Our Mother-Son Dance

I cry at weddings. Even if I barely know the bride, I will most likely use three tissues by the time she makes it to the altar. There is just something about the moment that grips my heart and renders me incapable of holding back the tears.

But the part of the day that stirs me to the core is the Mother-Son dance.

You might find me slipping out of the reception as soon as the DJ calls the groom and his mother to the dance floor. I might go stand outside or pretend that I need to use the restroom, but I simply cannot handle this part of the wedding day.

During this dance, I have heard songs about trucks and skinned knees and adventures with Mommy. I have seen mothers look at their sons with tears streaming down their face as they are full of pride with all that he has become as they twirl around the dance floor. But, I break down because my sons and I are very much in the trucks and skinned knees and adventure stage. I cannot fathom the day that I will dance with my boys and perform the mother’s act of giving her son away.

“I don’t care what anyone says – you can cut umbilical cords, but you can’t cut heart strings.”

Ann Voskamp

When we found out with each child that we were having boys, my husband and I joked that we wouldn’t have to pay for any weddings. But two months after our first son was born, we attended a wedding and it hit me that I would indeed have much responsibility on his big day. To my mind, the Mother-Son dance is in many ways a culmination of raising him. I will be handing over the reins and trusting that through God I have done enough for my son to be a loving husband, leader, and provider to his bride.

After speaking with mothers who have sons much older than mine, I have found that mothers of sons experience a gradual letting go process that doesn’t usually happen between mothers and daughters. While daughters often lean on their mothers for advice during this stage of their lives, especially as they begin to have children, sons often forge their own path or turn to their father for guidance.  For a mother cannot relate to her son’s new roles as husband and father in the same way that she can relate to the roles of a wife and mother.  I pray and try to prepare myself for this and I know that when the time comes for me to loosen my grip that God will give me the strength to do so.

I want my sons to put their wives first.

I want them to make their marriage a top priority.

I want them to be the spiritual leader of their home.

In order for them to achieve these things, I know that I must step back. I am not worried that my sons will no longer love me or be close to me. Of course our relationship will change, as God states it should. I have many positive dreams for my relationship with my future daughters-in-law and I trust my sons will choose well.

“The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Genesis 2: 23-24

As I have these thoughts of the future, my 2-year-old and 4-year-old boys come bounding into the living room and bring me back to the present. They have heard a song on TV that they love and they pull me off of the couch as they each say, “Dance whiff me, Mommy! Dance whiff me!”mother-sondance

I gladly oblige and hold them close while I twirl them around, dip them, and tickle them. Dance parties are a regular happening in our house. We work up a sweat and then decide to make a snack and share it out on the deck. The boys sit right next to me as one shows me what his truck can do and the other one asks me to kiss his skinned knee. I am showered in a chorus of, “I love you, Mommy-ies,” and I know that it will always ring true.  My heart is so full of love for my children that I can’t begin to describe it. One day I will have to let go, but today is not that day.

Whenever the time comes, I will wear my best dress, proudly display my corsage, and take my place on the dance floor with my son. There will be tears and memories that cloud my vision, but I am sure our Mother-Son dance will be one of the happiest moments of my life.

 

Linking with Equipping Godly Women

This Mama’s Easter Focus

I had the cutest outfits all picked out for the boys – colorful polo shirts and printed shorts.  Then, I had backup suits ready because this is the winter that just won’t quit and I was prepared for the egg hunting to take place in below-freezing temperatures.  It was warmer than I thought it would be, but we went with the suits anyway.

They looked adorable in their pastels, vests, and ties.  I had these great visions in mind of the Kodak moments of this Easter morning and I even had a teal framed picked out for a new picture to be placed on my office desk.

Cue reality.  The boys fussed, begged to eat more candy before church, and just couldn’t stand to be near one another.  I tried sitting them on the steps – one of them pushed the other and then the pushee tried to spit on the pusher.  I tried standing them by the wall.  One refused while the other one screamed for me to hold him.  I tried bribing them with more candy.  I tried to tell them that we would take their candy away.  I just couldn’t stop focusing on getting the perfect picture to commemorate this perfect Easter morning.

As you can tell, it wasn’t that perfect.

When we did get pictures, one was crying and the other one wasn’t looking at the camera.  Pictures of them with me involved toys over the face or solemn stares at the lens.  Pictures of them with their father captured one crying for me and one hiding behind his leg.  Pictures of the whole family together show one picking his nose and another one looking nowhere near the camera.

happyeaster

Seriously, this was the best picture.

I know I will look back and laugh.  In some respects, it’s a little funny even now. But as I watch all the pictures of beautiful kids and lovely families clog up my Facebook news feed throughout the day, I’m wondering where I’m going wrong?  Look at all of those dresses and bow-ties!  Are my kids the only ones that won’t cooperate?  Are my kids the only ones who can’t sit still for longer than 0.35 seconds?  Is this a reflection of me?  Odds are, those families had 49,349 takes to get that one perfect picture.

I had the opportunity to teach Children’s Church this morning and we asked the kids about the true meaning of Easter.  Of course, my kid was one of the children who threw their hands up in response to the question.  He said that, “Easter is all about candy….and it’s the day Jesus was born!”  Face palm.  I laughed, but my frustration was growing because haven’t we discussed Christmas and Easter several hundred times!?  But, I cut him some slack because he did just turn four and to me, Easter is a little more complicated to understand than Christmas, especially for a kid who is just learning what it means when someone dies.

Anyway, one little girl raised her hand and said, “Easter is all about Jesus dying on the cross and then in three days – today – he rose from the grave and is alive!!  Easter is the day that Jesus punched death in the face and won!!!”  Without a doubt, that is the most awesome answer to that question I have ever heard.

But it brought me back to what was really important – what is always important.

Jesus died for me.

Jesus died for me.

Jesus died for me.

Jesus died for me.

Jesus saved me for eternity from the sins that I commit today.  He made it possible for the two of us to have a direct, personal relationship because he died on the cross and rose again.

It’s no secret that I tend to be an independent control freak.  I like to do things by myself and on my own terms.  If I had kids who were always compliant and never gave me any grief, I can guarantee you that my relationship with Christ would fall by the wayside because I would probably feel like I was doing okay handling things on my own.   Also, I’m not sure those kids exist.  Instead, I have found that being a mother has made me long for a close relationship with my Savior more than anything else in my life.  Christ’s actions on the cross make it possible for me to simply talk to Him all of the time.  For example, when my kids refuse to take cooperative pictures and I spend Easter morning in a state of frustration, I can just pray.  And He hears me.

Trust me, I know that getting worked up over something like nice Easter pictures is ridiculous, but that was just on my radar this weekend.  Depending on the day and time, it could be any number of trivial things that steal my focus.  My focus should be and needs to be on the cross.  It doesn’t matter if it is Easter morning or not – when I turn to the cross, everything falls into place.

 

*side note:marker one of my kids found a permanent marker on Easter evening and drew on his face.  A permanent marker on his face.  The Easter morning pictures could have been worse.