A few Sundays ago at church, I sat behind a family consisting of a Mother, Father, and one son. The little boy appeared to be approximately 5 years old, and for the entire service I was able to just sit and observe his relationship with his mother. I could tell without a doubt in my mind, that this little boy was very close emotionally to his mother. Quite often, he would look up at her face to read her, and she would look down and smile at him. He leaned against her, holding his well-loved stuffed toy dog… he almost was at the age that a father intervenes and tries to ‘toughen up’ a son.
It brought back memories of my relationship with my own son, and how special that was. He was a sensitive little boy, and if he did something wrong, all I had to do was give him ‘that look’ and he was sufficiently disciplined. He once came to me crying because a favorite cartoon character had been injured and had possibly died. I asked him if this cartoon was on every day, and if the character was always on the show, and with tears streaming down his face, he said, “yes”. I then assured him that I had no doubt that the next day, this little character would be alive and well. The next day arrived and my little boy was a very relieved and happy little person–his character was back in the swing of things and perfectly healthy.
From the time he was a baby, my son would hold onto a soft cloth diaper, suck his thumb, and sleep contentedly. The day he climbed onto the school bus for his first day of Kindergarten, he had a little scrap of that soft cloth safety pinned inside his jacket so that if he happened by chance to feel a little frightened, all he needed to do was reach and touch that piece of cloth, and he would be okay. (And in later years, I would look in on him asleep, his mouth would be open, his thumb poised near his mouth, and his ragged baby blanket would be wadded up next to him.)
As I watched the little boy at church, he would occasionally turn around and shyly look at me. It was special to see how he quickly turned back to Mom, pressing against her. I thought about how unique and precious a little boy’s relationship is to his Mother. He can go to her when he needs comfort and understanding; he can still seek her as a needy little boy. She is the first and most important ‘girl’ in his life. He is attached to her like no other. Usually, boys are tender towards their mothers.
This past Christmas, I sewed my son a ‘raggedy’ quilt. I used soft, flannel fabrics in dark browns and blues. It needed to be special, I wanted him to think of me when he covered up with it. I dug through my sewing basket and found a label like the one I had sewn on his baby blanket so many years ago; “Handmade For My Special Little Boy”. And even though my special little boy is now 34 years old, he will always be special to me and I will always treasure the memory of our tender relationship.
Can you imagine Mary’s special relationship with her first born son, Jesus? What did she think when she held him for the first time… the last time? What did she ‘ponder in her heart’?