Do you ever have that moment when you are consumed with nothing but love for your children? That precious bit of time when they do something that makes your heart just overflow with so much love that it actually hurts a little bit. I think I am getting nostalgic over the fact that I don't have anymore "babies," because this has been happening to me a lot lately.
One of the moments happened the other night at dinner. I had made chicken and rice. Luigi LOVES rice. He loves it so much that hardly anyone else gets any, because he wants to eat it all. We were sitting around the table, eating our dinner and talking about our day when Luigi became intrigued by the measuring cup I was using for my serving of rice. (Losing weight, following a plan...you know, the one with the points.) So he asked if I would give him some rice using the cup. He loved that when I packed it in there and turned it upside down, it came out in the shape of the cup. So, I measured some rice for him and put it on his plate. That is when it happened. My little Luigi had the sweetest look of joy on his face over that silly cup full of rice. He laughed and clapped his hands and said, "Look Mommy! It's so big!" Then he picked up his fork with glee and dove in. Such a mundane moment, and yet it tugged at my heartstrings in a way that brought tears to my eyes. It always amazes me when something so small makes a child so very happy. I couldn't help myself, I grabbed him right then and there, kissed his lovely forehead and told him he could have as much rice as he wanted. He, in turn, looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No, Mommy, I want to eat this rice!"
Not long after that, it happened with Peach. Peach loves to color. She is just a happy little clam if I give her a pen and paper. She can sit for hours if i give her a box of crayons and lots of paper. One evening, while the boys were out with Daddy running errands, I put Peach in her chair at the table with crayons and a coloring book so I could make dinner. I started my chopping and left her to her work of art. A few minutes later she yelled, "Mommeeeeeeee!" When I looked at her, there were crayons everywhere, almost every inch of the page was colored and she was holding a crayon while giving me one of her huge, squinty-eyed, toothy grins. Again, the love took over my soul. I paused for a minute, not blinking, hoping that I could capture that look on her face forever in my mind and my heart. Of course, moments like that are fleeting, and before I knew it she was back to kicking her feet and scribbling on a new page. I stood and watched her for a few more minutes as she happily drew all over the pages, tossing each crayon on the floor when she was done with it. I couldn't help but think that someday, she will have a baby of her own and she will be the one standing in the kitchen watching with the love only a mother can know. I felt a lump in my throat and had to turn around and focus on my fajitas so I wouldn't start bawling like a baby.
It happened just this weekend with Mario, and it actually surprised me more than the others. Mario spent the night with a friend and was gone for most of the day. Not that I am not used to this, I mean, he is in school all day every day, so it really wasn't much different. As 4 o'clock rolled around, I realized I was beginning to miss him. When he got home at 4:30, I found myself waiting for him at the door, watching out the window to see him run up the front porch steps. When I opened the door to let him in, that overwhelming feeling hit me again. My baby was home, right where he belonged. I talked with his friend's mom for a few minutes and once she left, I grabbed Mario and hugged him tight, not wanting to let go. This is silly, I told myself, he was just gone for one night! But, I think a part of me was realizing that my Mario is growing up and is starting to have a life of his own. And I'm just not sure if I like that or not.
I guess that is what being a Mommy is all about. It is a constant learning to let go. I know I complain a lot. There are times when the days as a SAHM seem to take forever. They drag on with the same routine every single day. But, the strange thing is, as long as the days seem to be sometimes, I blink my eyes and a year has flown by. How is it possible for my baby Peach to be nearly 20 months old already? Wasn't it only yesterday that we got the amazing phone call to pick Luigi up at the hospital? And 7 years, really? My Mario is 7? S-E-V-E-N? I remember being 7 myself! How is that even possible???
So, I will continue to look for those small moments. The ones that sneak up on me when I am least expecting it. The ones that grab a hold of my heart until it aches with love. And I will tuck them away in the scrapbook in my mind so I can look back on them for years to come.
And on another note--to all of my Mommy friends out there--Happy Mother's Day! You are all the best and I'm glad to call you friends. I could never navigate this treacherous land of Motherhood without you. Here is to you, Friends! My you sleep in as late as you want, have mimosas in bed and sweet well-behaved children all day!