Everyday I hold Mayhem in my arms and I ask who loves you and he smiles and says mommy does — and I say that’s right baby, I love you. In fact, we probably have the same conversation a few times a day, because I cannot stop telling my son how much he means to me. His laughter brings me the purest joy, and there are no words for the beauty of his smile. This is not to say that his pet name isn’t Mayhem for a reason — because when this child decides to go off, it is positively nuclear. He has always had a mind of his own and I sensed his strong will early on, when he refused to let me cuddle him and give him a bottle at a very early age. Anything that he is capable of doing for himself he will. There are days when he insists on telling us that he is a man Already my baby is almost five, and though I love the little boy he has become, I miss the baby he used to be.
Sometimes I will tease him and ask him if he wants a dewie (note: family word for pacifier), and he will roll his eyes and laugh at me. “Mommy, you are way to silly,” he will tell me. Still, there is a part of me that would freeze this time in my life forever. Never did I imagine another being could come to mean to me what my children do. Never did I think that a smile from another would warm my heart until I felt like it would burst. Mommy, mom and mother when they are irritated, are the most precious words in the world to me, because they define the relationships of my life. There are those that would run forever to avoid such association — and yet I am drunk with the love of it.
Already my little baby boy has reached the point when I cannot pick him up at will, and he barely fits in my lap. I occasionally will hold his newborn outfit and wonder to myself, if so much could change in less than 5 years, what will the next ten or twenty years bring, when he is no longer a child and has become a man? My friends tell me that this is the cycle of life, but I cannot help wanting to stretch every moment, clutching it to my breast, jealous and angry at time for making me say goodbye to the baby he once was.
Today, I realized that my oldest who is nine, was exactly the same age as the baby (4 1/2) when I brought him home from the hospital. Now Destruction is almost as tall as I am, and knows that I am fibbing when I claim that the fridge ate the chocolate. Slowly, everyday their eyes become more knowledgeable and aware, and they are losing the sweet precious innocence that marks their baby status — and so I ask them with a smile on my face, who is mommy’s baby, to hear them both declare I am.
I know that I am being silly mourning what I cannot change. I know that I have been so incredibly blessed, but the knowledge that one day, their eyes will be completely opened to the world, and the wonder and innocence lost forever is a thing to me of sorrow. I know that I will have done my best to raise them to be good men. I know that I will have showered them with all the love I have to give, but in the end, this time of pure joy is but a moment, or a stage of our lives.
Some may think that I am sentimental today, but in truth this is but a glimpse of the love we share every day. I sometimes feel silly writing about my children, but when someone brings you so much joy, it is hard not to want to shout it from the roof tops. It is hard not to want to hold onto every precious second. I may have to give them the business from time to time, but every bit of frustration I may feel, is nothing compared to the quiet moments we share as a family. Have you ever had one moment in time of absolute perfection, when you knew that if time were to stand still it would have captured a moment of absolute bliss? That I is how I felt yesterday, as I watched my boys play in the water at our impromptu family picnic. I felt compelled today to write about it, as if to somehow hold onto that moment now that it is gone. When my time on this earth is done, and I look back at my life, I know that my happiest moments will all involve my family — and not many people can say that. Whatever I have lost in this life or dreams that I have failed to fulfill, I found my hearts desire in the most unexpected place – the arms of a child.