June 30, 2020

Snuggle Them a Little Longer.

I’m going to snuggle them a little longer.

The sink is full of dishes and the dishwasher is waiting to be emptied.

There are mysterious fingerprints smeared on the bay window that overlooks our lush front yard.

There’s a trail of snack crumbs on the living room floor. Again.

Toys too, so many toys.
There are coffee rings on the counter.
And dust bunnies tickling the cabinets’ toe kick.
Dinner to be prepped.
Laundry to be switched, folded, and put away.

There are emails to respond to and orders to fill—because, oh yea, work is a thing too.

There’s a three-year-old who wants mommy to draw a shark.
And another shark.
And another.
Oh yea, and another.
And a whole bunch more.
They’re the best damn sharks he has ever seen, every time.

Because he’s three, and it fills him with joy when mommy colors with him.

There’s a one-year-old toddling at my feet. “Mama! Mama!” Wrapping his little arms around my legs clinging to me with love like a little monkey. He’s climbing his way up my legs, as high as he can, so that I’ll snuggle him in my arms and bounce him on my hip.

Big brown eyes.
Little curly-q twists that only live on the heads of toddlers.
Giggles and belly laughs.
Hugs and kisses.
Messy hands and sticky faces.
Diapers and more diapers.
Bedtime stories and sweet, sweet snuggles.
Bottles of milk and Goldfish snacks.
Ice cream cones and play dates.
All of the tickles.
All of the memories.

The memories. Someday, all of it will be just a memory.

They will have their first day of school.
They will be 16, driving their first car.
Getting their first job.
Graduating high school.
They’re going to grow up and it’s going to fly by.

I’m going to be reaching for those little hands and holding on for as long as I possibly can, because I’m their mother and they will always be my babies. The grip will have to loosen with time—as they grow, as they learn, as their circle of trust, love, and support expands.

They’ll always know where to find my hand when they need someone to lift them up out of the trenches, to guide them with the best intentions, or even to just whip up their favorite meal.

I’m going to miss this.

I’m not going to miss the dishes; a new pile will still be there.

Someday, I’ll get lost in my last snuggle, without even knowing it. I want to be sure that I don’t miss out on that memory. I want to be sure that I am present, soaking up each little breath.

Someday, they won’t cling to my legs because they want to be held. They won’t want to hold my hand as they climb the stairs to their bedroom.

They won’t ask for tickles.
They won’t even ask me for snacks, because they’ll be able to get their own.

Someday, they’re going to be too big for me to hold them.
Writing that sentence brought tears to my eyes.

Someday, they will be grown men. Someday, they will be the ones trying to take care of me and their dad as we grow old and frail, with glittery white strands of hair and wrinkles on our skin.

So, as I sit here with my baby boys snuggled up with me, cozy on the couch, surrounded by the daunting chores and toddler messes screaming my name…

I’m going to snuggle them a little longer.

I’m going to ignore the to-do list for now.
And I’m not going to feel guilty for it.
I’m not going to apologize for the mess anymore.

The dishes will always be there, waiting to be washed. Laundry, too.

This house is lived in. This house is where the best kinds of memories are made.

The chores will get done, eventually.
They have to, I know that.
Work can wait until they’re asleep today.

Because right now, I’m just going to snuggle them a little longer.

They’re only little once.


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