Young children are relatively uncomplicated human beings. They want to eat, sleep, love, and wonder. They want to spend the day doing the things that bring them joy. They don’t want to waste time doing things they don’t want to do like grocery shop. lol Frankly, littles, as I like to call them, have it all figured out.
Babies also don’t arrive on the Planet Earth with judgements about people or the world around them. Or about themselves for that matter. They aren’t wishing they had more hair or less chubby legs. They don’t care about clothes or what people think about them wandering around wet or dirty. They are happy to see folks and smile at everybody. They love the people who show them love and are generous with their affections. Somewhere along the line all this changes – So what the heck happens?
My Luke was such a sweet baby. Luke was what every firstborn should be: a good eater and an even better sleeper lol. He was incredibly good-spirited and I swear he woke up from his naps with a smile on his face. His only fault was that he didn’t say mama first ( which I clearly have not gotten over). Luke was our King and the world revolved around him for almost three whole years. When Lolo arrived on the scene Luke was not exactly the doting brother. There may or may not be a story about him unbuckling himself and hightailing it out of a friend’s minivan because he had no wish to go and visit his mom and new baby brother at the hospital. Thank goodness Nana was a lot faster then than she is now! This was our first experience with Luke’s stubbornness, but it was definitely not to be our last.
Still, life with Luke as a toddler was pretty extraordinary. He loved nature and walking in the woods. We were always outside those days exploring and collecting sticks and acorns and rocks. And hats. I always think fondly of the images I have of both my boys in an array of hats. Luke loved little army guys and Teletubbies and Barney. Luke had a wonderful imagination and could play by himself for hours. He was a gentle kid that was being raised to be kind and courteous. I laugh when I think about another kiddo trying to pull a toy out of Luke’s hands and him hollering – “No thanks! No thanks!” He was just a love.
I guess that’s one of the things that makes looking back on his seventeen years difficult. He was the sweetest of spirits, but somewhere along the way that changed. Don’t get me wrong, as a young adult Luke still had his moments of kindness and softness, but those of us closest to him also knew the other side of Luke Inwood. The one you didn’t want to mess with because he could verbally rip you to shreds. The one who could look at me, his mother, with F*ck you in his eyes. I was once his whole world – what the heck happened? I have my own thoughts around this, but that will have to wait for another day.
So here’s what I need you to know: If today is your Day One, my heart is with you as you think back to when your precious spirit was first born. It is such a special time in our relationship with our children. Hold fast on those sad days to the fact that you were their EVERYTHING. Nothing can change that.
If you are reading this and you have wee ones and you are tired and impatient and cranky because you have no time to yourself, remember it is okay. You are doing the best you can and it is enough. Your little loves you and forgives you in those moments because that’s what littles do. Try and enjoy childhood for all that it is: messy, and exhausting, and about the best thing you can ever do. I would give anything to have those little arms wrapped tight around my neck as we make our way up to bed. I would give anything to hear that slow drawl ask me to read him one more story. I would give anything to peek into his room and catch him fast asleep and so peaceful. I would give anything. Xxx