I just spent a few minutes sorting through a pile of clutter. (Cue the parade!) And in the pile I found some papers created by my oldest a couple years ago, wherein he wrote of his love for me in giant tipsy letters, on construction paper, surrounded by crayon flowers. Of course looking at those papers made my heart swell up and burst into a thousand tiny pieces. I didn't cry or anything (this time) but it was marvelous to see love, young and wholehearted and innocent, made visible on paper. My boy still loves me, and we have a great relationship. Today he asked me roughly two dozen times if there was anything he could do for me, that would help me and the family. Seriously. But he no longer writes, "LOV YOU MOMY" over and over on decorated papers. That stage is gone. I love the stage we're in now, but I'm glad I have a few examples now filed away to remember the way it was.
In the interest of that, I wanted to blog today to capture for posterity what my youngest has been doing. He's two, and when he wants to say something to me, he launches into a building crescendo of, "Mom! Mom! MOM! MOM!" But he pronounces it more like "MAWM!" Without a hint of annoyance, almost like a bleating sheep. And even after I answer him, "Yes, honey?" he still throws a few more "Mawms" my way, winding down the refrain. Sometimes his song varies to, "Hey mom. Hey mom. Hey mom." About a dozen times. And if he is in range, he gently grabs my cheeks between his hands and steers my face to look at his. And if I'm talking, he puts his open hand softly on my lips, to get my attention. It's too cute to be annoying, and I respect his tenacity as a third child. He could resort to more violent ways to get me to pay attention, so I appreciate his peaceful ways.
I noticed today that the fall is advancing. The first trees have transitioned from changing colors to actually dropping their leaves. And that was just too much for me. I liked the beautiful leaves, but the barren branches were going too far. Silly, I know, to rage against the turning of the seasons. Summer was so good, so sweet, it's hard to let go. I know that in the coming months more than just the trees will change- our family is planning our next phase, our next big growing adventure. I don't have the luxury of thinking that we can hit "repeat" and do the same summer all over again, next year. We won't be where, or who, we were.
And I don't want to grieve over the growing of my boys and my girl. The sweetness of their affection is not going to vanish because they become more sophisticated and self-conscious. I've worked with older kids, so I know. These little pieces of who they are will still be there- they will just be under the radar, coming out in funny ways that make them just as sweet. Instead of reams of love notes, I may get the smallest smile and a nod in a room full of his peers. On a good day. Whatever, I'll take it- because it will be the same love from the same kid. I still have this time, for now, to enjoy the clues adding up, revealing who each of my kids are- the good, bad, and ugly- we are still together for them
to call me, "MAWM!"
*In rereading this post, realize I don't want you to think that we have been in some state of constant harmony over here. We have our fair share of conflict and tantrums, and "You're the worst Mommy ever!", etc. And I know that as they get older, those jabs will get more sophisticated, too. But hey, it's worth holding the sweet moments in your hand and pondering them a while, isn't it?