Home > Family, Music, Parenting > tiny-armed hugs

tiny-armed hugs

i could have
gone to a

the boss!

i was born
to run!)

my college self
wept that her
parent self
took a

here’s the thing:
with two small kids,
some weekdays, the only
moments i truly get
to myself are
30 minutes
at lunch

is often filled:
with working and
driving and
prepping and
cooking and
reading-to and
helping and
cleaning tiny,
messy humans and
coordinating and
planning and
budgeting and
dog-tending and
trying to be
a good wife and
wondering what
i’ve forgotten
(there’s always
something) and
looking for the
light in these
chaotic moments

my kids were
and disbelieving
it could possibly be


i was tired
and cranky
after several
nights of
poor sleep
and wanted
to just go to
bed already:
“here, kids,
here are the
remotes, just
fend for

there were
many not-
facets to this
idea, so i
rejected it

i thought,
an evening
walk with my
kiddos would
be a great

that’d be
a great chance
for the boys to
try playing in

(oh, thank
you lord)
it was finally
littler’s bedtime,
li’l d wanted to read
him his bedtime stories

he carried
littler to their bedroom
and closed the door

i could hear
the murmur
of li’l’s reading
from the other side

i smiled

when, finally,
i peeked in, i saw
littler playing in a toy-pool
at the foot of the bed,
while li’l d read him
a story about
sharks who
won’t eat

noticing me
noticing him,
li’l shouted,
“go back, go back,
because you get
one night off
because you
worked hard!”


the boss
right now.


in a
years, my
boys will be
bigger, and i’ll
enjoy their
and my
to go
on weeknights
(without the
next four days
being unbearable),

i know
i will also
greatly miss
these wondrous,
exhausting days
when my big
boys were
little boys
and i
got by
knowing how
tiny-armed hugs
and tiny-voiced
bedtime stories
sustain in ways
that even the
live show

happy run

  1. March 15, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    ‘Go back, go back, because you get one night off’ is GOLD MEDAL recognition.

  2. March 15, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Li’l D’s a pretty awesome kid 🙂
    You can get the boss on CD/DVD, but not your kids.. 😉 but you’re awesome too and you already know that 🙂
    I don’t know how you survive with so little you-time, I struggle and I have many multiples of your half hour lunchbreak..

    • March 16, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      I heartily agree with your conclusions about the wee ones and music!

      As far as those 30 minutes, they are not nearly enough, BUT J is getting more autonomous and I think I’ll soon reliably find 10 or 15 minutes here and there on weeknights. It’s a heartening thought. 🙂

      • March 16, 2016 at 12:11 pm

        I really hope you do – it’s important (I’m working on finding me-time too)

  3. March 16, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Good choice, mama.

  4. March 16, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Love is the best music.

  5. March 16, 2016 at 7:29 am

    The music will sustain me through the next four days.
    And, he was The Boss, but maybe I missed my goodnight hug last night too. Maybe. Perhaps.
    Thank you for letting us borrow A for the evening. I hope you slept through his early morning arrival.

    • March 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      I’m glad to hear it about the music sustaining!

      Reading your comment, I feel like I should clarify that this wasn’t meant as a martyr-parent post setting myself up as some sort of ideal against which all others fall flat. (Blech!)

      It specifically reflects the very particular configurations of my life right now: rising at 3:30 a.m. to work and only finally getting to rest around 7:30 or 8 p.m. has taken/is taking quite a toll on me. If I get five hours of sleep one night, I am a wreck the next day. (I need at least seven to feel rested, but that rarely happens.) Any less than that, or less than seven hours consistently, and I can barely function. I hurt, and my kids and Anthony feel that hurt in turn. No one wins.

      When I look at a weekday evening concert these days, I know that concert time comes out of bare minimum hours of sleep in ways profoundly detrimental to me and my loves.

      If I’d gotten home at 1 a.m. as Anrhony did, I would have nothing left to give my kids or myself if I did make it home … which would not be a given.

      My college-aged self wouldn’t have cared about losing sleep, but this me in these constraints of my life right now wants to make it home safe to fully be (my not-snappy, barely hanging on self) with my kids.

      Someday that balance might change, but for now, music cannot sustain me in the way I need to be sustained for myself and my dependents … and it’s OK, because there’s a whole lot of love in these staying-in moments, too.

      This post was not about knocking any other parent but affirming that I was not really sacrificing anything so much as swapping joys. 🙂

      • March 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        I fully understand. No worries there. I didn’t read it as a martyr post. 😃

  6. March 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Awe. Sweet love from your little humans! It makes the rest of the world just fall away. At first glance I thought the title said ‘tiny-armed thugs’…lol. Have a great day mama.

  7. March 16, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Loved this! I have a tear in my eye 🙂 As busy as they are, those little moments truly are precious 🙂

  8. March 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Awesome. I have said just that recently, I love the in depth conversations, I miss being able to hold the little ones and make their worries go away just because I held them.

  9. March 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

    This perfectly captures parenthood – the sacrifices and the little moments that make them seem less important. Those magical moments of pre-bedtime are wonderful. Cody and Carter (now almost 10 and almost 8 (ahhhh, how can that be?!?)) still present us with those soft, melty moments of cuteness as the day comes to a close. Glad you made it to bedtime! 🙂

  10. March 17, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    All I can say is you brought tears to my eyes. Yes, one day you’ll back….I guarantee that is true! ox

  11. March 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Bruce will likely still be playing concerts into his 70’s, just like the Rolling Stones. Your little’s though, they will be only be this, right here and right now, well right now. Revel in it, roll in it and gather it in.

    ❤ ❤

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