Makes Me Sigh

The Seedling

Earlier in the winter, Sean and Antique Daddy set about the task of planting a small seedling in our backyard.

When they were finished, they stood back, hand in hand, to admire their work.

Antique Daddy bent down on one knee and pulled Sean to him.

“Sean,” he said, “Some day, a long time from now, when you are an old man, as old as Papa George, I want you to come back here to this very spot. I want you to look at this tree and remember that you and I planted it.”

Sean made that awkward long face that he makes when he’s trying not to cry.  Then he looked up at his daddy with big fat tears threatening to tumble down his face. He shrugged his shoulders and held out his hands with his palms up, the universal gesture of bewilderment.

“Sometimes,” he whispered and then paused thoughtfully.

“Sometimes I want to grow up… and then sometimes… I don’t.” And then he shrugged again.

Oh Sean. That’s exactly how your mommy and daddy feel. Sometimes we want see you grow into a man with a life of your own. And sometimes we want to keep you a little boy forever.

41 thoughts on “The Seedling

  1. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. I am sure he will return, and remember the very day it was planted, as well as whatever other events transpired around that time. What kind of tree was it (a mighty oak?).

  2. That’s just too cute 🙂
    And it’s a great idea!

    Some time ago I heard that someone told his son that they’d adopt a star togheter. It was there star. He tought his boy didn’t get it, but half a year later, his son suddenly stops and points up: “Look daddy, that’s our star!”.

    So I think Sean will remember this too for the rest of his life.

  3. Oh my word. I can totally relate. Right now I’m planning on opening up a pet store with my 6 year old when he “grows up” and am savoring every moment right now that he thinks that’s an absolutely wonderful idea.

  4. aww

    So touching.

    Your blogs always remind me of when my boys were little. Which in some ways seems so long ago and some ways just yesterday.

  5. Oh, if only we could slow the hands of time. As my boys continue to grow up…and away from me…I often think, if only just for a minute, I could make everything stop and just live in that moment. My boys are now 18 and 12. The time from their births to now has gone by in the blink of an eye. I loved the babies and little boys that they were…I love the men they are becoming…I just wish it all hadn’t happened quite so fast. Perhaps that is one of the blessings of being an “antique mommy”…when we’re young parents, we don’t always recognize how fleeting these precious years are…but you, and Sean apparently, have enough wisdom to realize that we shall not pass this way again.

  6. I don’t think that feeling ever goes away. One of mine if 15, another 13 and the youngest is almost nine. I don’t want any of them to leave me, but other times, I really want the teenagers to move on. 🙂

    Your post tugged at this mother’s heart. My smallest is growing up too, and it makes me a little sad.~~Dee

  7. During my dad’s first year as minister in the little church of his hometown, he planted a pecan seedling in the front of the parsonage – 1941. Through many moves in his career, he always planted a seedling at the many parsonages in which he lived. He was buried in his hometown, two years ago. The last trip he made was from the funeral home to the cemetery and he passed by the little church and the little parsonage and the huge pecan tree.

    Sean will return to look at the tree and he will remember.

  8. Ok, I know you know this, but it’s how I deal with the fact that my son turned 16 yesterday…and that my daughter will be 13.

    It’s the way it’s supposed to be.

    So many things aren’t the way they should be, or what we’d dream of, want or desire. So many rocks get put in front of us that we trip over in life. Watching a child grow up, “almost” seamlessly, doing all the fabulous and not so fabulous (ok, sometimes naughty) things the are ‘supposed’ to do — well, that is when and how I feel fortunate.

    You and I are both well aware, my dear, that plans can change in an instant. So when I got all teary eyed at the DMV yesterday, when my son got his DRIVERS LICENSE, I had to take a deep breath (pretending I was coughing) and realize it’s how it’s supposed to be.

    And for that, no matter how much it might hurt or be scary, I am incredibly grateful.


  9. Well you can just pass the tissues now, thanks a lot. What a sweet memory for your little boy. I hope the tree has a long and healthy life and Sean does indeed come back decades from now to remember.

  10. It’s truly amazing when your little fresh, new child gets a good taste of the span of years ahead of him. That’s when you know God wrote eternity on our hearts.

  11. My 41 yr old body and mind share that thought all the time. I look at our only, a 6 year old beauty and I just want to stop her and keep on my lap forever but then I think of the road ahead of her and I shiver with the excitement of it all. I just pray I live long enough to see it!!

  12. Oh, that is so very true. I want so very much to see my son grown and married and with children. I want to see the kind of man he will be; the kind of husband. I want him to be kind and gentle and loving. I want to see how he interacts with his children. I want that so much. Maybe because I was so old when he was born and I am afraid I won’t be around to see him then.

    But I love him at the age he is now and I want him to be a little boy too.

  13. Hiccup . . . misty eyes. Tightening in the heart. I’m so with you, Sean. I feel the very same way, especially as I am now looking my 12-year-old eye to eye. How quickly that happened!!

  14. I have a sixteen year old daughter. Can I just put a book on her head and make her stop growing so she can wait for Sean to grow up to a marry-able age????? 😉
    Such a precious story.

  15. This reminds me of when my husband took my son to the Alamo and my son, 18 months, stood in his diaper as my husband knelt down, scooped up a handful of sand, and while the sand fell out between his fingers, seriously looked into my son’s eyes and said, “son, we wouldn’t be here today if men hadn’t fought right here.”

    Like time in that long sense means anything.

  16. Yes, keep him little as long as you can!!! My oldest will turn 18 next month and graduate high school. My youngest is 13, doesn’t seem that long ago that they were the same age Sean is………

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