Loving the Mess

Caleb came to my room last night, around midnight, and in a very small quiet voice asked if he could snuggle. Given the rather raucous noises my nose has been making the past few nights, Kevin had opted to sleep down stairs, so I told Caleb he could climb in but that I’d have to take him back to his bed in a bit.

We snuggled, his tiny warm body curled right into mine, and his little hand resting on my arm. I was loving every second of it, but knew I could not sleep like this, so started to stir with the intent of moving him back to his bed. He gripped my hand, and with his lower lip jutted out and a slight quiver to his voice said, “No mommy, please let me stay here, I don’t want the big man to get me.”
This, of course, sent about a million alarms ringing in my head, and I had to fully vet it out. So we started down the line of questioning on what big man, when did he get you, what in the world are you talking about… After learning that this big man had apparently been at the park when Logan and I had been with him (of which I could definitely confirm had not happened in reality), I was slightly at ease this had only occurred in dreamland. However, real or not, no big man was going to be getting my son that night, so he had secured his spot next to me for the remainder of the night. I didn’t get much sleep, as I had predicted, but I did enjoy every minute snuggling my little man.
Three and a half years into this parenting thing and I still can’t seem to get a pulse on how quickly situations change when it comes to kids…. I mean the day before you have a kid, you can’t imagine what your life will look like with them in it… then seconds after you meet them, you can’t imagine life without them. One minute your calmly answering the 3000th “why” of the day, or bouncing the screaming baby, and the next second you snap in frustration, then just as quickly lapse into the horrible mama guilt for having not held your cool. Or, last night, I plan cuddle for a few minutes waiting for the comfort of my own bed to fall asleep, and moments later I could care less about staying up all night as the protector of all things seen and unseen.
It shocks me how many times my perspective shifts in one day, I can’t keep up. One minute I’m thinking, this is the LONGEST season of my life, will my house NEVER be clean again, will the dependence never end… Then I’ll get a hug, hear an “I love you Mama”, or snuggle away a nightmare and wonder how many more times I’ll have the power to chase away the bad with a hug. How long will this season last, where he’ll run up and hug me for no reason and tell me how much he loves me, where he’ll walk up to strangers in the grocery store, stick out his hand introduce himself, and ask that stranger “How’s your day?”. I love the fact the season of sweetness is extended as Logan nips at Caleb’s heels, and think of having another to extend the sweetness even further…. then I cringe thinking of all the insanity that would ensue with another.
While I haven’t gotten a pulse on how suddenly, and seemingly without provocation, my moods can shift…. I am SLOWLY learning how to adjust to this dichotomy no one told me to expect when having children. I used to struggle with the Love/Hate relationship… Loving my children, hating the mess…. Loving my children, hating the whining…. Loving my children, hating the sleeplessness/exhaustion. In the last week or so though, I’ve stumbled across enough blogs, articles, etc… that have shifted my perspective. I could avoid the mess, the whining, and the sleeplessness…. but then I wouldn’t have my kids.
I’m thinking about having that last line creatively drawn/stenciled and hung someplace in my house as a daily reminder…. cause Lord knows I need to be reminded of it daily! I’m trying to love the mess, and the whining, and the sleeplessness, because loving that is loving the fact my kids are here in this sweet stage. So I’m gonna go love (well try… well maybe I’ll start off by not hating… how about just enjoying… is that possible?) the laundry, and dishes, and dinner making, and cleaning the pee up from all around the toilet because my dear sweet boy still turns his whole body when looking anywhere other than directly forward. But hey, he’s outta diapers, so gotta love that right!


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