She never said, “take me” or “carry me”. From the time she could talk and toddle she would lift her little arms to me when she was weary, and lisp, “Mommy, give me you.”
I never quite got used to hearing her say it, and each time she did, something stirred deep within my heart. She was asking for more than clean clothes, wholesome food, warm baths, an attractive house. She was asking for even more than nursery rhymes taught, stories read, questions answered. She said it not only with her upraised arms, but with her eyes and her mind and her soul: “Mommy, give me you.”
Oh God, she’s asking for “me.” She is asking surely for comfort and care, but also something primitive – fresh calling out to flesh, blood to blood – something deep and eternal, a bond given us by God long centuries past that still calls together the souls of us. But she also wants to feel my uniqueness, my differentness from all other “mommies’. There’s something about the way things make me glad or mad or thoughtful that she wants to know. She wants me to share the tapestry of life as I see it. Then she can play her reactions off against that and come up with her own “me”. Maybe that is what she really saying – “Oh, Mommy, give me you, so in the years to come I can find myself.”
So help me, Lord, not to be so busy cooking and dusting, scrubbing bath tubs and making beds, that there isn’t time or energy left for me to give myself. Nothing else I give matter if I cannot give her me and YOU.
This “1971” writing really touched me years ago when I first read it. And as I across it the other day, it had the same impact on my life. I can get so caught up in ‘urgent things”, but maybe in doing so I’m forgetting the “important things”. I know I have days when the only thing my children see is the back of my head or the glazed look in my eyes as I have my thoughts and attention on the other hundred things that need to get done on my to-do-list.
Let’s take some to focus on the “important”. In the blink of an eye it will all be over. They grow up fast. Trust me:)