Wednesday, March 13, 2013

just like a march snow

there was an event three years ago that touched me deeply. a moment with my sweet harrison boy. i knew at the time it was special but as with most precious moments, although we might have some understanding that we ought to soak it up, although we might actually take the time to soak it up, our human minds are never fully aware of just how fleeting things are until they are gone. and it's only then that we realize we should have soaked up a bit more.

this is what i wrote back on march 24, 2010:

last week the boys and i were outside as much as the weather allowed. we had some gorgeous sunny days in the high 60's. and then the snow came. and then the snow melted. and then the snow came again.

and so it is with march weather in denver.

truthfully, i actually kind of like it. when it's gone as quickly as it comes, you have to enjoy it while it's here.

all that to say we went for lots of walks last week. one, in particular, will forever be etched in my memory. i was pushing graham in the stroller - something he is quickly beginning to resent as he'd much rather be running around like big brother. harrison was riding his bike (aka big wheel). we were strolling along when harrison, out of the blue, said, "i love you, mommy."

i had purposefully never taught him to say that. nor had i ever told him, or forced him, to reply back when i say "i love you". i knew that one day that phrase would have so much more meaning if i just let him come to it naturally. and i was so right.

what a sweet moment! i let the weight of it soak in, even got a bit teary-eyed. and then harrison steered his big wheel right into the street.

and so it is with precious moments.

you have to capture them while they're here because they so easily melt away.

that was the first time harrison said i love you.

it was also the last.

over the years, i could count on two hands the times harrison has replied back to me when i say "i love you". he'll say "love ya", most often when he's at memeandpapa's house and we are talking on the phone. harrison is comfortable saying it in that situation. it's more of an auto response than an emotional declaration, which is easier. but i cannot recall any time since that day three years ago that harrison has initiated a heartfelt "i love you".

i know i should be grateful for those replies. and i am. or i try to be. but, you see, graham is very free with his hugs, kisses, cuddles and iloveyous, which i adore, and what has resulted from that is the recognition of the complete lack of those same emotional things from my first born.

replies aren't on the same level. they aren't enough.

i know he loves me. i don't doubt it at all. not even for a second. but it's interesting, isn't it, how my heart still longs to hear it, even though i can plainly see how difficult it is for him to say it.

and you know what else? my heart longs for him to be able to say it. i desperately wish harrison could recognize his emotions, feel comfortable feeling his emotions and feel confident expressing them.

not for my benefit. for his.

i bring this up today because we've recently noticed a desire in harrison to write his feelings. he has written one note to me, two to jeremy, one to graham and one to memeandpapa. most of the notes have said the same thing, "dear ____, i love you. love, harrison".  the letter he wrote to graham said, "you hurt my feelings".  haha!

i can laugh about it, and i do think it's funny and cute, but i don't want to overshadow the importance of this new behavior. harrison has found a way to express his feelings, at least some of the time. for this, i am thankful.

i do believe there is still considerable room for improvement in this area. but i'm left soaking up these precious messages, taking stock of their value, holding them close to my heart, locking them away (literally) in a special place, and trying to remember to capture this stage and enjoy it while it's here.

because we never know when it might be the last.

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