When Big E was not quite two we were at the park when I saw a little boy give his mother a dandelion.
“Here mom, this flower is for you,” the boy said.
“Honey, you have to stop picking all the flowers!” the mom said. Not, “thank you, sweetheart,” or “Wow, you’re so thoughtful.”
I was appalled, shocked that a mother could miss the beauty of her son giving her a token of his affection. I judged her. Isn’t motherhood about savoring those special moments?
Three years later, I am that mother.
Big E and little g are quite possibly the most loveable children in existence. First thing in the morning they want nothing more than to snuggle with their mama. Follow that up with holding hands, hugs and kisses, or in Big E’s case running catapult jumps onto my lap, piggie back rides and clutching onto my ankle as I try to walk around the living room. Every minute, every hour, for the rest of the day.
After hours of thoughtful, loving tokens of affection from my children, the constant poking, prodding, touching and caressing feels more like I’m an animal in a petting zoo, on the brink of going rabid. Do you have to grab my arm throughout ALL of dinner? Why did you just put your finger in my ear? No, little g, that is not a nipple it’s a mole, thank you very much.
Now I understand that mom at the park. Perhaps her dandelion came after hours of her son picking every flower in her neighbor’s yard. Maybe her walk to the park was longer than an hour because her son wanted to stop at every single bloom.
I get it now. Maybe when my tots are older and my lonely arms starve for their affection I will miss these days of constant touch. But for now, all I want at the end of the day is to not be used as a pillow, trampoline or mode of transportation. Tots, I love you, but please just don’t touch me.