He (Still) Loves Me !!!

When he was born, the only thing that would stop him crying was for me to hold him in my arms. For months and months, we were together like a kangaroo and its Joey. Every day, all day, as long as I was holding him, I was greeted with those sweet dimples that I said were “mine, all mine”.

Even as he started to grow and didn’t need me to hold him anymore, he still wanted me to.

He walked at 10 months old, but wanted me to carry him even when he was 4. “Carry me, Mama!” he’d say and, because I knew there would be a day when he wouldn’t want me to anymore, or that he would be too big, I’d carry him whenever I could. I’d hold him close, inhale his beautiful boy smell and cherish those moments.

I knew the days of clutching my leg and wanting me over anyone would wane, but I wasn’t prepared for how soon it happened. I thought maybe when he was in junior high loving-on-your-Mom wouldn’t be cool anymore…but 8? That caught me off guard. This is what I wanted…my precious boy wanting to be as close to his Mom as he could…my precious boy who would look at me every day and say “We’ll be best friends forever Mama.”

He used to love cuddling up to me or having me hold him for a picture. “Take one of us, Mama!” was quickly followed with a “Can I see us?” I savored every moment, knowing that they would soon be few and far between.

And then suddenly, just as though a switch had been flipped, he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. No more kisses (only if I begged), very few hugs, no more “best friends forever” and a quick, clipped “love you too” only at bedtime. Where did my baby go? Would he ever come back? It seemed at times impossible to even coax a small smile out of him.

And I mourned. And still mourn. Because it’s different now. There are days when I cry at night because I don’t think he loves me anymore…and he for sure doesn’t like me. I cry on Matt’s shoulder wondering what I did wrong that made him stop wanting me. “Why?” I cry…”Why?” Matt assures me that it’s a boy thing; boys constantly strive for their independence and push their mothers away. It’s just the way it is. “You have to find other ways, more subtle ways, that he’s showing you he still loves you. And don’t act like his snubs upset you, that will only make it worse.” So I pretend. I pretend it doesn’t bother me that I don’t get a goodbye kiss and hug before school. I pretend that it’s ok that he doesn’t want me to lay with him and read to him and scratch his back before bed. I pretend, I pretend, I pretend. But I’m always looking for those subtle ways that he’s showing me he loves me.

Like when I’m the first one he chooses to show his new Lego creation to.

Or the one he chooses to show the author letter he received at school.

Or the little glance and smirk I get when he sees me in the back of the room at Heritage Day.

Or the jokes we share at the dinner table.

Or this. I was getting into bed the other night, after a particularly rough “there’s-no-way-he-still-loves-me” day and I found this on top of my pillow. Not on the bed, not anywhere near Matt’s side, right on top of MY pillow. Just for me.

And in that moment, all I feel are his arms around me, his sweet kisses on my neck, his dimples showing at me as he grins, his little voice saying “We’ll be best friends forever Mama” and know that I am still very, very loved.

Intentional Happiness

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17 responses to “He (Still) Loves Me !!!

  1. I was curious after you posted on facebook about writing a really good post that had you crying through the whole thing. It had to have been this one! And as I sit here holding my 6 day old son, snuggled deeply and contently in my arms, this story tugs at my heart in a little bit different way than it might have just a week ago.

  2. The TV show, The Middle, was about this same thing last night. And it pretty much ended like yours did – they still need their mom.

  3. I don’t have boys so I don’t know how this feels but how freakin adorable that he made that for you and put it on your pillow!

  4. Oh, so sweet!!! I bet you had a good night’s sleep after finding that!

    My oldest is the same way, but she has always been like that. It’s so frustrating, because she spends so much time pushing me away, but then when she wants me there, I am taken so off guard and usually do the wrong thing. Sigh…

  5. This is so sweet and tender Tiffany. I love that surprise on your pillow. This is one of the best !!! moments I have read.

  6. Just so you know, it’s not just a boy thing. The minute Miss D. could walk, the cuddles stopped. Really. It’s heartbreaking to have it end so soon. She was always wiggling to escape my arms. That’s why Ben Harper’s “Steal My Kisses” is forever her song.

    But this post is about your Matt, and I do feel your pain. But gosh, what a sweet surprise to find an a night where you feel unloved. It made me smile.

    ps: You are so gorgeous!

  7. You certainly don’t make some of these blogs easy to read as I sit in my classroom and a student stops in and wonders why I am crying, UGH! This is my biggest fear with Drew and I constantly worry about it. He has just recently started the same types of behaviors and it KILLS me! I have cried a few times about it. Thanks for reminding me that things will turn out okay and he will still be my “little boy”!

  8. I know exactly how you feel!

  9. awe how sweet! My oldest (8) is getting to this stage as well…makes me sad! Visiting from SITS =)

  10. I love that our boys are the same age. I feel like you put my thoughts and feelings in your blog. You are not alone. I find it goes in spurts: 2-3 months of the cold shoulder and then a few weeks of lovey dovey (to the point of almost being annoying/clingy). However, I’ve learned to just roll with it regardless of what phase he’s in. We will always have their love…they just show it in different ways.

  11. You tugged at my heart strings and made ME cry! I don’t look forward to this day at all. My boys still love to snuggle with me. They get upset if I don’t lay next to them at bedtime for at least one song.
    But I hear your story – and many like yours – and I take advantage of every moment that I have left. They will always be my boys. I just have to make sure I keep my eyes open to those subtle things that tell me I’m still their mommy:)

  12. Ohhh… Tears in my eyes. What a sweetheart he has. Cherish the moment. I think he’ll come around again. And until then, you have a nice gift from the heart.

  13. You know you’re doing something right if he is growing independent (but still secretly finds way to let you know). Sure with guy-babies, it is subtle but my 28 year old son is bolder at “love you mom” now and gives amazingly thoughtful “obviously he thought about it and knows me well” gifts. Hang in there – it turns back around again! Really!

  14. i want to print this out, put it in a safe place, and then take it out in about 6 years when chandler’s to the age where he “doesn’t love” me anymore. i think it would be a good reminder for me to cherish those little things that he might do to show me he still loves me!! i know that one day, we’ll all get our sons back who love us publicly!!

  15. How lovely. We will only have only little boy so I too take all those moments just to love and be loved.

    LisaDay

  16. Awe, this gave me goose bumps. I think that when they get older, it comes back around. They start the affection again!

  17. Ohhhhh that is so cute, and so thoughtful. I never thought about that, boys are different huh? I grew up with all girls so I didn’t even know boys strive for their independence like that. I loved that he thought of you, and that he wrote “top secret” on the paper. That is such a little boy thing to do. What a cute story. And those pictures are so sweet. I love that you are holding him in almost everyone. Your a darling mom!

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