When my kids are grown and don’t come into my room before dawn and crawl into bed with me, will I miss it? Will I miss those tiny little bodies snuggled against me under the covers on a cold winter morning before the sun rises? My answer right now may change by 5AM tomorrow morning.
Sometimes I struggle to get out of the house because my oldest daughter insists on a kiss and a hug no less than five times. “Mama,” she will say, “Another hug?” A few minutes later: “Wait! Another kiss, too?” This morning I found myself saying, “Bella, how many times are we going to do this?”
Why? Why did I say that? How many times are we going to do this, indeed. These requests will be short lived, I’m sure. One day she will be a dreaded teenager saying, “Don’t TOUCH me,” and then what? All I will have left are these memories, these memories of when she was so small, and so sweet and demanded hugs and kiss constantly. I have to remind myself of this frequently, specifically when she is climbing me like a tree and acting like she would like to wear me like an article of clothing. I think my children would climb right back into my womb if they were given the opportunity.
So many times, I find myself just counting down the minutes to bedtime. Can I put them down 15 minutes early? Will they notice? The screaming. The needing. The wanting. Mama! Mama! Mama! They test my patience more than I thought they would. The exhaust me more than I thought they would. My life is not my own, it’s theirs. Worrying. Planning. Making. Doing. Rocking. Feeding. Bathing. Wiping. Crying- sometimes them, sometimes me. Motherhood isn’t always pretty. It’s often emotional, exhausting, lonely, and sometimes very ugly. It’s the most selfless thing I have ever done, to give so much of myself to these two tiny humans.
Sometimes I feel so needed that I wish I could just press a pause button and take a few minutes. No one saying my name. No one crying. No one asking questions. No one touching me.
But one day, when I am not so needed, will I miss it? I imagine I will.