Reaching

When he raises those big hands in the air. Straight up. Reaching. I feel as if all in the world has gone right. Will go right. As long as he's reaching.

He had big hands even when he was little. I remember how he would put them on my face, one softly on each side, look into my eyes deep with his big brown ones and say, "You are sooo bootiful."

He has always been passionate and affectionate. When his sister was born, he would command me in his low little voice, "Put her down," when he'd decided it was his turn to be held. Like a puppy, he would lean into my hand when I would stroke his head.

I realized early how much he needed touch and how much the lack of it upset him. But with five other siblings mama's radar didn't always pick up on his cues, so I taught him to tell me when he was running low by saying "I need a cuddle break." My promise was no matter what I was doing at the moment I would give him at least one minute of cuddling. It worked well.

Until he got bigger. Thirteen is a tough age for a boy and his mom. So is fourteen and fifteen. Sometimes all the teens. Too tough to be asking for cuddle breaks, but he still needed my touch. So our phrase became "let's sit." And we would. Quietly. Side by side. Sometimes his head on my shoulder. As he grew taller, sometimes my head on his.

He's eighteen and six two now. When he holds my hand it gets lost in his. And I have large hands. Through the dailyness of our days he often wraps his long arms around me, "I love you, mama." 

He will leave our home soon. (What sound does a groaning heart make? It goes here.) 

How will I touch him when he's gone? How will I fill his tank? How will he fill that space in my soul that has only his name on it?

Here is my consolation.

When he raises those big hands in the air. Straight up. Reaching. I feel as if all in the world has gone right. Will go right. As long as he's reaching.

It was just out of the corner of my eye. Standing by Jeff in church. Singing. My heart reaching. When I saw. Daniel. Not six two anymore but close to eight feet now. Long arms stretched as high as they can go. Big hands splayed. Reaching.

When he sings to his Father he reaches with everything he is. All the passion. All the affection. Leaning in.

He's touching God. 

God is touching Him.

All is right. (What sound does a heart at peace make? It goes here.)