Even at Three

Posted on | December 3, 2012 | 6 Comments

Sometimes, in the midst of the temper tantrums and “why’s” and craziness of three, I forget just how freaking amazing it is, too.  I mean, it’s a tough age but in between the madness there are sprinkles of so much sweetness that your heart wants to leap from your chest and do a dance all alone in a spotlight. This weekend was one of those weekends.  Yes, there were temper tantrums over not wanting to be in the Christmas pageant (he wasn’t), and over taking a bath (he did), and over a million other little things.  But there were also moments like this one:

On Sunday morning, when he was through wailing about how he didn’t want to go to church and see his friends sing, I packed a picnic lunch and we set out for the playground.  When we arrived, just before 10:00am, we were the second family to get there.  Shortly after our arrival, the first family left, leaving just J and I with the playground as, well… our playground.  He ran around like crazy, I did some pushups, he sat on my feet while I did sit ups, and we giggled a lot.  Then he asked me to push him in the swing.

It started out slowly, just a little push now and then, but as always happens with him, he insisted I push him higher and higher.  And as I pushed, he kept up a steady stream of conversation that was like a window into his three year old soul.

“I’m pretending to be a bird with my arms out. Tweet! Tweet! Did you know that elephants have bigger feet than birds? Because birds have small feet like me. Only smaller.  But you have big feet because you’re a grown up. And so does Miss Sandy.  But when I grow up I’m going to be a superhero.  I think dinosaurs have bigger feet than baby elephants but not big elephants.  Hey look! An airplane! Did you know that I like airplanes? Merry Christmas time, Mommy.  I like Christmas…”

On and on and on he chattered, and with each sentence my heart leapt out through my chest, with each push of the swing I wrapped my soul around this little boy and held on for the ride.  After a while he quieted down, his breathing slowing as he let the wind push the curls back from his face.  We stayed like that for a good thirty minutes, silently enjoying the company until he asked me to help him down.  I lifted the latch off the swing and he catapulted into my arms, all angles and boy where he used to be so softly baby.  Pressing his face to the curve of my neck he sighed.

“I just want to snuggle with you for a few minutes, Mommy.”

I lay down on the bouncy ground of the playground, there with my hair splayed out on the ground for the ants and spiders and whatever else to crawl in.  I didn’t care.  There on my chest, his feet inexplicably dangling at my calves, my little boy lie… eyes closed, fingers clutching the fabric of my shirt.

We stayed there for maybe ten minutes, but it felt like forever… frozen in time that moment of pure stillness, that moment of such perfect safety, that moment when both mother and child knew, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that this was love.

“I love you, Mommy,” he whispered, clutching just a little tighter to my shirt.  For a moment, I couldn’t speak… I just inhaled these seconds of his life, letting them fill my lungs with my love for this little boy and everything he is.

“I love you, too, buddy,” I finally spoke back, willing him to always know that, to always feel that this place here at my heart is just for him.

And then he finally sat up and ran off to tackle the slides while I wiped just the slightest of tears from beneath my eyes. There were more temper tantrums to come.  There was ugliness ahead for both of us.  But at the end of the day,  he’s the most amazing person I’ve ever known.

Even at three.


6 Responses to “Even at Three”

  1. Sol
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    Wiping the tears off my cheek right now. It is a powerful love, that of a child for his mother and vice versa. Stated in the simplest and most amazing of moments. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Law Momma
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    Being a mother is so amazing. Even when it’s not.

  3. Lynne DeVenny
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    I need a tissue. Seriously, great reminder that our kids are so amazing and beautiful – in between melt-downs. Just like us ;P

  4. Law Momma
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    Yes! Just like us.

  5. Kate Fineske
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Loved this! We need to remember these times… they happen way more than we remember (I swear!) 🙂

  6. Law Momma
    December 4th, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    I really think they do… maybe we’re just programmed to remember the crappy ones? 🙂

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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