Beautiful Boy

Last night my eleven year old son asked me to sing to him while he was going to sleep.  Singing him to sleep was something I did when he was very young and not the best sleeper.  Today, he has already acquired the sleeping habits of an adolescent, so his request caught me by surprise.

When I asked him what he would like to hear he chose “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon.  So, I sat down on his bed and rubbed his back while I sang to him.   And as I sat there in the moment, I realized my oldest son was teaching me the value of presence.  Being entirely present to someone is a gift, and that is in essence what he was asking for.  My complete focus
was on him with my mind, my voice and my touch.

It struck me today that there are only so many bed times in a child’s life.  Already he is 11.  There won’t be many more years of snuggling up in bed to read a book together, back rubs and singing.  How many bed times have I rushed through over the years?

If you are a parent I’m sure you can relate to the exhaustion, frustration and the “just being done” at the end of a day with children.  Some days, it would be all I could do to just make it to bedtime and I would rush the routine to get them to sleep.  My thoughts would be not on my child but on the dishes that needed doing before I could go to bed, or the problem at work, or what I needed to prepare for the next day.

As I sang to my son again tonight (I can see this will be a routine for awhile), Mr. Lennon’s words rang true for me:

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

How much life has gone by while I have been too “busy” to be present in the moment?

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12 comments on “Beautiful Boy

  1. Irene says:

    So true! I wish that i had read that when my children were little. It is even hard to be present to God.

  2. Eric Moccio says:

    Thanks for your post. Excellent thought. I was also affected by this post on Orangeparents.com – something to always keep in mind when talking about how much time we devote to our kids.

    http://www.orangeparents.org/losing-your-marbles/

    • coleksyn says:

      Eric, thanks for sharing the post. Really enjoyed it. Perspective is so easy to lose and sharing common experiences helps bring it back. Definitely will follow future posts. Thanks again!

  3. marcilaevens says:

    Awesome Carlene. It brought tears to my eyes! Kobe often asks if we can “cuddle” on the couch before bed. I always put down whatever it is that “needs” to be done so that I can enjoy those moments. Thanks for the reminder.

    • coleksyn says:

      Thanks for the comment Marci and for sharing about Kobe. Parents definitely need to share experiences with each other to help keep perspective. It all goes by so fast…and as they get older it’s easy to forget that they still need connection and “cuddles”.

  4. Hi Carlene –

    What a great mom you are to have this insight and then to put your thoughts out there for all to see. And it’s interesting how the ‘cuddle factor’ is different with your children. My oldest and youngest are cuddlers, although it’s almost like a smother for my oldest who is now bigger than me. My middle one, not so much. For him it’s all about conversations… the latest greatest fact from Ripley’s Believe It or Not or sports cars (not that I contribute much there) or geography quizzes or the news or… But as you say, it’s all about being present and remembering that family really is the biggest priority in spite of all the distractions.

    I took a tour around your blog before I commented here. Aren’t you just the well-rounded lady?! I’m going to follow you! (In a good way, not the stalker way – ha ha!)

    C.

    • coleksyn says:

      Thanks for the comments Carolyn. “Stalker way” gave me a good laugh! You are right that it’s connection that is at the heart of it all and different kids need connection in different ways. Even the same child can be different on different days! Ahh….the adventures of parenting. Oh, and thanks for the “young” comment….I’ll take that 😉

  5. Carlene,…thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder! Lots of ‘rushed’ bedtimes at our house lately. You’re so right– there are only so many, and we don’t get them back. Brushing up on my John Lennon as we speak! 🙂

    • coleksyn says:

      Thanks for the comment Shauna. I’ve had some really touching responses on this post. It’s nice to know we share this common experience as parents. You are right….there are only so many and we don’t get them back.

  6. Your oldest son says:

    Hi mom I see you wrote about me lots of love and i love when you sing to me Ben 🙂

  7. D Rutland says:

    It is the small things that mean a lot. What a great way to stay connected with your children. No wonder Ben is so good natured. When I think of my mother, I see and hear her singing every morning in the kitchen. It was great to wake up to such a cheerful voice. Whether it is in the morning or at bedtime, a mother’s singing is always precious.

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