Today at naptime, I read Isaac his newest Thomas book. I turned to kiss and hug him, and just like he has been doing every naptime and bedtime for the past few weeks, he squirmed away.
Okay, okay, I tell him, but I love you.
I walked out of his room thinking of the boy he is becoming and how the kisses and snuggles will be less and less from here on out. It’s a hard thing for a mama to process, this growing up, this burgeoning independence. Just when I think I am going to break in half from being needed and wanted and pulled from every end, it is over, and here I am aching for the thing I complained about days before.
I ate my lunch with all of this running through my head and began to straighten up the kitchen. I was going to run the dishwasher and remembered that my coffee cup was still on my vanity. I walked back to get it and thought I heard something when I passed Isaac’s room. On my way back through I heard it again. He was saying oh, so softly
Mommy hold me.
I walked into his room. What, baby?
I need you gonna hold me.
You want me to hold you?
First you gonna lay with me, then I need you gonna hold me.
I laid down and made my way through blankets, silkies, and stuffed animals into his cocoon of warmth. I nuzzled his cheek and breathed in his smell of peanut butter and sunshine.
I need you gonna snuggle me right here he said and pointed inexplicably to the back of his neck.
Okay I replied as I kissed and nuzzled all around his neck.
Then we laid together like that while he whispered choo choo noises into my ear. And I thought, not yet.
Not yet, time.
Not yet, age.
Not yet, independence.
All in good time you will come and usher each of my boys further away from me in teeny, tiny baby steps. But not today. Today, there is still room for hugs and hold yous and peanut buttery cheeks to kiss.
Thank goodness, not today.