Try as I might, there is no sleeping in for this girl. In fact, I haven’t slept in since Son #1 came into the world. Hello Motherhood. Goodbye lazy mornings.
Six AM rolled around and my eyes popped open. The interior of the house was quiet at that time of the morning. The exterior was alive and kicking as every bird within a 5 mile radius sang and sang as the sun peeked over the pine trees. There I was, in my jammies, enjoying a little peace before the day started when my youngest came downstairs to cuddle with Mom. I’m a cuddler, he’s a cuddler, and he’s my baby. Even though he’s growing up I still see the baby I brought home from the hospital when I look into his face.
All of my babies have been cuddlers. Expecially when sickness strikes them. When they were younger, my afflicted little person would sit on my lap, tuck a tiny head under my chin and use a free hand to hold on to my ear. As they got older, the lap no longer worked, so I would turn onto my side while lying on the couch and make a bird’s nest by bending my knees. My infected child would curl up in that little hollow of space with a blanket and sleep off whatever bug was bothering them.
As you can imagine, all of that closeness meant germs were generously shared with Mom.
When son #1 was small, under the age of 3, he would get stuffy, sick and miserable, especially at night when breathing while lying down was difficult. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and walk him around the house doing my best to soothe him. Silently I would pray for his misery and pain to transfer to me so that he wouldn’t have to suffer needlessly. Inevitably, he would throw up while I was carrying him and I would wear a trail of vomit from the top of my shoulder, down my back, ending at the waist of my pajama pants. Still wearing our jammies, we would jump into the shower Husband #1 started and I would slowly disrobe him, clean him off in the steamy water, and hand him off to Husband #1 as I removed the baby puke from my hair.
Oddly enough, throwing up on Mom was like an elixir. Once he hit the stage of spewing forth his toddler food and phlegm, he was so tired out that sleep just happened.
Such is the life of a mother. Sucking boogies out of little noses with squeezy balls, wearing formula vomit, and getting peed on. But if you ask any of us moms, these are small incidents in a bigger picture.
My middle kiddo got me flowers and a card that spoke of under appreciation and the sentimental realization that he is who he is because of my quiet influence. Summer vacation is coming up soon which means he’s buying a little silence so I don’t bother him about homework over the next few weeks as school wraps up. I’m going to surprise him. He’s at an age where I can’t keep bugging him about grades. He’ll have to learn to motivate himself. My work is done. I’m in a supporting role now.
Son #1 is a little too old, too cool, to cuddle with Mom anymore. But he’s not too cool to take me out to lunch. We had a Mother-Son date, just him and me. We went out for Chinese. His treat. He talked about his job. He works at least 30 hours a week during school and is now approaching 40 hours a week with his summer break. He likes school and wants to do better with his grades even though he finished his first semester with a 3.5 and his second semester with a 3.25 (by his quick estimate). He sees where he can improve and I told him that I am very proud of him, not for his GPA, but for his desire to better his performance for his own reasons.
After my one on one time with each of my children, I went outside and tended to my own spirit with a couple of hours of gardening and yard work. Oddly enough, I could not convince even one of them to come out and help me to lug and stack firewood.
But as I walked to and fro around different areas of the yard, I could hear their voices floating out of the various windows, laughing, talking with each other, and having a good time together.
Knowing my children are happy is the best Mother’s Day present I will ever receive.