I cried tonight.
Tears fell silently as I studied the boyish features before me—soon there would be a day he won’t need me anymore.
Someday he won’t be whining, “mommy, mommy… can you cuddle?” with pleading eyes and timid words.
I caressed his soft cheek and kissed it tenderly as I lay beside him now, snuggling in deep, surprised by how much my own heart longed for and needed this moment.
The desire to be… yes, needed… but in a deeper way. More than a “bum” wiper.
My thoughts turned. I suddenly saw a man in the not too distant future before me with stubble from puberty budding through his pores.
The tears flowed.
I stroked his peach-fuzzy arm up and down, up and down, in rhythmic pattern as I listened to his peaceful breathing. Someday the fuzz will turn thick. Dark hair and strong arms will take its place.
His hand now found mine. I enclosed my hand around his small fingers. Sorrow showed up in that moment. Bittersweet emotions rippled through me as I imagined how much sooner it will be when his hands envelop mine. Manhood is but a breath, a whisper away. Yes, even at his ripe ‘ole age of four. With a deep breath, I began soaking up this moment all the more, desperately holding onto the fleeting essence of childhood before me, tucking it away into a priceless memory.
I almost missed this.
Just moments before I was desperate to hurry my kids off to bed so I could be off and do more important things. Like cleaning up dried pasta sauce stuck to the pan from dinner and doing my routine pick-up of the house so I could invest in me time—write, paint my nails, read a book or basically do something (anything) for myself after the never-ending demands of motherhood and adulthood responsibilities consumed me that day.
There’s nothing wrong with investing in ourselves, especially when time to ourselves is few and far between these days (ahem… and showers). But some nights, I’m just done. Retreat is stronger than requisite. My motherhood cap comes off and is not going back on—at least for another 20 minutes. *Sigh*
Tonight, the soft echoes of my name and sweet requests to cuddle by my four year old twins drew me in like fragrant cotton candy at the fair. Requisite quickly won.
My precious momma’s. Our little boys will turn to men. Growth is inevitable. Some days I long for it as I sit and tie another shoe for the 1,297th time. I bet you do too. Wishing them to grow up, become independent, so you can have a warm coffee without microwaving it for the 3rd time that morning. Secretly—or not so secretly—so you can have your “life” back.
Yet, I’m recognizing the more honest truth in this moment—I get my life back as soon as I believe my current one is great and beautiful just as it is.
No more hoping.
No more longing.
No more daydreaming of those days when I can use the bathroom in peace (although that will be nice).
Because I know I will miss this–life filled with beautiful messy chaotic kids and a tornado filled house of toys and date nights in the Jacuzzi with my husband (because it’s easier at times than getting a sitter). It may not look as glamorous as displayed in The Brady Bunch, but… this is real life.
This is my life. Filled with laughter and lamenting, tantrums and teasing, sorrows and snuggles. The ebb and flow, back and forth in a white wash of emotional pulls.
It makes me want to run away screaming and crying at times.
But it’s also the biggest oxymoron because… MY HEART IS FULL.
A full life is in the loud popping of my boys stomping on the packed stuffing pulled out from Amazon boxes barreling through my door that day. Turning off the lights at night and hearing the light-activated fire truck puzzle sound off a “whooo whooo” signaling us to sleep. Endlessly looking for my boys favorite Contigo water bottles each morning before preschool so they feel that sense of security when I drop them off.
My heart has expanded farther than I ever thought capable when these little men entered my life. My character growing more than I want to at times—painfully. Parenting throws you into a fiery kiln—some days I’m not sure I will survive it.
Tonight I’m lying here, inaudible prayers dancing through my thoughts—safety, passions, purposes to be met—for these boys who call me mommy. First for one boy, then the other as I take turns nuzzling their necks which still smell of fresh baby soap. Aftershave would eventually follow suit.
I cling to my prayer that I will still be needed one day when my boy’s voice turns baritone. I will still be important enough to him when he drives off with that beautiful girl whose laugh tinkles like Tinkerbell and her femininity captivates his heart. I will still be wanted by him… perhaps in a different way, but still wanted… still needed… right? Right?
Well, just in case I’m not, I will respond to his four-year-old calls to snuggle… and treasure the transient moments this season of motherhood brings. Because right now, I’m needed by him, and really… I need him too.