There was no warning. No way to prepare.
I thought I had more time. Another year at least.
How does one adequately pack for a trip of this nature?
Reality has slapped me in the face like a sucker punch. Or a pie in the face. For depending on your perspective, you may actually find this downright silly.
Monday night, my son dropped a bomb on my heart as he whispered, “Mommy, don't kiss me in front of other people. It's embarrassing.” Insert knife and twist.
Sounds so cliche, doesn't it? Mommy expressing sadness about her youngest child, and more specifically, her son, growing up?
Normally I would agree with you, as I abhor cliches. In my opinion, they are simply pointless and boring statements made only when one has nothing of importance to say, but yet feels the need to fill an uncomfortable silence. Sorry. Tangent.
Let me give you some background. My boy is 100% physically affectionate. He has been a pure-breed snuggler since day one, preferring the tight swaddle of a blanket burrito to free-range dozing. His need for contact has continued throughout the years morphing into verbal requests for hugs, kisses, and snuggles. All evidence of his desire to hunker down in my lap, or lay down beside Daddy while being ensconced in his arms, points to his preference of being physically surrounded by his parents.
His propensity to show love through physical affection has begun to rub off on his older sister who is the complete opposite: Give me my space. Now. And we do. But even though she has never been a fan of cuddling (even as a baby she would break open a swaddling blanket like that of Superman breaking the chains that bound him) she has most definitely been influenced my the little lion cub who takes comfort in nuzzling Mom and Dad. She's coming around.
My son is the one who tells me I am beautiful, that he loves me (several times a day), and that he wants to marry me. If he can't marry me he'll live next door. He's like a broken record this one, a constant barrage of love sonnets and compliments all aimed at yours truly.
And the love-fest doesn't stop with me. When we gather as a family to feed our Food Network addiction after a busy day, he is the one sitting on top of Dad. It's the lion and his cub taking up the best seat on the couch.
He hugs. He kisses - European style on both cheeks, or, on the eyelids (swoon). He has stated that he loves me more than chocolate. It is this boy who recently stated, “Mommy, I will always need you. For love.”
That is a crazy kind of love. So, you can see why it's hard for me to take this step back. At least in public.
If you've ever heard of Love Languages, it's easy to figure out into which category my son falls. Physical touch.
Gary Chapman, the guru of the Love Language series of books, takes a unique approach to helping parents of children and teens, as well as spouses, identify and "speak" the love languages that will most effectively communicate affection, respect, and commitment to those we love. In The Five Love Languages of Children, first published in 1997, (but no less powerful now as it was then), he focuses specifically on the relationship between the parent and child, stressing the importance of learning your child's love language as a means of deepening the emotional bond.
Just what are these "love languages"?
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
I think Gary needs to pen a book for children entitled “The Love Languages of Parents" for this stage in my son's development is making my chest cave in. OK, no, I don't want him living here forever, (so don't start with the comments), but he's FIVE! FIVE!
I totally feel like Scotty.
"WE NEED MORE TIME!"
Joline Pinto Atkins is a former actress who now uses the web as her world-wide stage. Her take on life, (humorous, and as is the case at times, not so humorous - although she'll attempt to find a laugh in any situation) can be found at www.thecuppajo.blogspot.com. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 9 and 5, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and weightlifting, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.