Sunday, August 10, 2014

I need you for a second...

Even though the boys are now 3 and 5, one or both of them often wakes up in the night for one reason or another. I don't always react very kindly to being woken up for what seem like trivial reasons, but I guess tonight my pregnancy hormones gifted me a wave of nostalgia and motherly instinct. In the past week, Taylor (3) has been waking up sometime between 1 and 3 am, and wandering down the dark hallway to stand by my bedside. Tonight when that happened, and I asked him what he needed, he said in the softest, sweetest, saddest little voice (the one you don't hear in the daytime anymore, the one you want to record and save forever, the one you can't say no to) "I need you for a second". In my half-asleep state, I asked "huh?" and he said again, "I need you for a second...I can't find my whale". Ah, it all made sense now. The stuffed whale he had been snuggling with tonight, just as was the case with the stuffed elephant he had been sleeping with a few nights ago.

Of course a part of me is thinking "I don't want to get out of bed for this, I'm so tired". But another part of me - and I'm going to let this part be bigger right now - thought something like "He needs me. And I can fix this. He won't be my baby much longer, and I'll miss this someday".  And so I got out of bed in the middle of the night to search his dark room for the missing stuffed animal, which consequently I found laying on his bed already, to give comfort to this precious little boy who still needs me sometimes. He went right back to sleep, but I couldn't.

I couldn't stop thinking about how in just a few weeks (or less?), we'll have a new baby in the house. One who in no uncertain terms will need me...all the time. I remember how much bigger Chase looked to me once we brought tiny Taylor home, even though Chase was only 21 months old. I also remember, with sadness, how many times I pushed Chase to be a "big boy" because I only had two hands and couldn't help him with everything anymore. (Although Chase didn't really need much pushing on that...he's always been very independent.)  And of course the same thing is already happening to Taylor, even though he is much older than Chase was. Taylor has always been more of a snuggler, but there hasn't always been room on my lap for him lately, and I haven't been able to give him a "ride" up the stairs to bed. He always says "when the baby pops out, then you can". Being a big brother is a wonderful thing though, and I am excited he'll have the chance.

But this is a little boy who still reaches up to hold my hand as we walk through a crowded store, and I love it. I love that he still wants to hold my hand sometimes. Because someday he won't. I love that he still wants to sit on my lap to read a book, even though it can't be comfortable with my big belly in the way. And I love that he still needs me, even if it's just to find a lost stuffed animal in the middle of the night. Even if most of the day I hear "I can do it myself, Mom". Because I hear those words with pride too, and lots of times even with relief. It's been great to watch the boys grow more independent and be able to do so much for themselves, but it still tugs at the heartstrings to be needed. As their Mom. As the one who can make it all right.

I know that someday, the I need you's won't come anymore; at least not verbally. Not so simply and sincerely, with complete faith that I can fix it for him. And I know that someday, the things he may need help with (whether he wants that help from me or not) won't be so simple to fix. But I know that as his mom, my heart will always want to be there to help him. Even in the middle of the night. Even when he doesn't ask me to. And so for now, I'll roll out of bed and find that missing whale, so that he knows his mom will do that for him. Because I love him, and I want him to always know that. And I hope that I can remember that feeling when there's a new baby in our home, and when I'm even more tired than I am right now, and when I'm "needed" so much that I just want a break. Because one day, and I'm sure it will come way too day, it will really feel like he needed me for only a second. And I'll miss these days.


Kari said...

And of course just 2 hours later, right after I had finally gone back to sleep, Chase came in wanting to be tucked in after a bad dream. Good thing I was still feeling sentimental!

Jason and Crystal Kent said...

Beautifully written :) There were a definitely a few tears while I read it. They are truly only little for a second!

The Hunzikers said...

Oh, Kari. Thank you for posting this!!! I can totally relate and have felt the exact same so many times. It is so sad how fast they grow. Your boys are so cute and you are such a good mom. They are beyond lucky to have you as their mom and I am so lucky you were my roommate and friend! Can't wait to see baby Rosen #3!!! Another boy for one of my girls ;)