"Wasn't I Real before?" asked the little Rabbit. "You were Real to the boy," the Fairy said, "because he loved you." -The Velveteen Rabbit
This post has been rattling around in my head for a while now, so I thought that tonight on the occasion of my man-child's 7th birthday, I would share this memory I treasure of my son.
This summer I took all four kids with me to a used homeschool curriculum sale. This sale was held at a homeschool store that also offers classes to homeschoolers. They have a playground next to the store, and so, having been there before and having had my kids very welcomed on the playground in the past, I left them there to play while I browsed the books for sale on the lawn. A lady connected with the store saw at one point that all of the mothers sitting around the playground had drifted away, and since my two youngest were the only ones in the yard she thought maybe she should let me know.
The conversation went something like this...Lady: "Who's your mommy?" Demi: "mommy". Lady: "what is your mommy's name so I can go find her?" Demi: "mommy." Lady: "what is your last name?" Demi said our last name, which sounds like a common first name but is spelled differently. Lady tried again: "what do your mommy's friends call her?" Demi: "Mrs. (blank)" she tried again: "what does your dad call her?" Demi-looking puzzled: "Mommy" (not true, not sure why he answered that way). Finally the lady asked "what does your mommy look like, so I can go find her?"
Demi: "she's wearing a dress, she has long hair and blue eyes, and she's beautiful!" this part said in a stage whisper, as if he was imparting a wonderful, exciting secret.
This sweet dear lady did find me. And she took the time to tell me all that had unfolded. I got teary eyed and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share this with me. I treasure this because I am with my kids all the time as a homeschool mom and I am on the front lines as a disciplinarian, and with the unending questions, the chatter, the disagreements. Sometimes I feel like I spend much of my time correcting, ordering, instructing, wondering if my negative interactions are outweighing my positive interactions. This memory means so much to me because it paints a picture of how my son sees me. I am so grateful that to him, mother represents beauty.
"They were all growing so fast. In just a few short years they would all be young men and women...youth tiptoe...expectant...a-star with its sweet wild dreams...little ships sailing out of safe harbour to unknown ports. The boys would go away to their life work and the girls...ah, the mist-veiled forms of beautiful brides might be seen coming down the old stairs at Ingleside.
But they would be still hers for a few years yet...hers to love and guide...to sing the songs that so many mothers had sung." -Anne Of Ingleside
Happy Birthday Demi, Mommy loves you more than she could ever tell.