Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Do you remember back when your babies were, well, babies?

When they would take their whole hand; their whole fist and wrap it oh-so tight around your finger?

Babies do that. Hold tight.

Mommas do that too. 

I don’t remember how or when or why but eventually; gradually, they start to let go.

And I was the one reaching.

And wanting to hold.

But it doesn’t matter. This is the real New Year’s.

And off they go.

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It took us about 20 minutes to get home.

Biking with a 5 year-old-dreamer takes a special kind of patience.

She waves. She smiles. She thinks the cracked sidewalks on the east side of Fremont is the Miss America runway. 

And why not?

We started with 5, but ended with 3 after the boys declared their “independancy” and took an alternate route home.

I tell Emma Claire it’s a race.

And we won, which was weird. We shouldn’t have won.

No bikes. No boys.

I drive back to the school. Make the block. Weave in and out of the neighborhood.

Slighly annoyed. Slightly amused. Slightly confused.

I called a friend.

Then another. 

I drove to Coulter’s dad’s house. Dark. 

I drove to the other little guys’s house. Dark. 

And I thought back to a conversation just that morning about Coulter riding his bike to school.

Friend: “Does that make you nervous?”

Me: (And I’m summarizing.) No.

But now?

Now I can’t find him.

I can’t find them.

I see Jodi. My friend who got the call and whose son did not come home. And I’m now hysterical.

She leaves her mower. Hops in her car and 35 minutes after the start of school I have 3 friends helping me look.

I reach down to call their dad and my phone dies.

Of course it does.

I drive home to get a charger and there, mom after mom after mom, we all assemble and Coulter walks out the front door with chip crumbs on his shirt looking super-confused.

“Sorry mom. We stopped at Dad’s house. Then I offered Morgan a popsicle. Then we stopped at Ms. Jill’s house ’cause we were tired.

And all I could think about, as I tried to slow my breathing, was his use of the word “offered”.  What nine year old says “offered?”

Later that night, I wept again.

Why do some sons come home?

And others, Home?

The next morning, Coulter hopped on his bike. And once again asked for his “independancy” (and I can’t bring myself to correct his grammar because he is DANG cute when he says it.)

My babies.

How they used to hold tight.

The backwards blessings of this broken world and I knowing that it doesn’t really matter how tight I hold on, they will go.

They will soar.

They will jump.

The will let go.

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But, as long as the Lord wills it, they come home. And these hugs are even better than the tight-finger hugs.

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“I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Do I worry?

Yes.

Will it help?

“Who, by worrying can add a single hour to your life”. Luke 12:25

No.

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