Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Tracey chose: The essence of you. Write something that captures the essence of who you are as a person.
I love the idea of this topic, but I have to admit that I was stumped by it. I’m not quite sure what someone’s “essence” is. Google describes the word essence as “the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.” Something abstract. An indispensable quality. Huh. This morning I asked my husband what he felt my “essence” would be, and he said the first word that came to mind for him was the word “GO”. I’m a doer, and even when at rest I still have to accomplish and do… something. I wasn’t sure the word “GO” was the right description to capture my essence, and I spent a better part of the morning dwelling on who I am as a person, what describes me, what Sara’s essence would be.
While cleaning my soon-to-be nine-year old’s bedroom (elbow deep in dirty litter from the guinea pig’s cage) I reflected on a conversation the boy and I had last night. We were playing Jewel Mania on the tablet while his kid brother went to bed for the night, and somehow our talk had turned to visions of the future. He talked about the two of them growing up and moving out of the house. I don’t normally think of my boys as grown-ups and don’t dwell much on how life will be when they leave the nest, but hearing those words from my kid squeezed at my heart a little bit. Okay, not a little bit. A LOT. I heaved a heavy sigh and ruffled his hair and said, “Hey now, let’s not talk about that.” Half kidding. He had moved a jewel into place on the tablet, and then looked up at me. Now, I always see my kids. I see them every day, but this particular night I really SAW my boy. I know all moms feel like their children are the most beautiful children in the world, but I have to say my boy really is beautiful, inside and out. I imagined this beautiful boy all grown up, and when that occurs I’ll think back to this moment, his dark brown eyes looking at me with expectation, cute little button nose twitching a little bit while he waits impatiently for me to say something. I’ll wish he could be this age again, or his brother’s age, again. It made my heart hurt so much, I didn’t know what to say for a moment. But he did. He said, “Mom. Do you not want me to move out? I can stay here and live with you if you want me to.”
Seriously, kid. You are killing me, KILLING ME!
I smiled and pulled him a little closer, and we both found a few more jewels to line up. “Bug.” (his nickname since he was in diapers.) “I will be sad when you boys move out, but it’s a good thing. When you’re a grown-up and you can take care of yourself, and you live a good life, that’s how I’ll know that I did my job. My job is to prepare you for that moment, and I want nothing more than for the both of you to be strong, brave and responsible men. I’ll be sad, but it will be a good thing.” He can always sense when there’s a heavy topic on the horizon, and when I get too emotional or when talk gets too deep, he acts the clown and starts to say and do silly things. He regaled me on how he and his kid brother will be when they are adults, and how his kid brother will get into a fight and when he busts out some proper karate moves on someone, his kid brother will say, “That’s right. My big brother taught me that.” There was talk of ninjas and I think Minecraft even snuck into the last remnants of that conversation, but it’s a moment I’ll never forget.
After putting the finishing touches on the guinea pig cage, I stood up and looked around my boy’s space. I see a lot of his father in him. He is a pack rat, and never wants to throw anything out. He is a collector. He loves Legos and building things with the Legos, and anything else he can get his hands on. He is quiet and introspective. Upon closer inspection however, I see so much of me in him, too. He loves nature, and he loves bugs and lizards and slimy things. He’s developing his own zany wit and loves making people laugh, and his favorite gift in life is the gift of reading. If you put a wig on him, he looks a lot like I did as a kid. It hit me like a ton of bricks that my essence isn’t really what defines who I am or the characteristics that make up who I am, per say; it’s what I’ve passed on to my children. They are carrying on who I am, not only in their DNA but in what I’ve shown them, and how I’ve guided them. When I’m no longer here, they will remember me and my essence. Maybe it will be a certain look I used to give them or the perfume I wear. They’ll close their eyes and remember my smile and the way it felt when I’d give them hugs. It’s buried deep within their hearts and minds and in a sense I’ll always be there. While I lovingly touched a photo of my son from the very first ultrasound at 6 weeks gestation, I could see how his own essence was all around this room. Who he is, and what he’s about. That will change over the course of time, but the essence of my Bug will not. Even when both my boys take those first shaky steps towards adulthood, they will always be a part of me, too.