We live in a house perched atop a hill right above the Puget Sound. Our 180 degree view of islands and sea is stunning, and serves as a waterway for all kinds of pleasure craft as well as barges and tugs and ships carrying goods from across the earth. It’s fun to see the shapes and hues of the various vessels. One of them, always carrying an array of colored box-shaped containers stacked wide and tall, mixed and matched in various new patterns each time it glides by, has the appearance of a Lego project from back in the day when my boys spent hours building creations with Lego blocks. So, it’s been named ‘The Lego Ship’ by Yours, truly.

Just now hubby hollered, “There’s your Lego ship!” and his words rang through my empty house, bouncing off the wood floors with a hollow-sounding echo. I sneaked into the bedroom, quietly shut the door, and burst into tears.  If the boys were here a few short years ago, they would be running madly to glue themselves to the big wide windows, chattering about ‘The Lego Ship’, I thought, as I sobbed. I could hear Seth say,

“Levi, hurry! The Lego Ship is driving by – ooohhh, today he’s really loaded up with big blocks – WOW! It looks just like the one you made with the blue and red and green blocks last time!” then his brother would scurry out in his warm, furry slippers to join his little brother’s viewing adventure.

They would talk and wonder aloud about what was in those boxes and what it would be like to be on that ship and where did that ship come from and…and…

I miss those squeaky little voices and the running commentary on every little thing. I miss the noise and the mess and the innocence of those days gone by. I know we can’t stay there, but I’m pained to let go sometimes and at this particular moment, I’m feeling the sharp ache of life’s locomotive, chugging mercilessly down the tracks. I can almost hear John Mayer singing, Stop this Train…

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But, honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Singing, stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know, I can’t
‘Cause now I see I’ll never stop this train.*

Just as I blew my nose, composed myself, and wiped my tears away so that I could get back to work on the article I’m busy writing, I heard my phone beep. I looked to find a Twitter post from one of my grown-up boys, a shout out on the value of my book and me, the author/mom. How poignant. What a realtime, perfect illustration of the bittersweet loss/gain rhythm of life…my little boy had to grow up to be an adult man so that he could articulate my value from his big guy perspective. Wow. God moment. (Especially when you consider that I’m really not that great. <<click for the lowdown)

 Cue: train whistle.

 

*Stop This Train Written by John Clayton Mayer, Pino Palladino • Copyright © Reach Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management US, LLC