“Mom, will you hold me while I cuddle on your lap?” asked my seven-year-old. Sure he was burning with fever and had spent the day on the toilet. But no words could have melted my heart more than his at that very moment. I was in the midst of unloading the dishwasher, a never-ending task with three boys. But I stopped. We sat in our dirty yellow chair and I cradled him like a baby for fifteen precious, uninterrupted minutes. As I watched him, I remembered a dear friend with a grown daughter telling me that even now, she watches her daughter in amazement, unable to believe she created someone so beautiful and so perfect.
There was a time not so long ago that I was exasperated by requests to “Hold Me!” It seemed I couldn’t turn around without a child wanting to be picked up or held. And quite honestly, I was tired. I was tired of the constant requests for attention and the dependency on me for everything. Often times, I was carrying two babies at once, one on my back in an Ergo and the other swinging from my hip. So at the end of the day, I was simply out of energy. And just wanted to be left alone. Looking back, it seems so sad, so disappointing. But it was all I had to give at the time.
That was a couple of years ago now. I have grown and they are growing up. I’ve heard so many times, “The days are long, but the years are short.” But as the boys get bigger, the days are getting shorter. I have to ask them to sit on my lap. And unless we’re sitting down reading, they’re too busy to spend any time at all simply being held.
So while few and far between, I will grasp at those fleeting moments when they need me. And I will look at the amazingly beautiful and perfect boys I’ve created. Not out of guilt for not holding them when they were smaller, but out of thanksgiving that on rare occasion, I still get to hold them now.
Because after all, it feels good to be needed.