Wednesday, December 19, 2018


It doesn't seem like all that long ago that it was Christmas 1987 and I had three little boys, aged 4, not quite 3, and 20 months, and I was a couple of weeks away from giving birth to son #4.  The fact that it was actually 31 years ago is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Once upon a time, my Christmases were filled with excited little boys like these.
Forgive the poor quality of this blurry Instamatic snapshot, made blurrier still by 
scanning and enlarging.You young mamas are so lucky to have the amazing photo-taking 
capabilities you have today!

Fast-forward 31 years to Christmas 2018, and there are still excited little boys in my life.

The very (very!) excited little guy in the above photos is 4-year-old G-Man, the oldest of our seven grandsons and the oldest of our middle son and his wife Preciosa's three small children.  We were privileged to have the opportunity to attend his preschool Christmas show recently.

Such is the poignant joy of being a grandparent: getting to sort of experience it all over again, as you watch your grown children going through it--knowing just how long and slow-moving the days sometimes seem to them now but how very, very soon they will be scratching their heads, wondering where in the world the years went.

This is my husband and me with son #3 after G-Man's electric performance on stage.

Hard to believe this is my boy, when just YESTERDAY, it seems, he was a little blond tyke wearing a red romper, sitting between his two brothers in front of the tree with his precious stash of Matchbox cars nearby.

Working on this post today reminded me of a poem that was given to me by a friend many years ago, when we lived in NH and our boys were small (and son #5 wasn't even a twinkle in his parents' eyes yet).  This friend had married a guy who was one of four brothers, and his mom had a poem about being the mother of sons framed and hanging up in her house.  At the time, we had four sons, too, so my friend's mother-in-law thought she should make a copy for me.

Here is that sweet poem.  (Go grab your hanky; I just grabbed mine.)


To press my lips,
Upon a fair cheek, or a brow,
Of my young sons--
So long have I stooped down.

But suddenly to my surprise,
I find that I must lift my eyes
To meet their eyes;
That I must stand on toe tips
And reach up
To kiss their lips.
These tall young sons--
Each straight as any pine,
Can they be mine?

Soon I must share them,
Soon I know that they will go.
But O, I am so glad
That I have had 
Small sons to stoop to,
Tall sons to reach to,
Clean sons to give
That other sons may live.

I don't think there is a poem that speaks to me more loudly than this one, by an unknown author who apparently saw what the life God had planned for me looked like as clearly as if she knew me inside out.  I shared my sons (the four oldest, anyway--so far!).  And because I did, my married boys now all have at least one son of their own (and three of them have daughters, too).  This poem, IMHO, is practically perfect in every way, just like Mary Poppins.

So on that note [sniff!], I will say goodbye for now.

(P.S. Tomorrow we'll be attending a preschool show featuring Junior, the oldest of our second-born son's three young boys.  So perhaps this post will have a sequel...)


  1. As a mom of two boys (4 and 2), this one struck home. Our own 4 year old G-Man had his preschool program at his Catholic preschool and the principal didn't get two words out about advent and I was already getting choked up. It was a real trial to not have children (or meet my husband) until my 40s, but one of the graces is that my friends are closer to letting their children go and I don't take any of this for granted! I know I'm going to blink and I'll be the one looking up to my boys.

    1. Awww...this is the sweetest comment. Yes, you will blink and be looking up at your boys. But it's so wonderful that you have been given the gift of knowing that now, and can appreciate every minute.