It is one of those moments you want to freeze and tuck away in a safe place to revisit when he’s gone.
“Mama, will you lay down with me a while?”
“No, honey, I’m in the middle of watching a movie, so just a kiss good-night.” At 11, it surprises me he asks, but I suspect it’s little more than a stalling technique.
“Just a little while? I’m going to bed early tonight…”, and there’s an urgency in his voice that tells me he’s much more important than Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt and whatever it is that women want.
Eagerly, he lifts his covers to invite me in, a twin bed means close quarters. He turns on his side to face the wall and backward-snuggles into my arms. We’re a nested pair of spoons, and though he’s inches shorter now, I realize soon he’ll be taller. Will he still ask me to lay down with him then?
As I wrap my arm over his body and pull him tight, he sleepily says, “Thank you, Mom…you’ve blessed me.” That wasn’t expected–a blessing to him just to help him stave off sleep? My heart is pierced; love seeps out.
There’s a rhythm to this memory. His bedside clock projects time onto the ceiling; every three seconds it flashes between the hour and room temperature–9:47 (one, two, three), 72° (one, two, three), 9:47 (one, two, three), 72°(one, two, three) and before I’m ready for it to change, it’s 9:48, then 9:49, then 10:00. The temperature is constant, but I’m thinking “How can 60 seconds pass in three blinks?”.
His fish tank gurgles the need for more water, but he likes that sound. Relaxing to him, it’s his “white noise.” I smile to think how the ocean calms me likewise.
Other than that, there’s only the still of night.
I press my face into his hair and inhale to my toes…oh, how I love his scent! One part boy, one part clean, I’d know him just by that smell (it’s much better now than when his feet are caked in filth).
His body twitches then relaxes and his breathing steadies. The minutes on the ceiling change 11 times and he’s already chasing dreams.
Eleven times, 11 years old, in 11 years he’ll be out of college, 11 years ago I was holding him in my arms and exploding with mother-love.
At least that hasn’t changed.
Originally posted 9/4/08.
ok I am jealous! My almost 11 year old would never fall asleep that fast! And yes he is prone to jump in my bed and bring his little brother along and sometimes his older sisters too (makes for a crowd I tell ya) But its very cozy!
Today the discussion came up about someone behaving like an asshole! He pipes up….Im an asshole! I raised my eyebrows and said really? He replied…”Well I have an ass, it has a hole!” I quickly said, “I think you are more of a “smart ass!” At which he giggled profusely! My goodness! Are these kids our future?
You just made me cry. That was beautiful. What a moment to treasure, and what a lesson to be learned.
Awwww…I love this post and I’ve felt every minute of it myself.
So poignant, Robin. And a good reminder for me with my almost-11yo boy.
I think I’ll snuggle with him today when he gets home from school.
O.K., I’m crying. I just yelled at my 10-year-old for not getting ready for school fast enough. I think I’ll go give her a hug.
Loved this post!!
Mine is now 20. Treasure those moments. That was beautiful.
That was beautiful! They do grow up way too fast.
What a sweet, sweet post!! Even though she’s only 2, my girlie has never been a snuggler. Those rare times when she does want “More Mama. More rock.” I just have to bury my nose in the nape of her neck…and hope that she will be my best girl forever.
Aw, how incredibly precious. How wonderful to have this memory recorded here for the future. Definitely heart-melting.
Beautiful post Robin!! I know there have been MANY times when my youngest (10) has asked and I’ve said no because I was “too busy”. Thankfully there have also been many times when I’ve stopped after saying no and realized that this time is too short to miss!!!
Glad you had that special time with him last night!!
My five year old often asks me to lay with her until she falls asleep…I love “spooning” her and telling by her breathing that she is asleep…
How sweet! My 11 year old wouldn’t have anything to do with that!
That is so beautifully written, you know what an old softie I am!
WEEPING!! Had just such a moment last night with my almost 6 year old son…time is passing fast!
You’ve captured 11–and a mother’s love.
Excellent post, Robin. I love the smell of my boys and their groggy snuggles at bed time. I will be sad when they are too big to want them but for now I will enjoy them occasionaly and burn them into my memory.
Beautiful. Moving. I’m speechless.
so sweet. 🙂
That is one of those “stop time” moments for sure.
Speaking of the number 11 – Dave and I were just saying that about Jammin’ the other night. We only have 11 more years with him until he graduates high school and is off to college. It is too soon.
Tears into my evening cup of tea. Stop time… please.
when he reads this at age 50, he will cry.
You were my last read tonight; really not prepared for tears in my eyes and having to explain to the hubby who is not sure what’s going on….Great post.
I have moments like this with my 6 yo. He never stops moving, ever. Except in the morning right after he gets up. We “snuggle on the love seat” and he is still for a few precious moments. I use it as my meditation time – I feel his weight on my lap, smell his hair, touch his sleep-warmed cheeks, and snuggle with his still warm blanket.
I savor those moments and try to make time for them even when I’m busy. I know that someday HE will be the one too busy! I hope when he’s 11 he stills wants to snuggle his Momma, at least sometimes.
Thanks for this beautiful post and the reminder to savor the moments with our kids.
*sniff* Damn it! I didn’t want to cry today. Ty is 11 and just asked for my advice on asking his first girl to the after school dance. Where does the time go?
You nailed it girlfriend. Zane’s 8. Phil taught him to say, “Please mommy, I’m not going to be little forever y’know?” And then, what on earth could I possibly say no to?
I don’t know what I’m going to do when he doesn’t need to me love on him anymore. I’m a little scared of that.
That is just the sweetest post..
Those moments are the best a mother can ask for…
I don’t think my kids have ever asked for snuggles that old. So sweet! My 11yo dd would love snuggles, and she does cuddle on the couch, but not at bedtime.
I get a lot of snuggling with my almost 2 yo, he can’t sleep unless he is touching me.
I bet your willingness to enjoy that moment will help him be a great dad one day.
I know exactly word for word what you just described. I can close my eyes and feel each of my children the same way. I raised a family of snugglers and I, too, remember each of their smells and their rhythmic breaths as they would lie against me. Remember these special times and try not to make other things more important because you are right, soon he’ll be gone. Then you can watch all the movies you want by yourself like I do. Sniff sniff.
Awww…Pojke such a “lover” at 2; I sure hope he’s that “snuggling” at 11! Wouldn’t want to miss it for the world!
My seven year old son still loves to snuggle in bed and talk almost every night. I keep waiting for him to outgrow our nightly ritual… maybe he won’t outgrow it too quickly.
This is incredibly sweet!
I love the smell of my baby, even when it’s not such a pretty smell . . .
Well said. Your post is the essence of my whole blog! Stop by if you have a minute; I think we’ve got a lot in common, lol! Blessings, Whitney
Love this! I have two small boys who still love to have me cuddle them as they fall asleep. I know these days are numbered. So most of the time I stop what I am doing when they ask me to come and snuggle with them.
sweet! I thought of this as I cuddled with my almost 8 year old last night.
What a precious story and memory! So sweet.
That is awesome! I love what you said and the wonderful reminder that our time is so short!
For years, Jonathan could only fall asleep snuggled against me. For so long I wondered if he would ever sleep alone. But I can still smell him, the scent of baby sweat in his hair. The sweetest smell ever smelled.
And now? I’m missing those times. As he sleeps at night, alone. My baby is becoming a man.
I still get hugs and snuggles, but what I wouldn’t give for one more night of holding that 3 year baby against me and smelling his hair as he drifts off to sleep. Laying there wondering what he’s dreaming.
Thank you for stirring up those memories again.
I love this. At seven, my boys still ask sometimes. Not very often though. What a sweet moment with your boy.
My nine year old asks me to cuddle with her every night, and I always have to remind myself that these days are fleeting quickly away… beautiful post.
Take all the snuggles you can get.
My oldest (a boy) is 18. Every once in a while he lets us lay with him. Those are cherished times. We’ve always used bed time to read, talk, pray, listen to favorite songs and just relax while our 3 kids were growing up. Now that they are all teens…..you’d be surprised at how often they want to wind down with mom or dad….that way.
Sometimes….conversations happen that otherwise would not have ever been discussed because we took that time with them.
It seems like yesterday…..when they were little. Time is a racer!!! It flys by!
what a wonderful moment. a stop and smell the roses moment. i loved reading this, made me cry too 🙂
and my 11 yo would snuggle and cuddle with me all night! by younger boys, all hugs and kisses, my girl, not so much! 🙁
Robin, you really are a wonderful writer! I’d love to be able to put words together that sweetly. What a memorable story. Merry Christmas!
What a beautiful sentiment. Warm holiday wishes to you and your family.
What a sweet boy you have. My seven-year-old son is a truly sweet and tender boy as well. You have blessed me today…thanks.
My boy turns 12 next month. He still likes to cuddle. Sometimes.
It goes by way too fast.
Almost forgot: (You distracted me with all that 11y/o boy stuff!) There’s a little something for you over at She Lives.
Love this. I lay in bed with my two as they go to sleep each night and I know the day will come when I won’t, but I don’t want to think of that right now.
OH…MY….GOSH!!! I cried when I read that!! You know that if I comment to something that it MUST be good! I read it to my Daddy and had to stop several times b/c I had a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes! It was so neat that I knew exactly which one of your children you were talking about from your description! 🙂 That was the BEST! Love you!
I too am crying now, imaging my 6 year old still wanting to fall asleep in my arms when he’s 11. And my heart breaks for the times I have said no when my kids have asked me to cuddle them awhile. I’m going to go cuddle them now!
My one and only baby boy is 21 and will graduate from college in May. To this day he will come up to me and say “I need a Mom hug”. Makes my heart melt.
Aw – I don’t have any kids, but I have lots of cousins, and they grew out of that cuddly stage too quickly.
Oh, I’m feeling a little weepy now! My son is 7 months old, and I’ve just decided to keep him that way forever. Waaa!
yes.. I remember this post, too – with pleasure.
thank-you for taking the time away from your show to love on your precious child! He will always remember it!
my goodness…I am moved. Robin you never cease to impress me. And oh it scares me to think about how fast the time passes. Sigh 🙂