Thursday, February 2, 2012


I was putting the kids to bed tonight and something was tugging at my heart again. You know, that feeling that your kids are getting older every second of the day and will eventually want you to stop snuggling, stop being affectionate, stop doting... I am plagued with this melancholy much of my day, especially when I look at them - even the joy of being with them is always laced with that tiny drop of dread - the knowledge that they will leave you someday, move into their own lives.

It's what we want for our kids, our ultimate goal, to see them happy and successful and independent - but it's so hard to think of that when they are so sweet and squishy and vulnerable - needing you for every little thing. So when they stop needing you for something, it's like a little victory and a little defeat all at the same time. Letting go of them, one little need at a time. To gain a freedom, you have to lose some of that need in return.

I read this the other day, a blog post aimed toward the moms with "only" one child and this passage struck me as particularly bittersweet:

To become a mother, I had to learn how to care about someone more than I did about myself, and that was terrible.  But who I am now is something more terrible:  the protector who can’t always protect; the one with arms that are designed to hold, always having to let go.

Dear mother of only one child, don’t blame yourself for thinking that your life is hard.  You’re suffering now because you’re turning into a new woman, a woman who is never allowed to be alone. For what? Only so that you can become strong enough to be a woman who will be left.

When I had only one child, she was so heavy.  Now I can see that children are as light as air.  They float past you, nudging against you like balloons as they ascend.

How hard is that to think about, huh? It's just one of those nights that it's hitting me hard and heavy in the heart, collecting in my throat, threatening to spill out into a full-on sob if I concentrate on it long enough.

It bothers Cole too... if you can believe it. A poor, little, vulnerable 4 year old (inching toward 5 with every passing day, boo!) who is as sensitive as his mama - a year ago, on their birthday, before I sung them goodnight, Alex said something about "tomorrow they would turn 5!" And I said "whoa, whoa, girlie! Don't wish your life away! You have a whole year before you turn 5 (and now it's almost here), so take your time and enjoy 4 before you get excited for 5! Before you know it, you're going to be 10, then 15, etc... and you're going to want to be as far away from me and daddy as possible! So, don't wish it away, I want you to want to cuddle with me forever!" :)

And Cole just lost it. 

I was startled, rushing over to him and asking what was wrong - and in between sobs, he said... (wait for it and get your awws ready)... "But (sob) Mommy (sob), I want to (sob) stay with you (sob, sob) forever! I don't ever want to leave!" "Ooooooohhhhh, my baby. You can stay here forever if you want to! You never, ever, ever have to leave! Ever!" I was crying, he was crying... and then Alex hesitantly said: "Ummm... but I can still go, right, Mama?" lol

Such different kids. :)

Braden and Cole have both been randomly telling me - during dinner or on the way to school or in the middle of reading them a story - they ask "Mommy, can we live here forever?" or "Can we stay forever?" or "I'm coming back after college and I'm gonna live here with you guys forever, is that ok?" It. breaks. my. flipping. heart. I almost always tackle them and snuggle them tight, rock them and say over and over again - if that is what you want, my sweet, you can stay with us forever. :) Knowing full well that things will change, but absorbing all the sweetness of today anyway. It's like they know our innocent time is almost up, that things are already shifting with the changes going to school has brought our little family. They take every opportunity to grab hold of me or pretend they are babies. They run across the room to hold my hand as I am walking around the house, just because they "want to"... they hug me randomly, saying "Mommy, I love you" with increasing frequency... they jump into my arms and say "goo goo, mama! Pretend I'm your baaaaa-by", they will say in a sweet sing-song. It makes me want to cry for so many good reasons, and sometimes I do let it out, telling them how happy they make me.

So tonight, before singing to them again, I got almost a repeat of the same conversation on the night of their 4th birthday... Cole actually said - "Mom, I wish I could just freeze myself at this age." Seriously? What 4 year old is that melancholy and wistful? lol Poor thing. And then Alex started talking about leaving and having babies and getting married (she's totally getting into the princess movies and damsel in distresses and the "catching the prince" stories, ahem)... and Cole literally went spastic under his blanket, wriggling his body and covering his ears - "Don't talk about that, Alex! Don't wish your time away!"

Oh, what did I do? :)

Oh, how I will miss this!


Laura said...

Oh my god. Crying. Lol you jerk! Great post though cheryle. . . Hunter says "mommy please hold me" like 80 times a day and im always like omg again!? But I always do bc I know hell be huge and hate me soon.... Lol lil turds! Their so cute, hope I can have another one!

Cheryle said...

You are hilarious, Laura! :) I was crying too as I was writing this, if that makes you feel any better, lol! Thank you so much for taking the time to read all my crap and to comment too. :) I love you, cuz! <3

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