Sunday, March 19, 2017
3.19.17 #sol17 Justin's Snuggles
"Mama, can you snuggle?" My 7 year-old hardly ever calls me Mama anymore, so even though I'm tired, and even though I still have work to do tonight, and even though I am done mom-ing for today, I take a deep breath and I snuggle.
I lie next to his little body in his narrow twin bed. He's surrounded by a menagerie of stuffed animals. There's Puppy H. and Ghostie, Piggie and Froggy. The newest addition to the collection, Pikachu, is nestled in his arms. His most beloved Wormy is never too far. Wormy's still the one we find in his arms in the middle of the night.
He turns on his side, eye to eye with me. I wrap my arm around his body, feeling his belly rise and fall with his breath. He tangles his feet around my legs. I love the smell of him. It's a mixture of boy and outside and toothpaste (sometimes). Who knows what we talk about it those moments: dogs, school, Pokemon, his brother, Disney. Sometimes we barely talk at all (although anyone who knows Justin knows that's not typical. This kid can talk).
After a few minutes, I tell him, "Okay, Mister, I love you." He usually says "One more minute." I relent. Of course. After half a minute, I wrap it up.
Our newest routine:
"I love you the most," Justin tells me, kneeling on his mattress and wrapping his arms tightly around my neck.
"I love you most-er."
"I love you the most-est, most-est, most-est." He laughs at the silliness. And I pretend to groan, outdone in the superlative game. Every night it's the same dance.
I leave his room, head downstairs and go about my evening.
Justin is my third child, the baby of our family. I used to complain about how my youngest sister got away with more, or was treated differently. Now I realize that with your youngest, you just hang on a little tighter.
He won't always be our baby. And honestly, he's not my baby anymore. He's transforming into this boy, this big kid right before my eyes. But someday soon he'll be too big to snuggle. He won't want me to lie next to him anymore. He won't place his chubby hands on my cheeks. He won't make up silly games to keep me next to him for just one more minute.
And since I am not the mother in that ridiculous Love You Forever book (I know this book evokes strong opinions in people, but seriously, c'mon. She carries a ladder to his house? If my mother-in-law did that, we'd have a real problem.), I know that there will be a moment when I have to just let him go.
But, while I can, I'll take a breath, I'll snuggle. I'll try to slow down the moment.