This week, I was struggling to come up with something that I could write about. I still haven’t decided if it was because of an uneventful parenting week or just complete exhaustion from getting back into a normal routine. Regardless, when I was putting my kids to bed just hours before I needed to turn in a column to my editor with nothing started, I decided to turn to my biggest inspirations for some ideas. After all, the stories are always about them. They just don’t usually get to pick the topic.
Matter-of-factly, Reagan chimed in with, “dinosaurs.” In true Reagan style, that was all she said. Her mind was made up that I should definitely write about dinosaurs.
Maylie, on the other hand, had a laundry list of ideas. “How about Valentine’s Day?” Nah, too far away. “What about our dinner out tonight?” Nah, it was actually (for once) not chaotic — probably way too boring to write about. “How about mommy/daughter dates, taking us to fun places or playing board games?” Eh, none of them really intrigued me to write about them.
On and on my creative girl went with all these ideas and, before I realized it, she had stalled bedtime by 15 minutes. After thanking her for her suggestions, I advised that I would think about them but she needed to get to sleep. As she was drifting off, she quietly mumbled, “What about love?”
Love. Hmm. Cuddled up in my favorite spot with my two girls as they drifted off to sleep, my mind ran with love.
This should be an easy one as a mom. I mean, I am not sure that I have ever felt more loved than I do having my kids around. Mom, watch this. Mom, do you like my drawing? Mom, guess what? Mom, can I sit on your lap while you eat dinner? Mom, I’m just going to eat the food on your plate. Mom, can I sleep in your bed tonight?
They love me. And I literally have to do nothing to make them love me. Oh sure, most of the time it feels like I am doing everything, but truly, there is no trying to win over their little hearts, all I have to do is be there.
And you guys, while that kind of love is truly amazing, I have to admit that sometimes it gets just a tad bit annoying. I mean, I am not sure how many times I have quoted (in my head of course) the infamous line from Regina George in the movie “Mean Girls”: “Why are you so obsessed with me?”
Can I please have just two minutes to myself at home? A bathroom break? Even if I do lock them out, stories still must be told from the other side of the door. Yes, I saw you do that cool trick the last five times you told me to watch you. There is an entire couch, so why are you sitting on my hip? And if you must come in my bed in the middle of the night, must you sleep right on top of me?
But that’s love. That’s the way these littles show me how much they want and need me. Impressing me, being close to me, getting my attention, sharing their wild stories, that’s their love.
And while it may seem overbearing at times in this stage of absolutely no separation between where I end and where they begin, I cannot help but think about how soon enough I won’t be their No. 1 love.
The days are coming when I can actually potty alone, be the only one eating food off of my plate and get a full night’s rest in my spacious bed with plenty of room with just Paul and I in it. One day, I will be sitting on the couch just longing for them to climb into my lap or begging them to tell me a long, drawn-out story about their day.
Reminding myself of this, while shattering my heart, also brings me back in to enjoy the moment when I feel smothered by their love. I am not sure that I will ever feel the intense amount of passion and affection that I receive in this stage of my life as a mother.
Oh, how I wish I could bottle it up so when I am no longer their No. 1 infatuation, I could pop open the bottle and sprinkle out a little bit of their innocent desire to just be with me. But I know that’s not real life. No, real life is these sweet girls who love me so completely right now.
So, climb on up in bed baby girls, and let’s cuddle. After all, what’s another sleepless night anyway when it is filled with so much love?
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.