A message from the heart

I am now at the stage where I have children covering a range of ages from 9 months all the way up to 18 years. How is it possible that someone who only looks to be 25 can have an eighteen year old, I hear you ask?! Oh stop! You’re embarrassing me!

When Ben was around five years old I had my first taste of rejection. We were walking down the street and I reached my hands out to him and Stephanie.  She took my hand in her pudgy little one straight away.  Ben looked up to me and said firmly, “I’m too big to hold your hand”.

I was stunned.  And upset.

My firstborn and at the time only son didn’t want to hold mummy’s hand any more.  That was the day the hugs and kisses stopped too because, in his eyes, he was too big.  The toddler smooches and climbing into my lap were no more. He was trying to be independent and grown up and that meant soppyness and affection of any type was out.

Perhaps because it was the first time I’d experienced that it is something that has always stuck in my mind.  I now have another six boys and two more have now reached that stage of life with Sid quickly approaching it.

It’s the stage where hugs have given way to reluctantly moving a shoulder toward me while feet remain firmly as far away as possible… if I’m lucky.  I no longer receive kisses although, at times I may be allowed to plant one on the top of their heads or on their cheeks – if I move fast enough and can catch them before they move away.  If I do achieve it the offending pucker is quickly wiped off.  Unless it’s Sid who, aware that I may get upset and not wanting to offend tries to assure me that he’s “just rubbing it in”.  And if I ever say those cringeworthy words, “I love you” they are met with a roll of the eyes and an awkward, embarrased, gap toothed grin and a quick getaway lest I try showing any other of the previous mentioned forms of affection.

I resign myself to the fact that this is life and the middle boys are going to assert their independence in this way.  In the meantime I reassure myself that Paddy has not quite yet reached that point yet and is still quite willing to climb up for a hug or a kiss, or that Oliver, almost two years younger than him, is happily at the “I yuy you ho much, mummy” stage, or that I have all the smooches and hugs yet to come with Joseph before he considers himself too big.

So it is always a welcome and heart-melting moment when I see things like this sneaked onto my desk….

“I love you mum + dad”

The one to leave the message is always sure not to blow his cover, deftly sliding it onto the edge of the desktop while I’m not looking.  And of course my range of sight is bound to be severely limited and I won’t have noticed, nor have I seen him making a quick exit from the room. And it’s not mentioned who the note is from but it takes pride of place on the noticeboard where I am reassured that no matter how big he considers himself, how many times my kisses are wiped off and my hugs are pushed away, he still feels the need to tell me he loves me in a subtle, quiet way.  
Thank you, Eddie.  I love you too.


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5 thoughts on “A message from the heart

  1. So sweet! Happily my boys (7 and 5) are still very affectionate. My girls affection (9 and 8)comes and goes but they are always at least willing to give me a hug.

  2. Tania,

    Though I have not commented of late, I have been reading. Today however, I must needs ask a question. Answer only if it is not a violation of your privacy. And, I apologise ahead of time if you have discussed this elsewhere already.

    Here's what I wonder: couldn't you have Stephanie stay at home with you, especially now that you are in the final stretch of your pregnancy, to help you with all that needs to be done with housework and with schooling?

    We have only 3 children, and granted, I have a debilitating health condition that keeps me horizontal many days of the week, but I am so grateful for my eldest's heart that is turned toward home. I am grateful as it is the Lord's working. The Lord willing, her plan is to stay at home until the youngest is old enough to be trained in housekeeping and in schooling in order to help me out (the eldest's idea entirely – not mine at all, not even a hint).

    Anyhow, guess I am hoping that for you as well.

    by His grace alone, HveHope

  3. p.s. Maybe your answer, Tania, would be fodder for a separate post? Again, I'm not trying to be nosy, nor open a painful wound (as it does now occur to me that perhaps this situation is not how you would like it to be). So my sincere apologies if I have been insensitive!! 🙁 I'm starting to feel like that silly pharmacy receptionist that gave out the dulcolex at one of your recent appointments…. shame on me….
    – HveHope

  4. Hello Anonymous,

    Not insensitive, it's fine for asking! My oldest two children are both living 50 miles away (at my husband and my own home county) and both at college and/or working there. They have their own challenges trying to deal with becoming independent young adults and so it is not practical nor something I would want them to do to come back here.

    It also isn't necessary as we are planning for Mike to be able to take a little time out from work in order to help me toward the end of the pregnancy and the first weeks of the twins' lives so we are all looking forward to Daddy being home then!

  5. Just read The Writing is on the Wall…I'm crying….lol…my oldest boy is 13 and is the same way just a quick shoulder….except at bedtime…in his room…as long as noone is at the house….a nice big hug and a nice kiss on the cheeck and I can tell him how much I love him and how proud I am that he is my son…..and a nice shout of "I LOVE YOU MOM!!" as I leave the room….my 6yo son is now to big for holding hands but still seems to need frequent hugs when his friends aren't around and my newly 4yo son has decided hugs are out but we can still hold hands when we walk to the park and occasionally when HE is tired I can have the honor of carrying him home.The other night I was holding them in the kitchen like I did when they were babies and rocking them…lol…and they both wanted me to not stop…lol…the 4yo remembers me holding and rocking him…my oldest son remembers the lilac perfume I wore and now loves floral smell…..not sure why the outpour of words but your story touched me very much….

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