I read once that the decision to have a child is the decision to, from that point forward, have a part of your heart walk around outside of your body.

How true it is. How very, very true.

You give birth to this darling human — this absolute miracle — and instantly, you know a love unlike any other.

The blessings are without measure and without question.
Smiles,
coos,
first words,
first steps,
those joyful bursts of laughter….
Each fills your soul with immeasurable joy.

But it’s not the joys that lie on my heart tonight.

It’s the trials. The hard times. The heart aches.

Through all the phases, all the growing pains, all the speed bumps — that unbelievable depth of love sees you through.

When our babies are little and things are tough, you need only look at their sleeping faces to feel the love literally pump from your momma heart to ease your worries and reassure your soul at the deepest level that all is well.

Then….Teenage years.
Tough times, those.

As teens, our babies are finding their own way. And it is sometimes hard, hard, HARD to watch.

It’s harder still to live.

My own beloved boychild is 21 now — but I almost lost him at 18.

And at 19.

And at 20.

His choices put his life in danger. Direct, immediate danger. Thinking about it even now makes my heart hurt…. As the mother of teen, however, you have to let them venture out. You pray continuously that their choices will be good and their hearts will stay strong, but ultimately they have to find their way.

And so, at 18 and as a recent high school graduate, my son was at a party in a neighboring town. I will probably never know the details, but what I do know makes my blood run cold.

In a nutshell, tempers flared as the alcohol flowed… My son — the kid from out of town – was jumped by bigger boys. He was surrounded and jumped… An easy target with a fiery temper of his own.

He was jumped from behind. Brought down to the ground. Brutally kicked, punched and slammed with hit after hit.

They had him. They had my boy. He was down and defenseless.

And that could have been the end.

For reasons I will never know, they stopped.
For reasons I will forever celebrate, they stopped.

The blur of emergency rooms, x-rays, specialists, surgeries….

The face of my sweet baby boy, beaten and bloodied beyond recognition….

These things are all a part of what I now know is a happy ending.

My boy survived.

I told him at the time — and believe firmly to this day — that it was the lifetime of Momma-prayers with which he’s covered that saved his life. God has other plans for him.

And I am grateful beyond words.

My boy survived.

Two days ago, another 18 year old from my home town was in a fight.

Someone brought out a gun.

He did not survive.

As my heart breaks, I search for meaning where there is none — for understanding where there is none. There is only deep, deep sadness, grief and sorrow.

I keep thinking of his momma. I know, he too was covered in a lifetime of Momma-prayers. What made his outcome different? Why is his Earthly story ending? Why…?

Someone also said that it is not ours to understand.
Again, they are right.

What it is, then, is ours to treasure, to savor and to embrace.

It is true that, as mommas, quite a large part of our hearts walk around outside our bodies.
It is true that letting our children go out into the world is the ultimate act of faith.
But it is also true that we must.

This momma’s son has been granted another chance more than once. There is a greater plan for him and I know not what it is.

And so I pray for my boy, my only son. I pray that he treasures, savors and embraces this life. I pray that he makes the most of every moment, every opportunity, every chance.

For he survived.

Momma & the Boychild
Summer 2012

Momma & the Boychild
Summer 2012

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