As I absentmindedly ran my fingers through his curls, he said “Mom, I have an important favor to ask you.”
In all honesty, my heart sank a bit. “What now?” was the first thought that popped into my mind. I could imagine having to explain to him for the 100th time why we weren’t going to get a dog or how we couldn’t yet afford to fly to New York City on our mother/son adventure. I didn’t want to have to come up with another excuse for why I didn’t want to take him to the zoo and I certainly did not want to have to crawl out of my cozy bed to go to the kitchen to make him a bedtime snack.
Instead, I tentatively said, “Okay, what is it?”
Then, as if he were sitting in a board room or a classroom or a coffee shop with a friend, he asked two things of me that broke my heart.
“Mom, I’d like for you to not be so grumpy and serious. And, I’d like for you to put down your phone more often.”
I inhaled deeply and felt like a complete and total jerk. I had been a bear that afternoon. I always get stressed when all five boys arrive at the house for their visit. Laundry, dishes, food consumption, homework, messes…well, it all multiplies by a lot. The boys are active, excited, happy to see one another again and sometimes it feels just a bit ‘much’ for me. I can be a little snappy when the activity level rises. I know I need to work on my patience. I struggle to be more laid back quite often. It would be so nice to be relaxed and not always anxious.
His request for me to put down my phone really hurt because I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is right.
I have very obsessive tendencies and I am addicted to my cell phone. I check it constantly. He told me that he’d asked me a question about his homework that evening and I hadn’t even heard him. That made me quite sad.
I know there will come a day when he won’t want to snuggle with me or let me anywhere near his curls. Now is not the time in life to snap quickly or check out completely. It’s too short, it goes by too fast for me to not savor as much of it as I can.
Today, I have heeded his requests. I took him to buy supplies for his scrapbooking hobby (he used his own money) and we made cookies as soon as we got home. It’s not great, but it’s a start.
What he asked of me reminds me a lot of a wonderfully powerful message that Kid President shared a while back.