One of the great joys, and simultaneous “pinch-me’s” of my days, is a more fervent awareness of the slipping away. Time slipping away. Childhood…slipping. Days, seasons…slipping.
It sounds depressing, I know, but actually I feel joyful that God has given me new eyes to see it. New eyes to behold these slices of history-to-be. Already I look back at photos and can’t believe how fast the years have taken flight.
My youngest son M is the spitting image of his older brother J, who is, of course, the spitting image of his daddy. This morning I pulled a long sleeve shirt out of the closet for him, pulled it over his small round head, and watched his smile pop through–transporting me in an instant to a time when it was J’s head emerging from the soft cotton. The picture, bent and wrinkled, stands still in my heart: two boys, two faces I love, both wearing the same shirt, both growing up so fast.
On days when our two older children have school, M and I like to stay in our jammies and snuggle together. I spoil him with chocolate milk in a sippy cup [even though he’s waaaayyy too old for sippies], and we watch Berenstein Bears on the couch. We wrestle and he wraps his small warm arms around my neck and I think that life just couldn’t get any better. I threaten to kiss his face off, and he says he’s too old for kisses “titheth”. I tell him you’re never too old for mama’s kisses. He disagrees.
I guess today he decided to better outline his thoughts in regards to kissing mom, because as I was blow-drying my hair, he bravely walked into the bathroom, stood on the toilet so as to look me in the eyes, and declared, “Four more days!”
“Four more days!”
“Four more days for what?” I turned off the blower to better listen to his instructions.
“Four more days left to kiss me! Then I’m too big!” I decided that aiming the hairdryer in his face and turning it on high was the only way to reasonably convey my thoughts. He folded up in laughter and righted himself just as fast.
“No mom, only four more days.” Then he hopped off the toilet and set to “popping wheelies” on the glider ottoman that seems to have taken up residence in our bedroom.
I stood there, pondering this ultimatum, issued by a little boy trying to figure out what it looks like to turn 4 and hang with the big kids. Of course I didn’t get too crazy over his “new rules,” because after all, I’m the mom and I’ll be kissing his face off until he gets married. HOWEVER, as I said in the beginning of this post, I am more and more aware of the “slipping away” of life and of my role as an integral part of our kids’ lives.
I quickly opened my pharm drawer and reached for some Prozac
I set a brick on his head to stop him from growing up
Done with my hair I ran into our room and scooped him up, rocking him like the baby he’ll always be to me. “Four more days?! Four more days?! That’s not enough!” I taunted him and kissed him and tossed him onto the bed, into a tangle of blankets and arms and laughter.
“Ok mom. Eight more days.”
I’ll take it. I’ll take all eight and cherish each one.