Thursday, June 07, 2012

Code Name: Peanut - Arends

There is a solemn new ritual in our house, one that takes place daily.  My 14-year-old son Ben and my 40-something self each remove our shoes, assume our best military posture and stand back-to-back, while my husband ceremoniously places his flattened hand across the crowns of our heads.  As of this morning, I am 1/4" taller than my boy, a height advantage I should be able to retain until approximately next Tuesday.

I'm not sure how this happened, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  On the one hand, there is a certain thrill in seeing someone you've loved fiercely--ever since he was a zygote--flourish and grow.  Simultaneously, there is a certain loss in watching your baby take relentless, ever-lengthening strides towards independence.

I'm way too close to this adventure of discovery and loss to say much about it.  But I've been remembering something I wrote about this son of mine when he was much, much smaller.  It's called "Peanut," and it was penned almost 15 years ago ...

We've agreed not to tell 
Until the second trimester
But we can't stop
     thinking
     talking
     grinning
     about you.

The doctor told us
You're just about the size of a
     peanut.
So that has become your Secret
     Service Code Name.

(How's Peanut?
Your daddy whispers
At church, in a crowd
Till we are blushing and breathless
Drunk with the power
Of our little secret.)

Strange how the biggest thing
     that has ever happened to us
Is something so small
A tiny kernel of life
Not even showing
Yet.

Soon we will tell everyone we know
Anyone who will listen
But for now, we'll keep them
    guessing:

Smaller than a breadbox
Bigger than a mustard seed
Peanut. 

(excerpted from We've Been Waiting For You by Carolyn Arends (J. Countryman/Thomas Nelson)

- Carolyn Arends
www.carolynarends.com

 



7 comments:

Justine said...

Stop making me cry while I'm eating Tomato Soup. It's not pretty.

Stand tall until Tuesday! (But, he'll always be your peanut, right?)

Diana said...

Carolyn, that's awesome. Is he shaving yet? Another weird milestone. and wait until he's complaining he's losing his hair. My peanuts are now in their mid-thirties. I remember those days when it was a moment by moment thing, the milestones, the awesome achievements, such as being taller than Mom, and then Dad. My grandsons will soon be there.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn Arends said...

Justine - Sorry 'bout the soup! Diana - shaving peanuts - not sure I'm prepared for that ...

violet said...

Beautiful! And those mother-genes will continue to get a workout. It's a role we never grow out of, no matter by how much our once-peanuts tower over us.

Peter Black said...

Delightful, Carolyn.
"Peanut" -- I like that.
My guess is that while dads may travel a similar path of wonder and realization as their children grow and mature, there's an even deeper or more intimate dimension to mothers' experience, since they are the ones who carry, give birth to and initially nurture them.
(And me: I'm still in wonder from being at our oldest grandsons' h/school grad last week.)

Eleanor Shepherd said...

Thanks, Carolyn for sharing so beautifully the awesome experience of being able to give life and then watch our children as they grow and mature. In my case I now have the added awesome joy of seeing the story go on with my daughter having become a mother herself eight months ago. Thanks for your story.
Warm regards,
Eleanor

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