I have a new favorite phrase from our kids… Mommy will you lay with me … why? Let me tell you. Do you hear this every night, as I do? Our children want me to lie down with them every night. This question is always on their minds, because they love to spend time with you.
Ps- Yes, “Lie down” is the correct term, but our son has always said “lay with me”… so that is how I quoted him. 🙂 Thanks!
Several years ago, a friend of the family’s son passed away, while he was sleeping. A week later, another seven year old boy passed away, only one town away, unexpectedly, while he was outside playing. This is hard for me to think about, talk about and write about. We have kids close in age to these boys. (We have four kids: born in ’06, ’08, ’10 and ’12)
Here we are with our oldest, when he was just seven years old, the same age as these boys:
Do you know what our seven year old asks me every single night as I am tucking him in… “Mommy, will you lay with me?” I am sad now thinking that most nights my answer is this: “Just for a second, sweetie. I have to make sure that your sister and brothers are all tucked in. I have to clean up the kitchen. I have to work on my notes for work. Daddy and I are going to eat dinner, since we didn’t get to eat as early as you tonight….” whatever the reason, they all say the same thing to him: “Just for a second. Other things are coming first.”
I know, I know… as parents, we can’t lie there all night. He would expect this, as would all of our kids. “You give an inch, they take a mile”. We think we will lie down for 5 minutes, they want 20. We give 20, they want 40.
But… Do you know what? This is when the good stuff comes out. This is when I hear all of those details that seven year olds don’t tell their moms anymore.
“So & So told me that I was cute today. How disgusting. Right, Mom?”
“Today we had a math test and I got them ALL right! See, Mom? I just practiced and then I did it!”
“I miss our dog. When do you think we can get another one?”
“Mom, you know how you told me that during wrestling practice I should try to help Beau [younger brother] when he is running slow? I did. I ran right beside him, just like you and Daddy told me. I even told him that he could do it. He said that his stomach hurt from running and I told him that if he wanted to slow down, I would slow down with him, even though running that slow is REALLY boring, Mom!”
These are the things that happen when we put aside everything else. These are things that happen when we forget about whatever else we have to do or want to do.
My grandma used to tell me to enjoy our kids when we had them. She would say that she didn’t know why people would have kids if they didn’t get to spend time with them. She said that she loved raising her kids and that she knew I would be the same way.
My parents and my husband’s parents remind us that one day, they won’t want to spend so much time with us. It breaks my heart to think of this, but you know what? …
That day IS NOT TODAY.
TODAY, I will lie down with him when he asks me to, and with all four of our children. I will sing Toora Loora Loora and Que Sera Sera (their favorite songs).
And do you know what?
If it adds ten minutes onto the end of our night, when our patience is low and our exhaustion is high, that is ten more minutes that I was lucky enough to have spent with our children…. listening, encouraging, telling them the unspoken words that say: TODAY, RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME.
And do you know what?
In ten years, those unspoken words will come back to me when he is a seventeen year old boy and I ask him to stop what he is doing and sit or lie down with ME for a moment… and he does.
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