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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?

My boys are on Spring Break this week. Yesterday, we had two carsick pukers and a very busy day at the zoo.  Trying to fit in work while enjoying the time with my boys. So, today, one of my dearest blog friends is helping me out with a guest post. Meet Natalie of Mommy of a Monster.
Mommy of a Monster

It was a normal morning - eight o'clock, kids already going 100 miles per hour, and me just trying to have a cup of coffee without getting it spilled all over me by the kids that continually jump all over me when I least expect it.

Not the kind of morning when I was expecting an epiphany, that's for sure.

There's a little back story that you'll need to know to appreciate what I'm going to tell you: Ethan, my three year old son, has the most wonderful habit; he continuously tells me that he loves me. At the grocery store, while watching TV, playing at the park, in the bathtub...wherever he is and whatever he's doing, he will stop and come to tell me that several times.

Now I'll admit that sometimes I'll hear him say "Mommy?" and I'll get irritated. Because really? Another question? He's at the age where he asks at least 100,000 questions a day. So I'll say "What Ethan?" clearly irritated, and all he'll say is "I love you" or sometimes "I love you to the moon and back" or on a rare occasion, "I love you more"...which is what I tell him all the time.

So back to our normal morning. The kids are playing/fighting and I'm (trying to) drink coffee.

Ethan, for the 87th time in the hour he's been up: Mommy?

Me: What Ethan?

Ethan: I love you.

Me: I love you more, buddy.

Ethan: Mommy?

Me: (Sighing) What Ethan?

Ethan: When I grow up, I want to be a fisher-pole man.

Me: You want to be a fisherman?

Ethan: Yeah, and catch fish on the boat.

Me: That's good buddy, you can be anything you want when you grow up.

Not that there's anything wrong with him wanting to be a fisherman, but honestly, I have higher hopes. Something that would make him lots of money...maybe a doctor. Or maybe an honorable job like becoming a teacher. Or maybe something exotic, like a dive master in the Caribbean. That's really what I was thinking as I told him he could be a fisherman.

And that's when I had the epiphany: what if he really decides to become a fisherman?

What if he decides to fish for lobster or crabs and he has to move to Maine and work on the dangerous fishing boats that go out for months at a time and I will have no contact with him to know if he's dead or alive? And what if he has a family and has children of his own that I just get to see a few times a year because he lives in Maine and we live in California? And he's going to grow up, and I'm not going to be the most important person in his life anymore...there will come a time when he won't even like me when he's a teenager, and then he'll get into his 20's and realize that I was right most of the time when I told him all those things when he was a teenager and he'll like me again, but I still won't hear from him every day because he'll be living his life and doing his own thing. And he'll have a wife! And his wife will be closer to her family and mother and want to spend holidays and vacations with them and I will be the mother-in-law and she might like me, or maybe she'll just put up with me and roll her eyes when she talks about "Ethan's mom". Or maybe they will move away and lose touch and I'll never even know my grandchildren!

That's how my brain works.

But here's one thing I know for sure after having the epiphany that he's going to grow up and leave the nest someday: I need to cherish and respect every single time he tells me he loves me right now. Because someday, I am not going to get to hear those words multiple times every day.

And that? Makes my heart break a little every time I think about it.

Oh, ouch. I can't count the number of times that one of my boys says Mommy? And I snap WHAT? But, they are only little for a little while.  I love Natalie's view on this- I needed the reminder. Make sure you are following Mommy of a Monster for more posts like this!



Blogger Unknown said...

It is easy for me to dismiss JDaniel's chatter from the backseat when I am driving the car. I need to listen up!

April 26, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Fields said...

I often have similar thoughts about my kids as they get older. You are right, we do need to cherish all these little moments even if they make us insane.

April 26, 2011 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I've told my kids, usually my son, and after I've heard it a million times by noon, that I changed my name.

I know I need to cherish every little moment, and I try, but sometimes the constant chatter drives me nuts!

April 26, 2011 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

So happy that I am not the only one who thinks "what if" about when they are adults!

It is so difficult to keep in mind that they are just excited about learning life and what to share it with you. Especially when hearing Mommy! for the millionth time in an hour.

April 26, 2011 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger LA Botchar said...

So true, and yet I for one, feel like there is an enormous pressure on mommies to "cherish every moment!" Don't waste a single minute...time passes so quick. Like we have to be "on" absolutely every single minute of the day. I wonder who can really achieve this. Especially when I am also told not to be so consumed with my children, that I lose sight of myself. Or the big wide world beyond my own backyard.

But just wait until they learn to text....my cell phone is full of those little love notes from my 6 yr. old DS. And even though it is ridiculous...I can't delete them. my cell is as crowded as my own brain :)

April 26, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Stephanie in Suburbia said...

This was a great post and so true! I know there are some days where Wee 'Burb is super clingy and I get annoyed, and I try to tell myself I should just hug her and hold her while I can, because in 10 years I will be declared her nemisis for at least another 10.

April 26, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

You are so right. But you could end up with a Momma's Boy. My family is making bets now on whether or not my 15 yo will ever leave me. :)

April 26, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Love this post Nat.. So very true. Those days where they grow up & leave are getting here way too soon.

April 26, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

Last night, Alex was trying to cuddle me so hard I swear he was trying to crawl inside my skin.

And while I was irritated at first my heart broke that there will come a time when he won't touch me every day.

April 26, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

I'm with KLZ - I can not even imagine that day when they won't be with me. Every day. Just last night I went to sleep with the big kid. In his top bunk. Just cuz I love to smell him when he sleeps. and at 5am the little kid crawled up there and we all snuggled for an hour. I need to cherish those days. 

Plus, I'm hoping just a little for a gay one so that I never have to deal with a daughter in law. Is that so wrong?-

April 26, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Belle's Books said...

I keep forgetting about that part. The part where my kids will eventually leave and go out on their own. Right now, I spend so much time frustrated with them that I miss those adorable and sweet moments. This was a great reminder to focus more on the sweet moments!

April 26, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Divine Chaos said...

My daughter used to tell me she loved me multiple times a day, too. She's a teenager now and doesn't do that anymore, but she does come out of nowhere and hug me, or climbs into bed with me in the mornings for a snuggle before we start our day. I miss her little days, when I heard I love you all day long -- but she still asks a lot of questions. Granted, they aren't always ones I want to answer .. but I'm glad she asks them lol

April 26, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

My fears are like that of yours. I am cherishing every moment with my little man because I know that one day I will not be the most important female figure in his life.
I pray for so many things for my boy and hope that he remembers the love that I gave him.
My heart is breaking just thinking about the day he leaves the nest.

April 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger BNM said...

that made me tear up a little. My little one does the same thing mommy.. i wuv you Mommy am I your fave son.. mommy I wuv you thiiiiis much! I get aggravated when I hear Mommy.. cuz I know a question is coming. However after reading this it def gave me chills we sooo need to cherish these moments they won't be little forever

April 26, 2011 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

This post actually brought tears to my eyes!
My little guy is almost 3 and baby girl is 5 months. I look at her and think about how fast little man is growing and it makes me sad that she is going to grow just as fast. I just wish she could stay a baby for a while. Pretty soon she will be mobile and the cuddle time will be a whole lot less frequent.

April 26, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Hutch said...

Leaving the nest will only make them love you more!

April 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

Okay, so here I sit with tears in my eyes. Why? Because I admit I get so irritated after hearing "Mommy?" for the 50th time in an hour. And then when they say "I love you" out of the blue for no reason and it melts my heart, I feel guilty for being irritated.

I, too, have moments where I wanna slap myself because I know those "I love you's" will be far and few between as they head into the teenage years and then on into their own busy lives as adults with families of their own. It scares me.

So now we just have to take what we can get, even if it means having to suck down a bottle of wine along with 25 Advil at the end of yet another exhausting day.

April 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Ducky said...

When I heard fisherman I thought of a marine biologist :O) I dream big.

April 26, 2011 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

Well at least you are thinking of a paid fisherman and not the unemployed one spending all his days on a row boat at the local lake. See already you are thinking big. :)

April 26, 2011 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger John said...

I would repeat commercial tag-lines to my mother. I'd be watching TV, a commercial would come on, and I'd tell her the tag-line, word for word.

And don't worry too much about the fisherman want - I would only talk about being a Mad Scientist with anyone who would listen until I was 6 or 7 years old.

April 26, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Tina L. Hook said...

When I was little I wanted to be a maid. Seriously. I wouldn't worry too much.

April 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I'm the same way. My oldest, Buddy, hardly tells me that he loves me anymore (sob!!!), but sometimes, he'll call me up to his room for the umpteenth time and I get angry and all he wanted to say was, "I love you mom" before he fell asleep. Aahhhh!

April 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Oh wow, I so relate to this post!!!

April 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I get tired of the "mommy" all day long too but at some point it will stop along with the constant "I love you" so we have to try and enjoy it while we get it.

April 26, 2011 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous January said...

Fantastic post. I relate to ALL OF IT. The way your mind went a hundred miles a minute fast forwarding years ahead. That's me all the time with my little guys. I really needed to read this today. My babies are driving me bananas. Thanks.

April 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Tracie Nall said...

That sound you heard was my heart breaking just a little bit while reading this. Now I'm on my way to go hug my little one and whisper some extra "I Love You" to her!

April 26, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so my daughter!

We recently had a similar conversation where I told her she can be anything she wants when she grows up.

After pondering it, she tells me...

When I grow up, Mommy, I want to be a tree.


April 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

Nat and Shell :)
My boys just recently started doing this, telling me they love me out of the blue, even after the Mommy, Mommy and the whining oh dear god the whining, but you're right, some day they won't want to say it, they won't think it's cool to say it, it won't be the one thing they think of saying and that breaks my heart too.

A good reminder to all of moms who are a little overtired and want some silence. Maybe we should let them talk now. ;)

April 26, 2011 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

Lessons learned from reading this post:

1) Never snub my Cherubs' attempts at conversation.

2) Stop watching Deadliest Catch.

April 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Cheeseboy said...

Well, I'm a teacher and while honorable, just is NOT as cool as being a fisher pole man.

April 26, 2011 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger A Mommy in the City said...

This is a great reminder that they are only little for a short time! Thanks for sharing this sweet story! Off to follow your blog!

April 26, 2011 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger PBJdreamer said...

This was a great story and a good point to appreciate the little things now.

I do have two adult children and they do their own version of "Mommy? What? I love you"

As adults they show me in many other ways how much they love me all the time.

It's still there no matter where they live or how old they are.

Bonds like that are never broken

that is all

April 26, 2011 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Awww!! Such a great reminder. I think I need to go hug my kids now... =)

April 26, 2011 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Hrs it really goes too fast. I love love my parents but I enjoy spending time with my in-laws more because they ate so good with the kids and I get a break. So just remember that and you will be golden :)

April 26, 2011 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

When they ask 437,000 questions a day, it's hard not to snap! But this made me cry a little. I don't want them to grow up! My five year old tells me she will live with me forever. I'm okay with that!

April 26, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

THANK YOU for this awesome reminder! I needed it today.

April 26, 2011 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger SharleneT said...

Uh-oh, you're human! It's so sad that the very days they drive us crazy are the days we wish we could bring back, over and over again. That's what great about grandchildren and the next generations. A different time and a different voice, but the heart still swells... Enjoy your babes, ladies, it goes by mighty fast.

April 26, 2011 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger AiringMyLaundry said...

Yeah, my kids LOVE to ask me dozens of questions. Like my son asked what was in electricity. I was like, "Um currents?" Then he was like, "What's in blood?" Google has been my best friend lately...

April 26, 2011 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...


I tell young moms this all the time.

One day, they won't be running all over the house looking for you.

One day, you won't be the sun in their universe.

Yes. Nat is wise beyond her years.

April 26, 2011 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Oh this is wonderful. Yes cherish that time they need you most. xo

April 26, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

OK, but if he grows up and goes on The Deadliest Catch he can meet Mike Rowe, and that would be totally hawt for you...and me, because you'd totally call me up so I could meet him too.

April 26, 2011 at 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhh ... yeah, I can't allow myself to go down the mental road trip of viewing N as a teenager or beyond. I start ugly crying and no one needs to see that.

GREAT post! :)

April 26, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger angela said...

Ethan can marry Abbey. She tells me that a million times a day, too :) And asks a million questions. If they got married, I wouldn't hog them on holidays, and I would gladly leave Michigan for California so he could stay close to you!

Kidding aside, I will tuck this post in my heart to remind me to cherish her questions and needing me and spilling my coffee :)

April 26, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

I don't ever want my boy far from me, but man, I'm probably cursed because I couldn't wait to move away from home when I was younger. Now I know the angst parents go through.

April 26, 2011 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Mrs4444 said...

This is beautiful. As the mother who started a journal for her kids before they were even conceived (in case she died young), I can relate to that kind of parenting paranoia. Loved this.

April 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh man! I think the brain maker gave us the same brain, and the same kid! My son's name is Ethen too!And he ALWAYS says "I love you", and I'm always sighing with irritation thinking it's going to be an annoying question...great post!

I'm off to tell her we have the same kids!

April 26, 2011 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

Those are the things I think about at night when I review how many times I said "wait a minute" or "not tonight there isn't enough time".
It is so hard to find that balance of what needs to get done and taking the time with my babies!

April 26, 2011 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger myevil3yearold said...

Oh, this hits home. I just want to grab my babies and hug them forever.

April 26, 2011 at 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Jessica Plassmeyer said...

I love this, so cute and so true, sometimes the things we get used to everyday are the simple joys we are soon going to be missing!

Ps love the name Ethan :)

April 26, 2011 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Oh how my son drives me batty almost everyday. But then he just looks at me with those bright baby blues and I melt. He's 5 and in kindergarten. I try to hold on to all that cuteness as much I can and remember too.

April 26, 2011 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Reading the "what if" paragraph made my eyes tear up! I think the same way. I can't imagine that my little tiny ones will one day grow up, leave home, and have their own families. This definitely makes me treasure each moment we have now.

Great post!

April 27, 2011 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

my brain goes to the 'crazy' run on thoughts she had...a lot. I try to enjoy him but sometimes when he's throwing things around or having a tantrum it can be challenging.

April 27, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

Awwwww, this is so very sweet. And you're absolutely right. Life goes by so quickly and it's best to make the most of these moments each time we're in them.

If it's any consolation, I wanted to be about 100 things when I was little and I didn't go through with any of them (though my parents always supported me when I said I wanted to be a vet, or the president, or a teacher).

April 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Oh my, don't they grow up so fast. My 3 year-old son said to me Mommy, Mommy come here and see the Kangeroo outside, it was a Squirrel.lol Learn to cherish every moment it goes by so fast.

July 6, 2011 at 1:41 PM  

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