It wasn’t very long ago that my kids would all fight over who was going to sit by me at dinner. They would all rush to the seat next to mine, pushing each other along the way, all in desperate need to sit by me. I always found it so funny. I wasn’t sure what made sitting by me so fascinating. Maybe they liked the way I cut up their food? Or maybe because I didn’t sneak bits of their food off their plates like their daddy did. Or maybe, just maybe, they just simply wanted to be near me.
There was even times when my little guy would look up at me while I made dinner and say “momma, save me a seat next to you, okay?” To which I would respond “always.”
As those days have faded, and we have all settled into sitting in the same spot each night for dinner, I often look back and wonder if they will ever fight to sit by me again. If I will ever hear those sweet little words “Momma, save me a seat” again.
It’s weird isn’t it? How we don’t seem to appreciate those types of things in the moment… sure I thought it was cute and all but I wish I had savored it a little more.
It wasn’t until a few days ago when I told my son where his lunch money would be that it struck me how long it had been since i heard those 4 sweet words.
As moms do, I was making sure he knew where the money would be, because he didn’t often buy his lunch. In fact, until this year he really hasn’t shown any interest in buying lunch. I used to think it was because of the food options but as the years went by I slowly began to see, a big part of it was he was afraid he wouldn’t have a seat next to his friends when he came into the cafeteria.
Knowing this, I naturally began to prep him “now remember sometimes when you buy lunch, the lunch tables fill up before you get out there…” but before I could say it, he looked back and said “I know mom, but I’ll just tell my buddies to save me a seat”…it was such a little comment, and such an obvious solution, yet had this been even a year ago, he wouldn’t have asked that. He wouldn’t have felt secure or confident enough that someone would actually save him a seat.
But it was in those words, those four simple words “save me a seat”… I realized the fear that once gripped him, a fear that most don’t given a second thought to, had melted away somewhere along the way. It may seem so simple but when you have a child who usually stresses every detail, all of a sudden feel so confident and secure in who he is, and who his friends are, it sends a worried mommas heart into a heart of celebration.
I have to be honest, I have worried and prayed a lot about each one of my children’s friends. I have prayed they would find friends whom they could be themselves with, and that they are good influences on each other. I have worried I have pushed certain friendships that shouldn’t be, and that I haven’t helped other friendships flourish as they should have. The world of friendship is such a scary, wonderful, exciting, daunting, yet fantastic thing that it’s hard to know if you’re encouraging the right friendships or not.
But it’s the little moments like this that give me hope that they are on the path of good friendships. After all, just like his Momma, they always will save a seat for him, because there’s no where else they would want him to be. And for that, I am truly grateful.