Christmas Eve found me huffing and puffing over a cabinet overflowing with dough. Cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, herb and onion bread for the Shepherd's meal that very evening, and I was into my own vortex checking off a mental list of all that had to be finished. Stockings, wrap presents, call my family, make the potato soup and fill the cookie trays......on and on the list grew.
Charming 11 year old, golden blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, marched into the kitchen with a purpose to his step.
"Mom, I know you are busy, but there is something real important I need to talk to you about. I need you to come right now!"
A little tightness wrapped itself around my attitude. My thoughts, "Hello! Can't you see that I am up to my elbows in dough? Do you really know how much I am doing to make all of you happy? I am doing this for you. Can't you just see what I am up to and wait for just a little bit?"
My words, "Honey, I am a little busy right now. Can you just wait for a few minutes? Why don't you talk to me right here--I am happy to listen to you."
"Mom, we need to have privacy. It won't take long. If you could just come with me for a few minutes, I really need to talk to you."
Something in my heart said, "You need to take time. He is not usually this insistant in the middle of the day. Give him your focussed attention for just a few minutes."
And so I reluctantly wiped my hands clean, put the dough down and said, "Ok, Nate, let's go to my bedroom. No one is there."
He seemed to be holding something behind his back and wanted me to go in front of him.
I walked ahead of him into my bedroom, sat on our little love seat next to our bed and said, trying to smile amidst the tension I was feeling, "Now, Nathan, what did you want to talk about?"
Then, with a smile from cheek to cheek, he gingerly pulled out one long stem red rose from behind his back and presented it to me.
"Mom, I was thinking about all that you do to make us happy and I wanted to give you a present before I got all of my presents tomorrow to let you know I love you and really appreciate you ahead of time. So here is my present, mom. I made Dad take me to the store and I got a red rose for you because I appreciate all that you do for us. Do you like it?
Of course, you could have pushed me over with a feather. I was shocked, surprised, touched, and the tears began to flow and my heart began to melt.
"Nathan, that might be the sweetest, most thoughtful gift anyone has ever given to me. Thank you with all of my heart."
And so I drew his "little-boyness" body to myself and gave a great big hug and kissed him on his smiling cheek.
"I will never forget this. I adore you, sweet Nathan."
And now I saw my extraverted, bubbling over, boy in a whole new light.
Can't wait till he comes home Monday night--so sweet to think of what is still in the heart of this, my own little boy, grown up--getting ready to be married. I can hardly wait till we can go out for coffee or breakfast, just us, and catch up on all the details of each other's lives.