I know other moms out there can understand just what I'm talking about with this...the ever-present clinging that starts, oh, around birth, and ends...well, I'm not sure. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I am a mom to two lovely children-my stepdaughter who is in her twenties and lives with her husband on the East Coast and my son who is three and lives stuck to me like a barnacle most of the time.
We just got back from our annual family trek to the beach a week ago, and near the end of our trip I had a mini-meltdown regarding our son's clinging ways. It went sort of like this, "I need five minutes where I can pee without someone grabbing my knee staring into my face going mommymommymommy, five minutes where someone isn't holding my hand while I try to take food out of the refrigerator/read a book/change my clothes/eat a meal/push a shopping cart, five minutes where I don't have a 35 pound growth attached to my leg..." All of which was said in a high-pitched voice hurled at my poor husband in a fever pitch with my arms flailing. I'm certain he believed his wife had totally gone off the deep end. In all reality, I just wanted some personal space. I wanted my bubble for a while.
It isn't that I don't adore my son. I do. I love every sticky, peanutbutterhoneyscented kiss he gives me. I love how when he needs to cuddle he starts to act like a cat. I love that he believes firmly he can turn into a blue butterfly and fly away. I think it is amazing that he recognizes about 95-98% of the cars on the highway/in the parking lot. I chuckle when it is bedtime and he pushes my head onto his pillow right next to him, commanding me to go to sleep (even pushing my eyelids closed). But at the same time, I have days when I walk out of his room I want to pull walls around me and go into a bubble. All of that clinging, holding, loving takes it out of me. It is one of those secrets that no one tells you...that the best parts of mommahood can be the most draining.
I know there will come a day when the peanutbutterhoney kisses will vanish into the wind. When he won't want to snuggle down next to me at bedtime. The butterfly in my son will become a part of his internal self, and not something that sprouts wings in our living room and in the Costco warehouse. I will miss all the love he freely shows when this happens. But when he enters these new life stages, I will also embrace the boy and man he will become and enjoy the new wonders that will bring as well. Even as I mourn the loss of the little boy he once was.
Excuse me now, I must pry the barnacle off my knee...I think I need a box of tissue.