Home > Family, Love, Parenting > The feeling of our love

The feeling of our love

He touches the “map” card before throwing it across the floor. He spins some circles, a four-year-old’s idea of breakdancing, while waiting for it to settle.

“Now touch ‘shell,'” I tell him, starting the same mirthful cycle anew.

By the time we finish, he’s spun more circles on the floor than I can count. He runs laps between the living room and the bedroom, more ready for bedtime than he realizes. His heart is big, this little man’s, but so is his boyful exuberance.

boy + 30 seconds + 1 raw avocado = this

We settle in for stories. He protests my choice, even though he gets his choice next. As I read, I swap real words for silly ones to see if he’s paying attention:

Night in the town becomes Night in the helicopter.

Cars ride high becomes Cars ride moo.

He corrects each mistake with a full body laugh and cry of, “Silly Mommy!”

When it’s his dad’s turn to read, I slip on my shoes and walk the dog, wondering how my son will remember his childhood.

Back at home, he hears me padding into the bedroom and asks, “Are you here for a hug and a kiss and to stay with me?!”

“A hug and a kiss,” I say as we exchange just these things. I change my mind a moment later and ask, “Do you want a back rub for a minute?”

“How about a couple of minutes?” he counters, flopping onto his belly.

“I can do that.”

As I trace circles over his back, his eyes remain half opened. They stay that way until I whisper, “You are my sunshine.” They drift closed then, and he’s snoring within a minute.

My husband comes in and places one of his hands against one of our son’s feet. “Look how big he’s grown!” he mouths. He pantomimes holding the entirety of this now large boy, then a baby, across a single forearm. I shake my head in wonder that this human being is the same boy I brought home four years ago.

With delectable toes

I walk over to my husband. I lean my head on his shoulder as we watch our son fall more deeply into slumber.

From this vantage at the foot of the bed, I know that there’s no telling what our boy will remember years down the road.

Whatever moments he forgets or recalls, I hope he forever carries with him the feeling of our love.

  1. January 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Oh, I am sure he will! How could he forget such good times and feelings. I predict he will repeat similar daily routines with his kids as well.

    • January 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      ♥ As we get closer to the arrival of #2, I worry about whether he’ll feel displaced. But then I remember growing up with three siblings and feeling very, very loved nevertheless!

  2. Eyele-pigeon
    January 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing your moving story. I often hope my son remembers the loving moments we had as a family. The only childhood memory I have was my birthday when I was in Kindergarten. My mum was amazed when at 18, I described the day in school,the dress I wore,the joy of sharing cake,drinks with my classmates. She told me I was about 4yrs. When I create memories with my son now,am hoping he remembers it ALL.

    • January 6, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      I share that hope! But even if he doesn’t, I take heart in a quote from Toni Morrison:

      “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

      My just-younger sister has a catalogue of memories from childhood. By contrast, I only have a few flashbacks at light speed, but I always, always carry with me the feeling.

  3. January 6, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I am sure he will. This is a beautifully written post, Deborah! You have beautifully captured your emotions with your words.

    • January 7, 2014 at 5:34 am

      Thanks, Arindam! Yesterday was an exhausting day, but I felt invigorated by its conclusion. 🙂

  4. January 6, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    I think you’ll be amazed at what he remembers. The times I thought I screwed up as a parent are the times my 14yo remembers as some of the best times of her life.

    • January 7, 2014 at 5:36 am

      My mom seemed only to remember the things she did wrong. I remember those things, but far more than that, I remember the love and laughter. This remembering makes it much easier not to sweat the mishaps.

  5. January 7, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Lovely! You nailed that feeling.

    • January 7, 2014 at 5:37 am

      Thanks! I didn’t mean to write anything last night, but these words just had to find a way out. 🙂

  6. January 7, 2014 at 3:19 am

    your son will remember it being good,.

    ‘how about a few minutes?’ i love that

    • January 7, 2014 at 5:41 am

      I look forward to hearing his recountings! Not too far forward, though; there is plenty to savor now.

  7. January 7, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Oh, it reminds me of my little pawns. I have one on the fourth rank too. Gosh how they like to spin in circles, and run, and spin in some circle, and run, and spin in some circles, and run. Oh gosh how they grow, and grow, and grow, and grow. I look at my second pawn, who is on the second rank, and I cry because she will grow all the same, and she’ll do it while spinning and running. They’re so precious. I just love them.

    Thank you for the wonderful read.

    • January 8, 2014 at 4:17 am

      Aw! It’s so funny to look back when I thought parenthood was a terrible, undesirable thing. I had no idea how awesome kids can be . . . how much their energy and excitement can make life seem more sparkly even to adult eyes. 🙂

  8. January 7, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Greedy for touch, for love, for back rubs into sleep. How can this child of your heart remember anything but joy?

    You will remember the angst….he will remember ‘silly mommy’.

    You are delightful.

    • January 8, 2014 at 4:19 am

      I think I’ll remember a little of the angst and a lot of the love! Remembering how much sadness and regret my mom carried with her, and being able to see from the outside just how much good she overlooked in focusing on her mistakes, it’s easier to be mindful about the human bias to remember the bad over the good.

  9. January 7, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I wonder the same about GS1.

    I love that you take time to capture the feeling no matter how exhausted you may be. That is love. Like my daughters poured over family photo albums, I hope he reads your words some day.

    • January 8, 2014 at 4:21 am

      Before this chain of events, I was so tired I could barely put two spoken words together. This gave me a little boost, so that I knew it was the kind of evening I’d want to remember in detail later.

      I hope he will look through these posts someday.

  10. January 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    How absolutely beautiful. The feeling of your love will be itch him always and help him become a wonderful and kind young man. I’m sure of it!

    Congrats on the freshly pressed btw! I’ve been out of the loop for a while and am just now catching up

    Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2014!

    • January 8, 2014 at 4:21 am

      Thanks! It’s still so exciting to me that that particular post was pressed. *cheer*

      Wishing you the same for 2014.

  11. January 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Beautiful! So great take the time to pause and savor such beautiful moments. There’s no way he’s going to forget how loved he is. Plus, just imagine him reading these posts when he grows up (you’ll archive them of course). 🙂

    • January 8, 2014 at 4:24 am

      Since becoming acquainted with the short book Just One Thing about a year and a half ago, I’ve tried to consciously soak in these good moments, knowing that doing so measurably impacts the direction of thoughts to come. It doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally share grumpy thoughts (like this morning, *cough*), but that I won’t give them too much space in my brain. I want that space to go to savoring moments like these ones with my son! 🙂

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