Sons are the anchors of a mother’s life – Sophocles
There they sit surrounding me in all their youthful glory. My three sons. They are shoveling in a hearty dinner at an alarmingly rapid rate, served on oversized plates by the waitress. Where they put their food is beyond me – they are so slim. But then they have always been ravenous eaters and that is why, like many mothers who raise sons, I have spent most of my mothering years chained to the kitchen. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way! However, despite the fact that they share equally ravenous appetites, they each bring their individuality and unique gifts to family life, blessing me deeply.
Take Tim for instance. He sits quietly, happy to listen to the chatter around him. His demeanor oozes contentedness. On my left is a young man of few words, who revels in a space of his own. Sometimes I wonder where that space is exactly. How to reach into the recesses of his mind and discover what is going on? His love language is hugs and quality time. And that is how I breach the boundary that seems to be raised high, and break through to get close. He just wants a mum who hangs out with him. Don’t say much though, just be there in his quiet space with him. I allow his peaceful, non-anxious presence to settle me. I love him for who he is. That’s all that’s needed.
And then opposite me sits Harrison. Now there is a different son altogether. Full of laughter, full of fun, always moving and always relishing in being the center of attention. Oh my goodness, with that young man something has to be happening all the time. Can he ever be still? I wonder absentmindedly to myself. He’s a team player, a collaborator, a motivator, a leader, a fitness nut and the life of the party. He’s exhausting, full of charm and charisma and yet he’s deeply sensitive and caring. A man with ambition who is out for adventure. Who seeks to live life to the full. I look into the mirror of my past and see a male replica of myself. Scary stuff.
And then on my far right, there’s the eldest, Benjamin. Son of my right hand, son of strength. The steady one, the serious one, the wise one. But don’t get me wrong. Benjamin is, like us all, on a journey of learning and growth. He’s had his share of mistakes and probably will make some more along the way. But it’s all good. And for Benjamin his priority is to give God all the glory, regardless of the situations that unfold in his life.
I am awakened from my reverie by their combined badgering and bantering. Harrison is leaning over the table sporting his suave, freshly-shorn crew cut, the other two are squirming in their seats, vying for attention. I smile, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are getting louder and more boisterous by the moment. Time to go, says my patient husband. Time to take this obnoxious noise out into the parking lot. Time to bring these moments of reflection to an end. I offer up a prayer of thanks and a sigh of contentment before we leave for the honor of raising sons.