Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing!
Do you know that quote about having children? That it is “…forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” (Elizabeth Stone said this, the internet is telling me). Ever since becoming a mother, I have felt that quote to be true. Lately I have been struck by how much this love is heartbreakingly strong. It must be universal, this feeling… right?
Does it bring you to tears, to watch your 4 year old “read” a superhero book to himself in bed? When he asks you if Superman is okay with the green kryptonite or red, do you interrupt him just to kiss his cheeks some more? When he asks you if Santa gives the kind of legos that come with directions, do you wrinkle your face up because his four year old voice melts your heart? When he climbs back into your bed in the middle of the night, without waking you, are you so cozy to find him there in the morning? Do you give him kisses and hugs early in the morning, not even worrying if it wakes him up?
Do you stop to stare at your 7 year old, who squeezed himself between you and your daughter on the couch? Do you want to freeze time as you put your arm around him and listen to him talk about the toys in the catalog he is looking through? When he tests your patience while testing the limits, do you want to just stop the presses and tickle him? Do you make him promise that he will always hug you and snuggle you for the rest of forever, even though you know that one day he will be grown up, and too cool, and far too busy? When he climbs into your bed early in the morning, do you send a thank you to the universe for such a miracle to have him?
When your very own middle schooler says “Wait, didn’t you say this would be the time I’d be all mean, and say ‘I hate you?'” do you want to say, “Well, I guess we skipped that, phew!” (Even though you know that day is coming….) Do you hit pause and attack her with the tightest hugs? Does she still look like your baby to you? Are you worried about her getting all independent? Do you know that she has to learn to be a responsible young adult, but still want to hold her hand while she does it? Does she tell you she’ll miss you on her field trip? Do you tell her that she’ll be fine, and have fun, and that she can handle walking around with a group of peers with no group chaperone? Do you mean, “Of course you’ll miss me! I should be with you! You need a chaperone! There are all kinds of scary things that can happen!” Do you reel in your anxiety to help her grow up? When she wakes up Saturday morning and makes her way down the hall to see if you are up, do you hope there are millions of years left where she will be beside you?
Do you let your kids fall asleep in your bed because it’s nice to be all together at the end of the busy day? Do you sneak in to check them before falling asleep? Do you send a prayer of love and hope it wraps them in safety?
Does your heart ache?