The Almost Empty Nester: Thoughts From A Full Mama Heart

Friday, January 13, 2017

Thoughts From A Full Mama Heart

Thing 2 had his wisdom teeth pulled recently. He's the last of my three kids to do it so the other two were eager to see his "waking up from the meds" video so they could compare. He didn't disappoint. In fact, the quieter of the three kids, he surprised us all by being quite animated and downright hilarious.

As I entered the room where he was recovering, I came around the corner to find him with his hands behind his head, his feet crossed and a big grin on his face. "How's it going?" he asked. The meds did nothing to dampen his usual sarcastic tone. In fact, I think it even heightened it a bit. I cracked up and sat down beside him, happy to keep him company while he woke up enough for us to go home.

I believe that Mama Heart moments come in different forms. Sometimes it's right there in front of my nose, clear as day. Those I usually write down or even have an actual photograph of somewhere. First steps, first days of school, first time riding a bike, graduations...

Other moments come at more painful times when my kids are hurting. In conversations through tears as they try to navigate life and feelings and friendships. Those I tuck into my memory and keep for myself.

And some moments float in and don't always register right away. As I turned the corner into the recovery room to sit beside Thing 2, the image of him with his hands behind his head, relaxed, brought a whisper of a memory that floated through my mind of something I hadn't thought about in years. As a baby he could not, and would not, go to sleep unless he had his hands behind his head. It made it difficult for him to sleep in my lap, a fact that was helpful at bedtime. I'd lay him down, he'd tuck his hands the way he wanted them and go to sleep. But on an airplane or somewhere where he was required to sit with me and God help me, got tired, it wasn't fun.

As I sat beside him, giggling at his antics from the meds he was on, then watched him drift off into sleep, that image stayed with me. Man, he was a cute baby. All my kids were. But with a full head of dark hair and dark eyes, and a disposition so easy going and snuggly - he was just a love. (He still is, but don't tell him I said so.) He's sixteen now and still has the same chill, loving demeanor along with great hair that we tease looks like Superman - honestly, he has the little curl in front and everything - but that baby boy face that popped into my head warmed my Mama Heart and made me SO grateful I get to be his mom. Grateful I get to be there for him and his siblings.

When my babies were little, I thought time went So...Slow... Every day filled with diapers and bottles and more diapers and bottles. Then the school years hit and it's carpools and homework, sports and crazy schedules. Those years go fast. But my Mama Heart is so full. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

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