On a recent summer morning I woke up to find my son staring at me by the bed. You know what I mean, moms, those restful, lazy Saturday mornings in June when it’s 6:15am and your children are up and apparently have already had three cups of espresso. As my eyes slowly peel open and he’s already jumping into everything he’s ready to do that day, I realize he calls me a name that shot me up out of bed. I couldn’t believe that my just turned 6 year old called me that…a word we just don’t use in our house. As I follow him bounding down the dark stairs it really hits me.
My baby boy, my sweet first born just called me Mom. Not “mommy” as he had done every morning before but “mom”… just plain ol’, I am too old to call you mommy, “mom”.
As I struggled to make the coffee, I watch Ben on the couch and he suddenly seems old to me. As he watches Sportscenter, reciting the stats from last night’s basketball game and pouring his own cereal, I couldn’t help but wonder where the last six years had gone.
I wished, through his endless months of colic, that he would finally sleep through the night. Now, I treasure our talks and his questions about the world before he does just that.
I wished, through all the babbling, that he would say his first words. Now, I can’t help but smile when he talks to his sister about why God is bigger than anything in the world.
I wished, through the pounds and pounds of diapers, that he would be potty trained. Now, I watch– like a freaking hawk– as he goes into the men’s room to do it by himself.
I wished, through all the clumsiness, that he would finally walk. Now, I savor watching him as he runs off to play 18 holes with his daddy… sorry, Ben, his dad.
When I was 12 years old, my mom came to watch me cheer at my school’s football game. (I know what you are thinking….I don’t seem like cheerleading material. Let’s just say they needed a big girl for the base of the pyramids.) Anyway, as we left the stadium I vividly remember demanding that my mom walk way in front of me. I would not be seen with my mom– the horror! It makes me sad to think how she must have felt that day and how I will feel when it happens to me. Since I can’t freeze time, I’ve just stopped wishing. I am not wishing for my children to finish school, not wishing they were old enough to drive themselves or anxious for them to go off to college. That will all come soon enough. I just try to savor every moment I can with them. Especially when I hear, “I love you…..Mom.”
Sarah Weitzenkorn has a 4 year old daughter that still calls her “mommy”. Yes, it’s usually followed by the word, “no”, but she is happy, nonetheless.