Have you ever had those moments when you see your children growing up? I mean not the day to day growning up but those shocking moments that you see them for who they really are? Those moments when you hear them talking and you can’t believe they’ve gotten that old?
I had one of those moments on Monday. My seven year old has been begging to get his room repainted since last February when his older brother and sister got their’s done for their birthdays. That didn’t bother me really. I agree that it’s probably time. His room was still the same baby blue with the words I wrote in white paint that from when he and his little brother first moved into that room three years ago. (I even painted over them with glow-in-the dark paint so the boys could see them at night.)
His little brother has since moved out and it’s his alone. He wants to be big. I understood. I love watching my kids grow-up. I love each new adventure that their new stages bring.
So, I washed the walls and got out the primer. I took my paint laden brush and began to cover those words. First, HAPPY. Then came FAMILY. I had to stop. It took my breath away. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My little boy didn’t want to BE little anymore and he wasn’t. I couldn’t cover anymore of them. He stood beside me and encouraged me to work faster so we could buy the orange color he wants to cover those words with. Everything in me wanted to keep those walls the way they were. Each little scuff mark put there by little feet while playing or reading. Those dings in the walls from toys thrown by little hands. His little hands. They are still so small that I don’t realize just how big they’ve gotten until I compare them to the little prints sitting on my desk.
I cry inside for myself. For the loss of that tiny little boy that clung to my hand. The longing for those slow, tender days fills my whole being and I just can’t paint over those words. Words I painted there, wanted to imprint on the memories of those two little boys as they played, danced, sang, slept and cried.
I have to though so I get out my camera and photograph each word, even the faded/painted over ones. For my memory. For their memories. So we will all still be able to see my love that surrounded them. My hopes.
I covered each word. One at a time. Soon the room will have bright orange (I’ll post pictures.). Those words will only be memories held in my heart.
And so they grow up…..