Snuggle Bugs

8:45 AMHeather

These days my middle schooler often sneaks off to his room and shuts the door. Well, actually, although he is doing it more often, I shouldn't just say these days. From the time he was a baby, Collin has enjoyed quietly entertaining himself. He would smile when I laid him in his crib, eyes wide open, content to just be alone until he drifted off to sleep. When he woke up, I would hear him playing with his crib toys. I learned to wait until he began to fuss before I went to get him. Some days, that would be up to an hour later. How foolish I was to have any motherhood angst in those easy early days!

So, last night when I came upstairs after dinner, Collin was in his room--door shut. I knocked and waited for his answer before going in. He was lying across his bed reading. I invited him to go on and lie in my bed to watch some television while I completed that all important task of coloring my gray hair. [Clairol Nice 'N Easy, #117--every 5 weeks! Just in case you were wondering]

When I fell into bed about thirty minutes later, I found my very predictable son watching his favorite--Military History Channel. He so sweetly offered to let me switch the channel--after I sighed and complained about the millioneth show he was watching on the subject of World War II. When he handed me the remote, he then rolled to his side and snuggled up to me.

And, I felt like I could die happy right then and there. For my preteen son to wrap his arms around me and tell me that he loves me. To still be the object of his affection and attention. Oh, I am soaking it up because I think any day now, I'll be nothing but the subject of much eye rolling. Any day now, he'll follow in his mother's footsteps, and try to sit far enough away from his parents so as to deny the association. I wonder if I'll be like my dad--and allow him to ignore me, and then casually walk up to him, offering to give some concession stand money to this teenager who is nothing but a stranger?

If--or rather, when-- those moments come, I'll try to live on the memory of moments like last night. My son snuggled up, holding my hand, saying, "Mom, I think you're awesome!" I'll pull out his scrapbooks and look at the face of that darling preschooler who stood at the top of the stairs, looking down on me, and sleepily muttered, "Mommy, when I grow up, I want to marry you!" I'll watch the video of the hearty toddler laughter, fueled by his crazy dog running laps around him. I'll try to remember that only teenage angst causes him to feign disinterest in me. And, even if it means that I have to watch, "Combat Vehicles of World War II"--I'll do it, just to be in the same room with him.

INTENTIONAL challenge: This morning as I drove Collin to school, I looked across the street to the high school, suddenly facing the reality of what lies JUST ahead. (Okay, two years away--but that's like a nanosecond with the way time flies). And, I let my mind drift back to being snuggle bugs last night. Let's capture up those moments when they happen, recognize their significance, and just let them marinade in our minds over and over.

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