Last night Aaron and I were headed downstairs to watch a couple shows before bed. This is our nighttime ritual. He gathered his blanket, his drink, his new bag of cheese cubes, and his empty bowl in which his cheese cubes would soon be poured.
Speaking of ritual, Aaron’s life is full of those. Something as simple as putting his blanket over his outstretched legs requires the ottoman to be just right, his legs on the ottoman while still wearing his slippers AND slipper socks, and then the blanket shaken several times to get out as many wrinkles as possible and to be in just the perfect position to then be pulled up over his legs and onto his lap. I always cringe when he realizes he has forgotten something because the blanket is thrown back, and the process must be repeated. All of this must occur before we start watching our program.
After he was sufficiently settled last night, he opened his bag of sharp cheddar cheese cubes and poured them into his bowl. Aaron will not eat out of the bag. He must have a bowl for everything, including a bowl for chip crumbs…croissant flakes, as he calls them…the crackers he doesn’t like in his Chex Mix…his Red Hots…peanut shells… The list is endless.
Soon our show was on and Aaron was allowed, in his mind, to begin eating his cheese cubes…but only after the opening song was finished. One does not actually start eating, my friends, until the program has actually begun.
The store only had sharp cheddar cheese cubes when we went to buy them. Aaron usually gets mild cheddar.
“So do you like those sharp cheddar cheese cubes, Aaron?” I asked.
“YEAH!!” he declared happily. “They’re GOOD!”
Soon, without saying a word, he reached over and placed this lone cheese cube beside me. It was his gift to me.
I’ll be honest. Sometimes eating food that Aaron has handled can be a challenge for me. I know where those hands of his may have been. I see how he puts food into his mouth with those same fingers that are now on the food he wants to give me.
But how could I say no to this little gift that came straight from his heart?
To Aaron, this little cheese cube comprised a huge gift for Mom.
“Awwww, Aaron, thank you!” I told him as I looked down at the little cheese cube.
“Oh, Lord, please protect me,” I also added silently as I ate the cheese. 😊
Aaron rubbed his hands together and gave his guttural chuckle as I ate the cheese.
He was even happier to give me that gift than I was to receive it.
What a small little thing a cube of cheese is! But what a huge deal it was to Aaron to give it and to watch me receive it with thankfulness.
This long-term mothering of Aaron is full of those sorts of gifts, but often if I’m not careful I don’t see them as such.
I never planned to be actively mothering at this age. I read that I am considered “elderly” now, though I don’t feel that way. Yet numbers on paper say that I am.
How can I be this age and still going from morning to night mothering my grown child?
But here I am, by God’s doing…and may I not ever forget that. God has led me to this path, and I must trust Him as I walk each step.
On this Mother’s Day I want to give to each of you who are still fully mothering in your older years a word of love and encouragement. Whether you are mothering your own child or children, or your grandchildren, please know that your work is not unnoticed by God. We honor Him by caring for the ones He has given us.
May we see each small milestone…each smile…every hug…and so many other small huge gifts as what they really are.
Gifts from God.
Through our tears, our fears, our frustrations, our exhaustion, our envy of other’s lives…whatever we are going through – may we not miss those beautiful and small huge gifts around us from our children every day.
Go buy a bag of cheese cubes and have a very Happy Mother’s Day!