Thursday, January 08, 2015

Be my, be my baby (Be my little baby)

Much of the time being a mother feels like one task and one obligation after another.

You meet the needs of these relentless little humans, and you meet more needs, and still there are needs. And half the time it seems like these people you are trying so hard to care for are working against you.

"Can we go to the park, Mama?"

"You want to go to the park?"

"Oh, yes! The park the park the park!"

"OK! Then put your shoes on and we can go!"

And then they keep playing or rolling on the floor picking their noses or whatever it is they're doing and you ask them again and you bring their shoes over and then you remind them until finally you grab a foot and struggle to get shoes on so they can go have fun in the sandbox or slide or whatever.

If you are me, you want to say, "I'm not the one who wants to go to the park. I would much rather sit inside and read a book! A grown up book! But I am taking you to the park so you can run around like lunatics and have  great time! SO PUT ON YOUR DAMN SHOES!"

But the sandbox and the shoes are not the point of this. The point is that there are so many things about parenting that take effort, that are exhausting, that are enraging, that sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the privilege.

I often forget that parenthood is a privilege.

The other night I was curled around my daughter just after turning out the lights. We had struggled through bath and diapering and jammies, and we were finally in the sweet time before sleep. We were facing each other, and she was all tucked up tight, my arms around her, her feet on my thighs. We took turns kissing each other's cheeks, giggling and rubbing noses and holding hands.

When I asked her for a big hug, which I do just before I get up, she threw her little arms around my neck and clung tightly. "No! Don't go! I want you I want you I want you!"

And I thought, do I really need to go? She needs to go to sleep, but she will anyway. What's a little more time? So I said OK, five more minutes (which in actuality can be one or 17 or half an hour).

I lay back down and we snuggled back in and she beamed with such joy.

We grow up and we might, in early relationships, throw ourselves completely at someone and love them with wild abandon. And then at some point we get hurt, and we learn not to be so reckless. To be more cautious, more restrained. We can feel as much; we just can't show it. Or maybe we learn to feel less, so nothing can hurt as much.

Do we ever cling tightly to someone else and say exactly what is in our heart? Say "I want you I want you I want you!"? Maybe once we're married, but even then not really.

I want you I want you I want you.

As she had her whole small body tucked into mine, it struck me how profoundly lucky I am. She is fully my responsibility, and yes it is a constant job.

But how often is it that you are exactly what someone else wants, and your presence, and your display of affection, is all they're asking for? You - just you. Not your money, not how well you write or how fast you think or how attractive you might be. Just you and your hugs and kisses.

I want you I want you I want you.

It's such a privilege to be so important and so loved.


  1. Last night my little one (who's almost 2) was insisting on being rocked at 2 a.m. Finally I gave into her persistence and as she laid in my arms she put her little hand on my face and said, "Hi, Mommy. Hi," with a huge smile. It was such a perfect moment and one I nearly missed out on in fear of "spoiling" her and not being there when she needed me.

    1. 2 am is a difficult hour to be patient. What a sweet, sweet moment. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. It is, and it's addicting! As much as I love Jane, she's acting like such a little teenager these days... it is Aiden's automatic joyous smile whenever I simply look at him that makes me so happy. I'm afraid I'll be sad when he starts growing up too and just want more babies...

    1. It is such an overwhelming feeling, you are right. And your kids are so adorable! Sometimes I do get very sad knowing that I won't have another tiny little one. And they're getting so big and grown up so fast!


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