Strangely, I’ve continued to meditate this week on the theme of a couple weeks ago of “I really would like some space around my own body.” I feel like I need one of those sumo-wrestler suits (except that I hear they are tremendously smelly inside from multi-person use!).
Here’s the thing. I love my three boys. And I’m pretty sure I love them equally, it’s just that I love them differently. I love the gentle spirit and heart within Super Tall Guy, even though it’s often masked by his excessive body movements. I love the quirkiness of Mr. Ornery and the fact that he absolutely positively must have chocolate milk every morning and evening – and I MUST sit beside him while he gulps it down in under 2 minutes. And I love the spirit of the Little Guy who gets involved in anything that happens, forgetting that he’s only 28 pounds and likely to be squashed easily by any of the other 4 bouncing-ball boys!!
But I’m going to be honest – I actually enjoy draping my arm around Mr. Ornery for his 2 minutes of milk inhalation, yet I cringe whenever the Little Guy comes flying towards me. It’s quite a strange phenomenon, but our bodies just don’t seem to mesh at all. Could it be that he is all pointy and boney and I am all pointy and boney….and our points and bones keep jabbing each other? Or maybe it’s the unexpected fling of an arm that catches me across the bridge of the nose leaving an imprint from my glasses rims. Or it could be that as he clambers up my leg, his fingernails dig in like a cat scampering up drapes. He does give the best hugs and often walks up to me and says, “Mommy, I need a hug,” in a most darling and adorable voice. But more often than I would have thought, I’m peeling him off me saying “ow.”
It’s not easy to admit this. It feels somehow that I’m a mean mommy and being negative about one of my boys, that maybe I don’t love the Little Guy as much. But I don’t think so. I think I’ve had to admit it to myself that everyone comes in different shapes and sizes and sometimes those shapes and sizes don’t fall into place like a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes, those shapes and sizes bump into each other and scratch and bruise. I want to acknowledge this so that I don’t see our clash as an annoyance, but as a difference. To allow myself the freedom to truly know my boys in their uniqueness and in the way that we come together as a family. To allow myself to love each of them in our own special way and to celebrate the different kinds of love. This is not to say that I avoid being physical and loving to the Little Guy, it’s just that I see the need to accept that this is not our perfect “language of love” and that we need to develop in other areas. And that’s okay. Because sometimes in the middle of the night I hear him talk in his sleep….and a dreamy voice rings through the hall saying, “I wuv you, Mommy,” and I call back, “I love you, buddy” (even though he probably doesn’t hear me in his sleep).
For I love my three boys.