love. It was the purest form of love I had ever known or felt. Crew was so sweet and innocent and I was overwhelmed with the urge to protect him even if it meant dying for him. I would do anything for him. My needs suddenly disappeared. The only thing that mattered was him. It was true, unselfish, pure love. Crew gave me a small glimpse of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. The love that I have for Crew cannot even compare to God's love for his children. There is NOTHING that can separate us from God's love.

The Bible says in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Knowing the love that I have for Crew, I am humbled to even try to understand God's love for me.

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

Happiness- Every morning that I wake up to Crew's cooing and laughing from the next room over I feel happiness. I can't remember one morning that Crew hasn't given me the biggest smile when I go in to see him. He is laughing and smiling and he is so happy to see me. He makes me feel so special. Crew wakes up every morning with the most beautiful gift...the gift of no worries. Crew isn't worried about the load of laundry that needs folded or the dishes that need washed or the bills that need paid. Crew lives every moment of his life to the fullest. He never worries about the future. He gives every person he sees the biggest smile. Crew has taught me to not sweat the small stuff. Enjoy every minute of life. Greet everyone you meet with a smile. Life is too short for regret or worries. The laundry, dishes, and bills will always be there, but the people you love are what really matters.

Faith- Crew has taught me the true meaning of faith. Crew trusts me with his life. When I pick him up he never fears that I will drop him or hurt him. He has complete faith in me. He knows I am his Mommy and that I will take care of his needs. Crew has taught me to put my full trust in my Heavenly Father and believe that He will take care of my needs.

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

The Bible says in Matthew 6:25-26, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"

 My Heavenly Father cares enough about the birds to feed them. Why shouldn't I trust him to meet all of my needs?

Hope- Every day I wake up and feel the strongest surge of hope. Crew in his sweet innocence reminds me that amid this troubled economy, this evil world, evil men, diseases, poverty, and weather catastrophes there is a sweet little boy who knows nothing of this yet. Crew reminds me that God still give us beautiful blessings among the evil and sadness this world offers. Crew is my small glimpse of Heaven here on earth. He reminds me that there is still good here on earth and that I shouldn't give up just yet. Having accepted Jesus as my Savior, He has promised me Heaven. Crew has taught me to have hope amid this evil world and to look forward to God's promise of Heaven.

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

 When I found out that I was having a little boy I started thinking about all of the things that I wanted to teach him. I never in a million years dreamed that he would teach me so much. I thank God every day for this beautiful little miracle named Crew.

Image by Truly Blessed Photography