When my kids were just littles, it was so easy to see all the wonderful ways they could and would have me wrapped around their itty bitty chubby fingers.
I loved being a mama through those years. Despite being sleep-deprived and not remembering all of it (Lord, have mercy, the Kid simply didn't know what it meant to sleep through a single sleep phase) and at times just a moment away from locking myself in the bathroom and crying on the floor... wait, I'm pretty sure I actually did that... I look back on those years with these two adorable little toddlers and feel utterly lucky and blessed to have been their mother.
I don't know what I thought, then, of being mom to a growing pre-teen/teen combo; I'm pretty sure, though, that I felt it would somehow pale in comparison to those all-consuming years of mothering, years of being so Vital and Needed to another little being. Being the center of their little world.
And so, I am thrilled and overjoyed to find that, still -- with these children of mine growing and becoming their Own -- they can melt my heart like no other.
Like when I drop the Kid off at school after lunch; after crossing the street, he turns back to wave at me. And not just wave, but to give me a mittened version of our I Love You sign language.
Like when I hear the Princess playing guitar and singing in her room. Her door is closed and so she sings with abandon and feeling and so much heart. It brings tears to my eyes.
Like the Kid asking for a hug while I'm helping him with his homework after school because he "hasn't hugged me since lunch".
Like how the Princess and I have little inside jokes that make us both crack up when we look at each other.
Like when the Kid brings out a blanket and book to the couch and asks me to read to him. And when I finish the chapter, he wheedles and pleads for another.
Like when the Princess kinda hangs around a bit in the evening and know that she is wanting me to tuck her in and say goodnight, but doesn't want to ask.
To be sure, there are times where I rather miss having these two as their small, cute toddler selves. I miss the Princess' teeny little voice and the Kid's antics. Miss seeing those little faces as they were. But I have to say, this mama gig is a pretty darn good one at any stage. I am blessed.