Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Being Needed

We had a rough day yesterday.  For some reason, I had not one, but two little ones who both wanted to be held most of the day.  Even after spending time together at a mom and tot music class in the morning.  I'd try to get the baby playing on his own, and after just a few seconds he would come teetering into the kitchen like a little old drunken sailor, saying "ma," or "mommy!"  Then he would rush into my arms with his outstretched and the happiest look on his face.  Not really sad, just wanting for me to show him bugs and birds out the window.  If I put him down, he'd cling to my legs and cry until I picked him back up.

My little three year-old, too, wanted my attention.  I was trying so hard to be patient, mentally, since she is getting big and is heavy and hard to hold.  Unlike her brother, she was really unhappy.  I could tell she was mostly tired and needed my attention; she seems to get the short end of the stick sometimes, being in the middle of others whose needs often seem more urgent (feeding the baby or taking someone to school or soccer).  I wanted to pay attention to her, but I had so many things I needed to get to-- my dishes, crumbs spread to kingdom come, and that pile of laundry in my room that seems to magically replace any clothes I remove. 

Everywhere I looked, someone or something needed my attention, and it didn't feel like they were getting it.

On top of it, I get these spells of vertigo every few months.  The room feels like it is spinning any time I turn my head in any direction other than straight ahead.  I was feeling really nauseated from all the spinning. 

I tried to be a good sport but I was frustrated and tired.  Finally I put my little girl in her room for a while since she would whine every time I put her down.  Soon she was quiet, so I went to check on her. 

Her cute little dirty feet especially tugged at my heart.  She is still little, and needs me, and I don't want to miss it.

Then I read this mom's post (made me especially teary) and this one.  And I remembered that magical time with each of my newborn babies, alone in a hospital room, just us, that sweet newborn smell and soft little fuzzy brown head.  Time seemed to stand still as my heart seemed so full it would burst.  Each one was such a miracle.  Each time I couldn't believe how blessed I was to be a mom again-- to have another perfect little angel in my care. 

Those early days are so busy, changing and feeding and staring in awe at little fingers and toes and wide-mouth yawns.  But now they are gone for me forever.  No more quivering chin, tiny balled up body on my chest, no more little onesies to smell when they are asleep.  It goes so fast. 

Some day my laundry will be done, folded and put away, and my house will be quiet and still.  My little ones will be off, independent, living their lives, and I'll be home in my clean house.  And I'll pull out a little scrawled drawing, or a tiny onesie, or a worn-out photograph, and remember these special, crazy, chaotic  days when little people needed me.  Needed me to hold them and love them and tell them stories.  Needed me to worry about them and calm their fears and listen to their stories.  Needed me. 
Even though there seems like there is not quite enough of me to go around some days, I'm so blessed to be the one everyone needs.  Because its really me who needs them more than anything.

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