My Meatball will be turning 8 this month. He still needs a lot of physical affection (It’s his love language.) but he is asking for it in different ways than he used to. As an infant he was the “clingy” one. The baby you couldn’t put down. He would sometimes breastfeed for over an hour! I met his needs as much as I could while corralling a 2 year old Miss. As a toddler, he was a “linebacker” and if you weren’t braced when he ran into your legs, you would fall over because he hugged and tackled. at four, you could count on him circling back for a touch, snuggle, high-five, look-at-this, moment about every 3 minutes! He cuddled with me every morning at age 6 as part of our “waking up” and getting ready for kindergarten.
Now he’ll still hold my hand. He’ll want to snuggle and lay on my lap while I read to him (or him to me) before bed. He doesn’t give me sweet kisses anymore, but rather blows raspberries loud and hilariously on my cheek. I let him, because I know he is meeting his needs (and mine) by showing physical affection. I watch as he grows and develops and try to not mix in MY needs (Why won’t he snuggle in the mornings anymore? That was a pretty awesome way to wake up!) with his.
It’s not about me.
I’m not writing this to say that I’m this amazing selfless mom. I’m not. I want to let you know that I want my baby boy back. I miss the smell of sweetness that has been replaced with dirt and sweat. I want him fitting nicely on my lap not having my legs fall asleep because he’s 50+ pounds of long legs in nothing but Lego underwear and a ninja mask.
I will hold on to this moment. And the next. Not because they are all amazing. They aren’t.
Right now as I’m typing Miss and Meatball are watching Netflix, eating cereal, complaining that one is too close to the other. It’s not all sunshine and flowers! That’s okay.