When you are a parent….
…you do a lot of talking.
You talk about being nice and waiting your turn and making good choices and respecting each other and speaking in an inside voice and trying your hardest….
….and keeping your promises.
There’s a lot of variations on the same theme.
And in the middle of all that conversation and discussion…..sometimes you sigh….and wonder if anyone is listening.
This Mother’s Day….my son gave me a gift that let me know…
….he had heard (almost) every word.
You see….he gave me a book.
Not just any book.
A book compiled of all the love stories I had ever written on Thistlewood Farm.
All 13 of them.
He took the posts and put them in chronological order and had them bound into a hardcover volume.
And then he wrote an introduction that went a little like this:
“These are the stories of a real-life true love.
But what good story isn’t?
You see, KariAnne Wood, the writer of Thistlewood Farm, is my mother.
And, of course, she’s a great storyteller…..just like her father.
So today, I’m sharing with her….and the world….her love story (as told with gusto by her).
Happy Mother’s Day Mom.”
And when he handed me the book….
…I didn’t say anything.
I just stared at my simple stories written down in a book with real numbered pages…with every last exclamation point and ellipse in place.
And I then I started crying.
Not cute crying like in the movies. Real….honest crying that comes from a place somewhere deep in your heart. I cried and stared and the book….and cried some more.
And I hugged him.
And cried some more.
And hugged him again.
Then I opened up the book and began to read.
There it was….every chapter of a real-life love story.
It started at the beginning.
And the first time I really tried to cook.
And the first dance from our wedding.
And on and on and on.
Every page put together and printed by that wonderful, incredible, generous son of mine.
I had written enough for a book….
…and never even knew it.
I closed the pages and smiled at him.
When did he grow up so fast?
When did he become a teenager?
When did he get so wise?
All those years of all that conversation.
And as I hugged the book and stared up at him with a thank-you in my tear-filled eyes….
….I realized he had been paying attention all along. 🙂