- The Make-Up Hug
…after the exhausting temper tantrum of epic proportion begins to wane and the flailing arms and rubber-legged portion of the battle subsides, it finally arrives – that moment of inevitable collapse. It is then the bleary, tear-stained face of defeat turns your way and those sad, red eyes meet yours signaling surrender. Now they are ready for the open arms and the swaying hug of mom and her reassuring words, “I know, sweetheart, I know, it’s going to be ok, I promise.”
I miss being able to make that promise.
- The Heavy Weight
…after falling asleep in the car or during a DVD induced coma from watching the same movie 3 times and you find them in a crumpled slump in a deep state of slumber. Hoisting them up and having them just a still, heavy weight in your arms allows that rare moment of time to just hug, squeeze and slow dance them to your heart’s content; all without the ‘I must have that toy right now’ wriggling and squirming that always accompanies a toddler hug.
I miss that dance.
- Bedtime Babble
…after a long day, a meal of whatever you could get them to eat that night, a playful bath, reading 3 -20 stories and finally laying them in bed and tip toeing out the door ever so quietly. After a few moments of silence and thinking they have finally drifted off, you hear that sweet song of love only a mother’s ears can hear drifting from the monitor. You know the one – it’s your baby lovingly cooing, babbling and singing tenderly to their favorite stuffed animal.
I miss that melody.
- The Wonders of the World
…you get to experience through their eyes of whimsy, wonder and pure joy with each new and exciting discovery they make. Whether it’s the foamy surf beckoning their toes and their screams of laughter as they retreat or their first bite into a lemon, their priceless reaction and laughing at the fact they always come back for a second bite – it’s all a ‘first time’ you get to enjoy once again.
I miss the taste of that lemon.
- The Jiggling
…after the writhing, wriggling escape attempts from the dreaded bath towel are finally successful and the squealing and scurrying to reach the Naked Hallways of Freedom ensues. Any attempt at recapture thankfully brings on more jiggles and joggles only the round little bottoms, roly-poly thighs and chubby little scampering feet of a shrieking, naked toddler escapee charging through the house can produce.
I miss that chase.
- The Constrictor Hug
…after something as silly as a cat’s paw tapping them on the ankle or the sound of the dog barking brings on a full charge of toddler happiness heading straight at you like a freight train, their little arms wide open ready to wrap around your neck with all their might. All their little heart wants to do in this precious, spontaneous moment, is share their delight with a hug so tight it momentarily cuts off your oxygen.
I miss that breathlessness.
- The Giggles
…after a gesture or movement you make happens to tickle their fancy to the point they cannot stop that gleeful, exuberant laugh straight from the belly. It magically continues each time you repeat the movement and anyone within ear shot cannot keep their shoulders from quaking or their sides from aching – their laughter is so contagious.
I miss that magic.
- The Weight of the World
…after yet another tantrum has ended and tears are still being shed for that one, must have, ’only that one will do’ blanket or toy mistakenly left at home and you can see their whole world imploding in their woeful eyes. Knowing their biggest worry in life is just that – their favorite companion, the one that soothes like no other – their best friend cannot be with them. I loved knowing that this would be the only time in their life that this was the entire weight of the world on their little shoulders and not a mortgage payment, medical bills or a car payment.
I miss that weightlessness.
- Just Mom, thanks
…only mom will do when there is a scuff, scrape or shove from a playmate or when the dog snatches that last peanut butter cracker out of their hand. Only mom can make that world of ups and downs and happy and sads right again. Only mom can set their little world properly back on its axis and once balanced again, that first bright-eyed smile lets you know you are the most loved and cherished person in their entire world.
I miss resetting that axis.
So whether you are a mom, dad, step-parent or loved one who fills this roller-coaster role of parenting a toddler, hard as it may be sometimes, remember to cherish the ‘now’ for in a blink of an eye, it’s gone. While you will remain the beacon of light in their lives that shines like no other, they grow up and the responsibilities and weight of the world becomes heavier on their shoulders and that short window of time when they are yours and just yours is gone.
I miss having a toddler.