Friday, 15 February 2008

Special Moments

Every parent knows those ‘special’ moments; the ones you wish you could bottle, to open, sniff and experience again when your child is being less than an angel. A weed, petals missing, handed over on a stem an inch long, is transformed into a beautiful flower to be admired by everyone, simply because it’s given with all the love a two-year-old can muster. A story entitled ‘My Mum’, is brought home with such pride that you can’t see the spelling mistakes for the tears in your eyes as you read it. A favourite teddy is pushed into your arms to look after you because you’re not feeling well. Those are special moments.

I always thought children grew out of these little things. My beautiful blue-eyed eldest son grew into your normal argumentative, moody, unpredictable teenager a few years ago and I’ve been treading on glass ever since. I work very hard at not banging heads with him, but there are moments when I could very happily go away and leave him to his own devices for a week or two...or maybe a few years. It’s as if I went from being a help and protector to an arch-enemy overnight without doing anything. As I said – all very normal.

Yesterday though, I discovered that those special moments still happen, even with teenage boys. With great difficulty, I’d made him take a break from the computer. If I didn’t push him, he’d spend all day and night sitting there and never see daylight. So he stomped off outside to throw a tennis ball against the back gate for ten minutes. His cricket bowling skills have improved dramatically from doing just that. When he came in he held out his fist, looking sheepish, and said, ‘Here, Mum, I got you a present.’

He deposited onto my palm three small brown rocks, the sort that are all over our driveway, lumps of ironstone gravel. I was puzzled until he added, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. When I looked at the rocks more closely I saw that they were all heart-shaped. Suddenly, for just that moment, my little boy was back, in all his innocence. A special moment.

I’ll keep the rocks handy to look at, next time he’s being a pig-headed teenager.


Angela said...

Oh....that's so sweet!!!

I heard that the teenage years are supposed to be a pain - otherwise kids would never leave home!

I'm with you - I'd cherish those rocks and the teenager who gave them to you!

Angela said...

What a great, great, great story! Thanks so much for sharing--it gives me hope for when my little monsters grow into the big moody ones!