My boys have family members that love them, wonderful teachers, good friends, and a tapestry of amazing souls that create a chuppah of gentle support.
This canopy of prayers, guidance, and teaching protects our boys from some of the harsh realities of the world.
Yet, no chuppah is watertight, and the occasional drops do fall. Thus, there will be times when our boys will get wet, and possibly be uncomfortable.
I hope I react the right way during those times.
I remember from swim team that it would take just a gentle push of the feet to glide away from the wall. It was so easy to escape into the water. Joel is still holding on to that wall. But Owen--he's getting ready to release into the watery depths.
Already, he has his own little world with his preschool. His successes, and his hurts, are all his own. He still has his chuppah of support, of course, but I'm no longer holding his hand. And with each year, he will become more independent, and his life will be increasingly his own.
I'll always remember a story my aunt, also a mother of two boys, shared with me. One of my cousins came home from school upset about something. It may have been a social thing, or possibly something that happened in class. He was devastated and near tears when he came home, but he did not share the why with his mother.
She couldn't fix it, and he didn't want her comfort. She had to watch him be sad, watch him flounder in the big, deep pool.
As a mother, all you want is to be that chuppah. Sometimes, though, you feel more like the glass broken under the foot at the end of the wedding ceremony. Shattered. Useless.
Don't worry--nothing has happened with my boys that makes me feel shattered. However, I've listened to the conversations of my friends, and as they talk of soccer, basketball, scouts, or school, I'm trying to imagine my little boys in that environment. I can't see Owen dribbling or shooting free-throws (although I can see him cutting open the basketball to see how it works).
I wonder how he will do when it's time to choose partners for activities, or how he will recover when he is called a name or teased for something out of his control.After all, it happens to everybody.
I want to protect him, yet I know I cannot. Anything worth doing in life takes some effort, and if I want the boys to stand on their own two feet, I can't be carrying them.
I am, to a degree, powerless to control their worlds. All I can do is continually weave their chuppah, adding new strands of prayer, and stitching in as many caring adults possible to provide the shade and comfort they need.