A friend posts on Face Book that her teenage boys, obviously from large stock, have spurted to over six feet tall and well over 200 pounds! When I left Arizona over two months ago, my grandsons were into their teenage growth spurts and showing evidence of their paternal genes for height that is rare in my family. We have not taken advantage of technology to keep apprised of their growth. A few cryptic text replies accompanied by poop emojis is the most I receive. I am not sure what to expect when I return.
Face Book graciously reposted one of my favorite pics showing a very young and adorable Mowgli with now deceased dog Gary. The picture kindles the sensations of holding young Mowgli: clean smell, soft hair, warm skin. Blue Boy, although adorable, wasn’t into cuddling. It should be a law that every parent has at least one child who likes to cuddle.
When I enclose C-boy in a hug, I marvel at the young man he has become while haunted by the memory of holding him as a child, returning my hugs, playing “nosey”, and relaxing on my lap. I can recall clearly the sensation of holding each of my children with their individual traits: ED would allow cuddling for a few moments if it provided a means to something interesting. YD used my lap to escape chaotic environments. If she was tired, though, she preferred to go to bed. C-boy simply loved to cuddle. The hair texture, the smell, the tension of the arms around my neck; I can recall them all.
Although Mowgli had just passed me in height when I left, when I could get him to stop, I could still reach him to wrap my arms around him. Knowing it was important to me, Blue Boy would allow a hug and offer me a head lean. What will I find in three weeks? Although they will soon be ensconced in adult bodies, they bear the needs of children. How hard it is for a mother to comfort a grief-stricken adult-sized child, wanting to wrap him completely in her arms while barely reaching his shoulders. The child is father of the man, wrote Wordsworth. For a parent, the man will always be a vessel for the child.
The joy of watching children and grandchildren mature into responsible, happy adults is always offset by the nostalgia of our memories of them as innocent babies. What will I find when I return? Very possibly there will be two almost adult young men, but I will see my grandbabies.