1000 Gifts, A Story, Farm Life


I buried, or so I thought,
my clock.
But I hear it tick.

So I yearn.
And imagine.
Tiny fingers and toes
and a little bitty button nose.

Stream upon the stick
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Wait for three.
Oh, what can I see?
Only one line staring at me.

I will feel bad and sad
until I get the shovel out
and bury the clock
underneath another pile of rocks.

Our miracle boy,
born with holes
perforating his heart
in his 6-year old wisdom,
will teach me how to start.

Over again.
With each morn
I do like always
and reach for him
when he comes down the stairs
with a sleepyhead grin.

A hug and a kiss,
a giggle and a tickle
Oh how can it be
that you are already half past six?

I watch you and your daddy
saddle up and ride
up the road, onto the trail.
Suddenly I feel lonely
with a longing I cannot hide.

That’s how it goes…
Mammas hold their little boys
as they suckle
as they tumble
as they fall.

Before daddies teach
them to be tough,
remind them to be humble,
show them how to love
and finally teach them to be men.

If I cling
and don’t let go
Freedom’s love
he will never know.

So I stand at the gate
and wave good-bye.
I bite my lip and turn aside.
I tell my heart
to worry not
because nothing is lost.

Rather it is being set free
to be all
that God
(and his dad and me)
want him to be.

So my clock
this morning
I buried under tissues
and wrapped it in tears.
But I can still hear the sound…

It was a blessedly wonderful weekend, but I am feeling a little melancholy today.

My son has been riding a horse since his daddy held him, as a baby, upon a horse’s back. I remember driving up the dirt road, returning from my first solo motherhood trip to town, and looking toward the stalls. There I saw the whites of my husbands eyes–he had been caught! Sheepishly holding our diaper-clad, three-month old atop a horse. I spun gravel down the remaining road. I slammed into the parking place. I stomped into the house. Shock and fear and awe dripped quite a trail behind me.

Seeing that baby, now half past six-years old, ride off with full control of a horse was a little wrenching on this mamma’s heart. Normally my husband ponies my son, meaning, my husband holds his own horse’s reigns and the lead rope of my son’s horse. My son holds his own reigns and he learns to ride, while my husband is in some semblance of control. But not this Saturday and not this Sunday. My little cowboy did it all.

Well, off they went. I jogged after them for bit, snapping photos. When I turned back, I saw the boy’s pup, looking forlorn at the gate. Oh, fella, don’t I know. Don’t I know! I scratch his head. And I admit, I fall to the ground and give that dog a full body hug. He licks my face. We head to the house. The pup looks back. And I try not to.

A miracle boy. Born with holes in his heart, not detected until minutes before we were to be discharged from the hospital. It was a very traumatic birth. We both barely survived.

Thankfulness and love and humility and grace beat so strong in my heart that sometimes I don’t hear the tick-tick-tock of that maternal clock. But when the baby is tall as my shoulders and I want him to be tiny again, (but that is oh so selfish), this is when I really must let go (and that feels the farthest from selfish).

I thought I heard the clock loud and clear over the last couple of weeks in the form of nausea and dizzy spells. Only to discover this morning one lone line. And I am sad. But alas, when that kiddo descends the morning stairs and steps into sunshine and my arms, I will smile and puppy dog tails will wag. And this mamma will rejoice for the gifts she has been given.

* I actually have several more photos to upload. I have been trying for over an hour. So, I am jumping ship and giving you the two I managed to load. Perhaps I will try again later…


4 thoughts on “Tick-Tick-Tock”

  1. darlene,so much of this mothering thing is bittersweet.nothing could have prepared me for it. nothing.and I'm a little sad for your one line too, if that's okay.I'll hold you close today.

  2. This post touched me deeply. I am looking for honesty as I deal with the reality of what my life looks like and the faith of what it can be.I too have a son. I have a daughter also, but my boy was my second and last even though I wanted more. He will be 32 on Thursday and has a wife and 4 children. He has turned from a sensitive, caring, fun-to-be around, yet responsible boy to a man with those same characteristics. I'm proud of him, yet there are times when I just want the little boy, my boy, in my arms. That's part of being a good mother.My heart goes out to you for the line you were hoping not to see.

  3. oh this is just beautiful! my firstborn is about to turn 10…leaving me in deep thought about what motherhood is and has been for this first decade. What a blessing and gift it is!

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