Saturday, June 25, 2011

Running Away from Mom

Flap, flap, flap went the little feet, chugging away toward the back of Target. I looked to my left and saw a smiling pre-schooler running alongside my cart. I looked around for his mother but there was no one in sight. I wasn't overly alarmed because the store was empty and I am, after all, the mother of three boys. Aisles in grocery stores make for great sprinting sessions! But, being a mom, I did keep an eye on this tyke and stayed alongside him as we made our way to the back.

"Where are you going?" Without missing a beat he replied, joyously I might add, "I'm running away from my mommy!" My heart cracked a bit at this and believe it or not, my eyes filled with tears. I told him to stay with his mommy for a bit longer and to turn around and run back. He did and I watched him reunite with a young woman. A simple interchange but it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

The heart of my sadness is that I have three boys who are running just as fast as they can to be independent and to head out on their own. They are eager and determined and hardly ever look back, rushing toward the future with smiles on their faces. I'm the one left in the background thinking, "Stay with me just a little while longer. You don't have to leave so soon! I need more time with you...just a little more time."

They used to be toddlers unwilling to hold my hand and eager to run the endless tiles of the grocery store. Now they're running the endless steps toward whatever God has in store for them and I must let go and let God take care of them. He'll walk beside them and watch over them. I imagine Him looking back at me and telling me they're in the BEST hands.


  1. I read somewhere recently that one of the hardest parts of being a parent is that you get 'fired' at the end when they move out. There are many, many days I wish we could jump back in time (only for a couple of hours or so) to when they were little and relied on me solely. :) I hate how fast the time has flown but am excited about the opportunities in front of them.

  2. Wow, Paula, total reminder for me to live in the moment! I think sometimes when they're young it's easy to ignore "Hey, Mommy..." when you've already heard it a zillion times throughout the day, but then when you don't hear it so often any longer you wish that you did. Thanks for sharing, and for the reminder!!
    ~Jen E.

  3. Oh, Paula :_) I feel your heart ache. "Just a little more time" - it's the cry of every mother's heart, I believe. I remember when my daughter was born and I was off work on a 6 week maternity leave. The clock in our living room chimed every hour. I had never paid it much mind. Now, if felt like a nail in my coffin every time it sounded, reminding me that I had one less hour left with my new baby. I was keenly aware of the ticking away of our time together before I had to return to work full time. I held her close and swore that nothing would ever come between us. Years passed, I eventually left work to stay at home, but still, I feel that ticking of the clock today, toward the day when she (and each of my kids) will go for good. God reminds me though, that we are His children and nothing EVER will come between us. And for His children, He has a place and a time in store of great reunion, when we will never again have to say good bye to those we love. Where clocks cease to chime and no one will run away.

  4. All of the feelings expressed are normal and natural. I would like to recommend a book for those who are struggeling with this stage of life. Barbara and Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest. This book will offer encouragement and instight and help you discover new purpose and passion for your next great adventure. Excellent for a small group study.