I've found myself weary. I've found myself frustrated that I'm weary. I don't want to feel tired. I want to get up and go along with my kids discovering all the things that their little eyes and ears are seeing and hearing for the first time. I want to revel in their fascination. I deeply desire to see everything fresh and new again. It's so sweet, this innocence and natural passion that children come by.
It's why we love them so. Glee - it's illustriously evident in children; they don't often withhold it.
I've found myself thinking that perhaps I just need a break. And yes, perhaps sometimes I do. A break can give me enough rest as to rejuvenate me and nurture my soul. Often though, my breaks are few and far between and I find that I'm running low on batteries. "Mommy needs a recharge." I will say as I sit down with my journal or my phone.
And I found that I have kept trying to take more and more breaks to ease my frustration. It rarely has though. I get interrupted. A child needs a drink, someone wants to talk to me, there is a bathroom emergency. Each time I try to sit down something else calls my attention. My breaks haven't been working out and I find myself more upset during and after them than I was before the attempted rest period.
Holding my kids at arm's length I have been attempting to find "me-time" and pushing them away. Not realizing something of dire importance.
When you push something away all it does is cause separation.
Before they were born they grew inside me, safe and warm. They grew under my heart with its beat to give them comfort. Their first movements were felt only by me. Lightly touching where their limbs moved I would trace the shape of their still forming bodies looking forward to the day that I would finally get to hold them.
After they were born and my babies were small I held them ever so close. I found all sorts of ways to keep them near, from carrying them in slings, to cosleeping, to nursing. I kissed their foreheads, and cheeks, and wisps of hair. I nuzzled them, and told them I loved them in a constant manner even though they didn't understand my words, yet...
As they grew, those first unsteady steps set a new pattern. Always walking further and further away from me. Never as close as they once were closely pressed next to my heart. Fewer snuggles, fewer kisses, fewer hugs.
"It went too fast. My youngest is old enough to drive now. I miss when they were young and they were all home all the time."
And it stood out to me. I may be tired - exhausted really. I may need a break sometimes - and that's ok.
But, I need to hold them close. I need to give that growing boy hugs and kisses every single day while telling him how proud I am of him and how much I love him, because even though he can walk and do most things on his own he still needs a hug from his mama. I will hold him close.
I need to hold this guy on my lap and let him know how strong he is and how he can use his energy for good and snuggle him when he asks - which is often. His desire for affection and snuggles from his mama are a beautiful thing. Hold him close.
When this little girl grabs my finger at bedtime and says, "Now you can't leave mama! Please stay here forever." I will stay a little longer because these moments will not last. I will hold her close to my heart.
As this sweet one explores her world with curiosity and joy I will stay a step behind so as to make sure that she's safe and secure in the knowing that her mama is nearby. When she cries and runs to me I will scoop her up and hold her tight. Soon she will be running and jumping ever further, ever braver.
Those breaks will come for me before long. My youngest will be old enough to drive before I've realized where the time has flown. Instead of chasing after time alone I think I'd rather sit amidst these people who I can make memories with. I would much rather catch some of the zest they have. Instead of pushing them away when they want me to pursue fleeting breaks that often do not satisfy I will spend time and energy on my little ones. If I hold my children at arm's length often enough I will find out all too soon that they don't desire to be around me anymore. There will come a time when they will want their space. So for now, I will hold them close - even when I'm tired.
For when I'm 80 years old I won't remember all the time I spent sitting on my smartphone, or reading a book. I will however, remember all the time I spent with my beautiful children.