Thursday, July 02, 2009

I have had a spurt of productiveness lately. The urge to clean the house. When I get that, I go with it!! LOL!! Yesterday, I was cleaning out our basement family room and laundry area.

While I worked Max found me and put his hands on my arms and said he needed a hug. So, I stopped and gave him a hug, pet his head a second, looked him in the eyes and told him that I loved him. Often, that is what he needs and then he runs off to play again. But not on this day.

This day, he stayed. In fact, he kept interfering for so long that I declared that he must let me get back to work. "I will help you", he replied. How could he help me with cleaning off the dryer? I admit to being slightly annoyed that he was hanging around, getting in the way and messing with the piles of stuff that I was sorting out, though I kept my mouth shut.

Instead, I said, "Okay, you can help". I gave him some run-off-and- put-this-away kind of errands thinking that he would find Misha along the way and they'd run off to play. But he kept bounding back down the stairs to me every time.

This made me think of when the girls were little. How that, sometimes, a cranky, clingy child just needs a few moments of your undivided attention. My stopping for five to ten minutes to play or cuddle, read or tickle, to sing songs or color and the child was readied to squirm away from me and explore the areas outside of the two-foot radius of my ankles again!

In many ways Max is still an almost ten, two-year-old boy. He giggles with abandon when he plays with toys like the big exercise ball he bounced himself around on at my friend's house a few weeks ago, obviously suggestive of a toddler's squeals of delight. And while he can be mature in ways beyond his years, he has an underlying current of a childhood that is replaying itself as he continues to blend into this new life he has with us.

And now, in my basement laundry area, I looked around, saw that the mess and collection of old lint-coated pocket miscellany could wait while I took some time to sit with my son. It was pretty high compliment Max was paying me, after all, working by my side simply for the privilege of being by my side.

My almost-ten-year-old son just needed me to help him be a little baby boy for a moment.


Heidi and Felix said...

Melissa - your thoughts ring true with me, too. Our new 10, 12 and 13 year olds are exactly the same way. I struggle every day with "do I get things done" versus "do I stop and chill"? I'm getting a lot less done these days...

Tara said...

How beautifully written and what a great reminder.


denjer said...

I always stopped to ask myself "is this eternal?" when the boys were young. The housekeeping was always a no and the time spent and hugs were ALWAYS a yes.
Great picture Melissa!!

Lynn Falk said...


The Flying Eagle said...

So true! My son loves to pretend like a little baby right after bath time when I wrap him in his towel. It only takes a few minutes to rock him and call him my "sweet baby boy". But I can tell he looks forward to it every bath and even only requests I bath him for this special "moment" that he missed out on for so any years. What he does not know is that it touches my heart so deeply everytime that I am able to give him just a glimpse of what I wish his infancy would have been like. Boys are truly the sweetest!!!!

nancy49456 said...

That is so beautiful! It made me cry! I too have a son much like yours! I wish more people understood the emtoional level. My son is 5 going on 20 at times and 5 months at others. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family.

Mike and Christie said...

Melissa, that was beautifully written. And it truly does ring true of our children too. What a beautiful picture of a parent child relationship.