My boys are on Spring Break this week. Yesterday, we had two carsick pukers and a very busy day at the zoo. Trying to fit in work while enjoying the time with my boys. So, today, one of my dearest blog friends is helping me out with a guest post. Meet Natalie of Mommy of a Monster.
It was a normal morning – eight o’clock, kids already going 100 miles per hour, and me just trying to have a cup of coffee without getting it spilled all over me by the kids that continually jump all over me when I least expect it.
Not the kind of morning when I was expecting an epiphany, that’s for sure.
There’s a little back story that you’ll need to know to appreciate what I’m going to tell you: Ethan, my three year old son, has the most wonderful habit; he continuously tells me that he loves me. At the grocery store, while watching TV, playing at the park, in the bathtub…wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, he will stop and come to tell me that several times.
Now I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll hear him say “Mommy?” and I’ll get irritated. Because really? Another question? He’s at the age where he asks at least 100,000 questions a day. So I’ll say “What Ethan?” clearly irritated, and all he’ll say is “I love you” or sometimes “I love you to the moon and back” or on a rare occasion, “I love you more”…which is what I tell him all the time.
So back to our normal morning. The kids are playing/fighting and I’m (trying to) drink coffee.
Ethan, for the 87th time in the hour he’s been up: Mommy?
Me: What Ethan?
Ethan: I love you.
Me: I love you more, buddy.
Me: (Sighing) What Ethan?
Ethan: When I grow up, I want to be a fisher-pole man.
Me: You want to be a fisherman?
Ethan: Yeah, and catch fish on the boat.
Me: That’s good buddy, you can be anything you want when you grow up.
Not that there’s anything wrong with him wanting to be a fisherman, but honestly, I have higher hopes. Something that would make him lots of money…maybe a doctor. Or maybe an honorable job like becoming a teacher. Or maybe something exotic, like a dive master in the Caribbean. That’s really what I was thinking as I told him he could be a fisherman.
And that’s when I had the epiphany: what if he really decides to become a fisherman?
What if he decides to fish for lobster or crabs and he has to move to Maine and work on the dangerous fishing boats that go out for months at a time and I will have no contact with him to know if he’s dead or alive? And what if he has a family and has children of his own that I just get to see a few times a year because he lives in Maine and we live in California? And he’s going to grow up, and I’m not going to be the most important person in his life anymore…there will come a time when he won’t even like me when he’s a teenager, and then he’ll get into his 20’s and realize that I was right most of the time when I told him all those things when he was a teenager and he’ll like me again, but I still won’t hear from him every day because he’ll be living his life and doing his own thing. And he’ll have a wife! And his wife will be closer to her family and mother and want to spend holidays and vacations with them and I will be the mother-in-law and she might like me, or maybe she’ll just put up with me and roll her eyes when she talks about “Ethan’s mom”. Or maybe they will move away and lose touch and I’ll never even know my grandchildren!
That’s how my brain works.
But here’s one thing I know for sure after having the epiphany that he’s going to grow up and leave the nest someday: I need to cherish and respect every single time he tells me he loves me right now. Because someday, I am not going to get to hear those words multiple times every day.
And that? Makes my heart break a little every time I think about it.
Oh, ouch. I can’t count the number of times that one of my boys says Mommy? And I snap WHAT? But, they are only little for a little while. I love Natalie’s view on this- I needed the reminder. Make sure you are following Mommy of a Monster for more posts like this!