This morning, as my oldest and I waited outside for the bus, I turned to him and said "Let me get your picture, Goob. You look so big and handsome today." And he did. And he does every day. But some days it takes me off guard.
I snapped the picture but behind his little smile I saw something deeper. "You okay, bub?", I asked. He began to tear up. He told me he didn't want to go to school. He said that school is "too long" and he just wanted to be here with me. Of course, as much as I wanted to say "Okay, lets just go back inside and snuggle", I needed to send him off to school. I gave him a big hug and looked at him face to face. "I will miss you too, sweetie. But you will have fun at school. And when you get home, I'll be here waiting." He hugged me tight as his bus rounded the corner and when it stopped and the doors opened, he turned to me with a smile and a wave. "I love you!" he yelled back, and off he went.
As I opened the door to come back inside, a small whimper met my ears. My little guy..standing with two stuffed animals wrapped in his arms and a tear in his eye. "I was missing you, mama."
He had woken up in the few minutes that I was out front with his brother and he'd felt scared and alone. I wrapped him in a hug and told him I was only putting Xander on the bus. "Mommy will never leave you alone. If I'm not inside, I'm right outside sending Goob off to school. Are you okay?"
"Now I'm okay," he answered. "I love you, mama."
Some days the gravity of how much they love me hits me and I can't explain the way it makes me feel. I know they won't be this little forever. Along the way, I'll make some mistakes. I'll upset them or let them down. New loves will develop in their lives. As they mature, their love for me and all things will mature and change.
But here--in the quiet of this still, gray morning--their love is the most indestructible, unwavering, devoted, and adoring that it will ever be.
They still say things like "I wish I could be stuck to you all day so I could just kiss you and hug you when I wanted to." and "I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much" and "I don't know how to say it but I just love you, love you, love you."
And I am so honored. I can't describe how lucky I feel to be the mother of these two amazing boys and how completely enamored I am with them.
I want them to know that the way they love me now--fully, wholeheartedly, with all their energy and commitment--that is the way I have always and will always love them.
From the moments I knew they were forming inside of my body--I was thankful for them.
The first seconds they were placed on my chest, I felt the weight of a love heavier than any I had ever known.
I spent my nights holding them close. I smelled their little heads, kissed their little faces.
I held my breath with their first steps and their first times on their bikes.
I feel pride swell within with every milestone they achieve. My heart melts every time I see their personalities blossom and with each time I experience or witness the fullness of their kind hearts and giving souls. I sneak into their room each night and watch them sleeping, in awe at the beauty that my husband and I created. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and take it all in each time they snuggle close to me or sit in my lap and nuzzle their heads into my neck.
Right now, in this day and this year and this phase of our lives, I am privileged enough to have these two boys look at me like I have hung the moon.
I don't know how long that will last. But I do know that for me, they will always be my sun--the center of it all, the light of my life.
They will always be my everything and I will always feel like the luckiest woman in the world to belong to them, and to have been loved by them in such a precious and pure way.