Joyce and I continued our conversation about sons “leaving and cleaving” and how that might feel to a mother. Sitting on a comfortable, floral-design couch in front of a square, oak coffee table that her talented husband had crafted, we looked out the windows to the waters of the lake, cresting in white caps in the steady wind.
“Just wait until you have sons of your own. Then, you’ll understand!”
She doesn’t say it, but … she still might think it! says Joyce.
Our sons. We pour our “blood, sweat and tears” into raising them to be hard-working, resourceful, contributing members of the human race. We yell “Whoopee!” when they finally are … practically pushing them out of the proverbial nest. They move out, and off they go to find a place of their own, and a love of their own. They land jobs, settle down and start their own families.
Still, might there be just a bit of melancholy involved in the “leaving” part that is our dream for them? Oh, it may have begun years before when we packed them off to college and wondered who was going to mow the lawn now and who was going to play the music we’d listened to and actually begun to enjoy and who was going to draw us to school concerts and rugby games and having to make Halloween costumes at the last minute? But, a sense of loss might solidify when these men – yes, men – covenant with their beloveds – “until death parts us.” No matter how much we’d like to turn back the clock (just for a bit) to re-live some of those sweet moments of their growing up, it’s official – they ain’t comin’ back!
A door closes. A chapter ends. And there’s no future in the past.
Perhaps, just perhaps, in some small way, and at certain moments, a mother may feel “left behind”. After a job well-done, Mom watches her son “graduate” – and then finds herself at the chalkboard … in an empty classroom.
Are we sad for the leaving? Yes. And no.
Do we look forward to many more special times together? Yes! Do we celebrate the men they have become and are still becoming? Sure do! Do we love their wives and thank God for grafting these women into our families? Absolutely! Wouldn’t change a thing about how this has worked out so far!
“Why, then, are you crying?
Silly question! Can we not be happy and sad at the same time? Certainly. And when those tears mix together, they make up the word “bittersweet“!