From My Window on the World
by Mike Jacks
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older.
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the years.
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears...
He had finished his bath. As I knelt to dry him off, he laid his head on my chest and put his little arms around me. I embraced him and experienced the bliss of pure love that only a parent and child can know. Could any moment be more precious? Then I awoke from that dream to find a pain in my chest and tears in my eyes. Psychologists will tell you that dreams are the subconscious mind’s attempt to deal with pain or stress. The source of my dream was an occasion that most people consider joyous. Yet for reasons that are a mystery to me, anticipation of the event had caused anguish and trepidation. What is it that had brought me to this lowly state? My son was going to graduate high school. How can mere words describe the emotional upheaval that results when you reach one of life’s milestones?
Was it really that long ago that we brought him home from the hospital? He was a beautiful baby boy. Oh, how his mommy loved him! He brought such joy to our lives. We knew that we needed to cherish each precious day we had with him. We tried. Oh, how we tried. But it was like trying to grasp sand. The tighter you squeezed, the more it slipped through your fingers. All too soon the baby was ready for kindergarten. How had the time passed so quickly? Well, don’t worry about that now, you’ve got to help him learn his ABCs. Grade followed grade. Now he’s in Jr. High. Wait a minute! He’s a Freshman, now. Whoa! Hold on! I’m not ready for this! Time to take my driver’s test, Dad. Where are you going, son? Drake’s house. Where? Eric’s. Where? Sarah’s. Where? Megan’s. Where? Adam’s. Where? Chelsey’s. Where? Raven’s. We were thankful he was a good boy with good friends. If he hadn’t been, we would have gone crazy. His live was expanding. He enjoyed his friends and they seemed to enjoy him. We heard through the parental grapevine that he was a kid that everyone liked. Yes, life was good. Then came the dawn of a shocking reality! The sands in the high school hourglass were running out. It’s three months until graduation. We’ve got to plan the party. His mother, who is normally a kind woman, gave his father the cruelest job of all. Dad was to go through all the snapshots of the boy’s childhood to make a scrapbook. Try as we might, we cannot ignore the passage of time. The photos were a tangible reminder of that fact. The father cried as his baby boy once had. Oh, to have that little boy back just once more! Oh, to be young again. Give me the chance to live it again. I’ll do better this time. But no, you only get one ride on the merry-go-round of childhood. This journey is nearing its end.
It was a short walk across the stage for the young man to receive his diploma. He didn’t realize it then, but a giant bridge had been crossed. Never again would things be the same. A joyous moment for the boy was a traumatic moment for the father. The young man was looking toward the future. The old man was looking back at the past. So many emotions flooded through his dad; pride, loneliness, fear. Psychologists attempt to describe this experience as “empty nest syndrome.” Those words can’t begin to convey the feelings of a parent. Someday the son may have a boy of his own. Then he will begin to understand what his dad felt. Yes, sunrise, sunset, season follows season, quickly flow the years. Oh how I want to hold that little boy one more time. No matter how old we both get, he’ll always be my little boy. Perhaps you’ll understand the intensity of my feeling when I say, “I love that kid!”
"Word from Scotland" from
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Mike lived in Jamestown, Ohio with his wife, Zane, and their children, Lindsay (23) and Kirk (20). Mike and his family were founding members of Transformation Christian Church, a newly formed simple church.
Mike went home to be with the Lord on February 1, 2017
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