Always Real, Makes Me Sigh

When A Taste Is Not Enough

Every morning when I pull out of the drive way to take Sean to school, Antique Daddy stands in the garage waving and wiping tears and Sean sits in the backseat, waving and wiping tears. And I’m like, “Dudes, get a grip. We’ll be back right after lunch.” I am crusty.

We are a family that spends a lot of time together. Antique Daddy works from home and rarely travels and as a stay-at-home mom, I’m at home a lot as well which works out for the most part, but we get a lot of togetherness. So this past week when I travelled to Las Vegas for about four days, it was one of the rare occasions when we were not all together.

And I have to be honest with you, I enjoyed my time away. I enjoyed sleeping in my own bed, eating whatever and whenever I wanted and basically reverting back to the day when all I had to think about was my own comfort. It was kind of nice not to have to wipe anyone’s butt or look for shoes that were not my own for four whole days.

But on the day I packed my bag to go home, I was ready. I had enjoyed a taste of being self-centered and it was yummy and refreshing, but a taste was just enough.

As the plane hurled eastward through the pink sky of a setting sun, I looked forward to being with the two people that oft times drive me nutty with their daily tears and waving and inability to keep track of their own shoes. But I also thought about the people who taught the classes I had attended. I’ve been to their web sites and seen their travel schedules and I don’t know how they do it. Not just the exhausting pace and the gypsy lifestyle, but spending so much time away from the people they love.

Tonight, I slipped into Sean’s bedroom after he fell asleep to take one last look at him and turn off the lights. It seemed to me that he had grown in the four days I was gone. He had fallen asleep with a book in his hands. I gently lifted the book away and removed the die cast cars and the assortment of plastic crud treasures he hauls into his bed every night like a pack rat.

I flashed back to the days of his infancy when I would check on him and he would be asleep with his fat little knees and hands tucked up under his chest and his tiny bottom in the air. I would cradle his velvety bald head in my hand and pat his bottom. I would lay my hand on his back and feel it rise and fall with each miraculous life-sustaining breath. I would measure the sole of his feet with the length of my finger. And when the urge to pick him up out of his crib and sniff his neck and wrap him up in my arms became too hard to resist, I would turn and leave the room. You never wake a sleeping baby. Grandmas do, tired mommys don’t.

Now, as I looked down upon a boy who is ready to read books and whose frame fills the bed from end to end and whose foot measures beyond the length of my finger, I cursed myself for not giving in and lifting him out of his crib more often.

It seems to me that God gives you just the tiniest taste of the sweetness of infancy, just enough to always remember there is nothing else like it and once it’s gone, you spend the rest of your life longing for just one more taste. There are other sweet things in life that follow, that replace it, but there is nothing else like it.

The urge to pick him up out of his bed and sniff his neck was as overwhelming as ever, but the days when that was possible are all but over. I wondered where his dreams had taken him tonight. I stood and prayed over him and then I bent down and cradled his head with my hand and kissed him lightly on the forehead. When I stood to leave I noticed his foot sticking out from under the blankets. I pressed my hand to the sole of his foot and measured it.

In life, sometimes a taste is enough and sometimes it’s never enough.

47 thoughts on “When A Taste Is Not Enough

  1. Sometimes being with my daughter just gets to be too much, but as soon as she’s spent a few hours away from me in preschool, I see her and think she is the most darling, beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I guess a few hours is all I need, too!

  2. Well, Grandma’s certainly want to pick them up. They just get overridden by the mommy’s very fast. But I agree…the urge is there to just hold these beautiful gifts from God a very long time. Great post!

  3. I am sitting here with big tears. So sweet. Thank you for bringing me back to a memory in time when my boys were so small and their breath so sweet. Now all they have in the morning is dragon breath!

  4. My daughter’s feet almost drag the ground when she crawls into my lap these days, but I can’t resist that snuggle. Even though her bony butt digs into my thigh like nobody’s business. I know there will come a day when she won’t need my snuggles. But not today. : )

  5. Way to make me cry first thing in the morning…
    Now my older two kids are WAY too heavy to pick out of their sleeping beds and rock, ala the creepy mom in Love You Forever. Also, I would put my back out. But I do walk into their room and watch them sleeping sometimes, with them suddenly looking years younger and softly vulnerable again.
    Wah.

  6. I not only still peek at my kids when they sleep but I “spy” on them through the day. I stand on the stairs and watch my daughter play the piano. I stand at the window and watch my son walk to his car. Seems we can never get enough.

    My husband travels a lot and I have often said it’s no fun to be the one who is always left behind. Sometimes I wish to have a few days where the responsibilities of the home never have to enter my mind. Someday.

    Another beautiful post.

  7. Heidi, I’ll bet your husband thinks it’s hard to be the one to go away – that he’s missing out on so much of the extraordinary ordinary of day to day life. I know AD has said that sometimes he’s jealous when he’s upstairs working and Sean and I are downstairs and he hears our conversations and activity. He wants to be a part of it. The grass is greener downstairs.

  8. Oh, now this was too precious. I felt just like you did when I went to BlogHer. But lately these days I can’t get enough of my little ones and I hold back the lump in my throat that they are growing so very fast.

    Steph

  9. The children in our home range in age from 17 years to 12 days, and every blessed one of them is growing too fast for my taste. Great post, and SO true: the being gone and the coming home and the bitter sweetness of “just a taste.”

  10. I too recalled that exact taste as I snuck into The Boy’s room to watch him as he slept. With legs that stretch from here to Idaho, I still long to gather him into my arms and rock him gently, softly singing to him though he wouldn’t hear a word.

    I think I’ll do it anyway. I long to be the mom in “I Love You Forever”. I want to hold him when he’s an adult, rocking him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, singing, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

    Besides, if I wake him up as I pick him up, he’s still young and sweet enough to smile at me and go back to sleep when I tell him that I just needed to hold him one more time.

  11. I just found out that I will have the house to myself this Friday night – the boys are camping just one more time before it gets too cold. I’m almost beside myself, to think I will get the whole house to myself. The idea of getting to read a book for hours without having to jump up to feed a kid, get a game down, or referee a “discussion” on who gets to watch what first, is just breath-taking.

    But come Saturday morning, I’ll be in the drive way ready to love on some very tired boys and hear about all their adventures from the night before.

    Motherhood….

  12. As a mother of three teenagers, I do long for those days of infancy, but I must say that God, in His infinite wisdom, makes each stage of childhood even more fun than the previous one. There is nothing like the urge to scoop up that sleeping infant and inhale all the scents of infancy and dependency. Just know that our Creator has made sure that each stage of growing-up is incredibly fun!!!!!!

  13. Beautiful.

    My kids are a little older (9 & 12), and often, when I check on them, they are so irresistible that I can’t help but cover their sweet little faces in a million kisses. Usually, with their eyes still closed, they will awake just enough to smile and say, “I love you, Mom.” And that just makes me want to kiss them a million times more.

    We are so blessed. Yet, it’s all so bittersweet, isn’t it?

  14. I got home myself from Las Vegas last night,(Were we at the same event??) and had the same feelings kissing my son on the forehead as he slept. It’s amazing how much he grew since Thursday!
    Thank you for sharing.

  15. *Sniff* Sometimes it’s painful to come and read you. That tug of the emotional heart that you can feel in your physical heart. . .that’s what this is.

  16. My first “baby” is getting married next week. As an antique mommy when he was born, I’m afraid I did not resist the urge to pick him up even when he was asleep. Many nights I went in to look at him and just gathered him in my arms and rocked him until fatigue, on my part, won out. I never regretted it!

  17. Tell me again why you haven’t won every award out there for tugging on the heart strings?

    Congrats to Clemntine! If anyone has clout with her please beg/force her to blog again. Please!

  18. I just took my oldest “baby” of 16 off to California to attend an arts academy for his last 2 years of high school. Your post brought me to tears thinking about how fast the time has flown. Way too fast. Like you I wish I’d picked up that sleeping baby who is now almost a man.

  19. Sometimes I try to remember just how my daughter fit against my chest with her head under my chin, and most often I can remember. But it was so fleeting; soon there wasn’t enough space for that fit – but there is always space in my heart. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. It may be the two beers I’ve had (“analgesic sedatives” as I like to call them, given that my back is killing me), but you have me bawling here!

    I tell new moms all the time to treasure the infancy stage, even though it can be so hard…they stay little for a long time, but they are TINY only for a brief period.

    *sniffle. snork*

    Jenni

  21. So very, very precious. Mine are grown and gone now. I often think I wish I had known the last time I’d be reading “Goodnight Moon” to them. I’d have slowed those moments waaaaayyyyy down. We are all blessed at your reflections.

  22. Precious!
    I know that you sparked a lot of tears with this post but I can bet just as many of us remembered to count our blessings and took time for an extra hug!
    Bless you,
    Pat

  23. For once you didn’t make me cry! But that’s because I still have my youngins in the bed with me. DD’s 7 and her own room will be ready for her in a few months but she’s said that she still will sleep in the master bedroom with her brother (4.5 yrs) and me. DH is a BAD sleeper so he sleeps alone in another bedroom. Every night I fall asleep with my arms around one or the other and the other will curl to my back and put their arm around me – 3 bugs snug in a rug. I wake each morning to kisses and hugs from them. And I treasure every moment!

  24. I can totally picture Antique Daddy and Sean waving and wiping tears and you, the “crusty” one, measuring that little foot. What a precious, tender-hearted family you are.

  25. So true, so true! You made me cry this morning. My baby is now 2, and definitely still a baby! Same as he will be when he’s 18! But that whole picture of the crib and the little bottom in the air, just takes my breath away. Yesterday, my baby & I were the only ones up in the morning, which is unheard of. And some calm bug had bit him, and we sat comfortably together with him in my lap, nursing his “cuppy,” and I drank it in. He still fits so nicely in the crook of my arm, still leans over and gives me impulsive kisses – I can still kiss his sweet head. It’s nice to be reminded. Thanks for putting it so beautifully.

  26. Awww, I’m not sure if it’s the newness of preschool or just ‘a moment’ but I’ve been feeling those things a lot lately. You summed it all up wonderfully, as always. Mine have been a little more snuggly lately, so I’m trying to cherish those moments because I know we’ll be on to another phase soon.

    They say that bottomintheairsleep is the final baby thing to go, and I was lucky enough to see it again the other nite. Sigh.

    Do you have forward imaginings as well? I will occasionally get flashes of helping them get ready for proms or weddings..then someone will scream, whine or cry and remind me of all the moments between. Thanx, as always

  27. Beautifully written. I have people always telling me I’m spoiling my baby by holding and cuddling him so much, but I never listen. They’re only babies for so short a time and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts!

  28. I love this.

    And I second Signe’s comment… everyone says that I’m spoiling my littlest, but I’m determined to drink every ounce of babyhood from my wee one. Every bit.

  29. Wow! What a sweet story, and so endearing. I’m still single (never married) and no children. So I can only dream (and trust me I do–constantly) about the things you’ve described in this post. I pray that I’ll have the opportunity to do the things you’ve cherished in your memories of when Sean was smaller, but oh the joys you have each new day to create new memories together too!
    Thanks for the sweet personal “welcome” to the blogging world. This is such an exciting endeavor for me. I find a lot of hope and inspiration through your blog. I totally don’t think you’re an “antique” though. You offer me and I’m sure many other single, mid-30’s girls a lot of hope that one day maybe our “mommy-days” will come too!

  30. Funny. At our house, the roles are all reversed: Michael and I would be doing the happy dance at bidding each other farewell, and mom gets the misty eyes. God fits us all together in different ways, His wonders to perform.

  31. Beautifully written! What a perfect way to describe a mother’s feelings. My youngest is an official “kindergartener” this year. It was such a bittersweet moment in my life.

    Kristen

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