I wrote this post in December of 2020, but it has been unpublished until now.
Micah has been extra clingy lately. He turned four in December. Suddenly he wants to never be separated from me, even for a milli-second, it seems. And that’s fine by me; I’ve been around this track a few times before. In his case, we are enjoying a little more uninterrupted bonding time than I had with the others at this age. Many of my four-year-olds had at least one if not two younger siblings.
I am well aware that it won’t last. His Mommy radar will inevitably fade with time. But for right now, it’s on high alert.
As a humorous but on-point illustration, here’s what he did the other day. He was having a fussy Saturday, this or that was causing him to fuss about this or that, all while being underfoot of the many tasks I wanted to accomplish that day. While I was doing laundry, I heard him calling me and fussing for me from the kitchen. Then, I clearly heard him call out: “Mommy, when you hear this bell, that means I need you!” A moment later: “DING!” He rang the bell that happened to be sitting on the counter. (One of those silver bells that you ring at a storefront counter top. It belongs with one of our board games in the basement.)
I followed the call of the bell and came into the kitchen to see what he needed. He was quite pleased with his success and I was amused about the bell.
A little bit later, he came hobbling through the dining room with one flip flop on one foot. (I have no idea why the flip flop.) He hobbled over to the bell and rang it loud and clear. Steve and I both started chuckling and I said, “What do you need, Micah?”
“Mommy, I hurt my foot!” So I went over and comforted him and gave him a kiss.
Between every mother and child is a built-in Mommy Bell.
Who can understand the jibberish of a toddler? Only Mommy. Have you ever noticed that if a little child is trying to say something, other adults automatically look to the mom to find out what the child is trying to say. And she knows, 99% of the time. The child knows that when nobody else understands, they should tell Mommy. She can help.
I heard once about a little girl whose mother was studying in medical school, whose father was caring for her each day. The daddy of this little girl told me, “I take her to story time at the library, and she goes around the room and sits in the laps of all the mommies there. She doesn’t want me.”
Some days we are just so tired. There are needs on every hand and want to resist, ignore, or avoid that incessant bell. We can become depleted and utterly worn out with all the needs. But we have to mentally step back and remember that being called Mommy is an extremely privileged position to be in.
So on this Mother’s Day, I say let the Mommy bell ring! It’s a beautiful (if exhausting and often incessant) sound, and it signifies a position of infinite worth. Along with that figurative bell come the best hugs and the shining eyes and the tiny bouquets and a lifetime of love. Happy Mother’s Day! ♥
From the TH archives:
Remembering the Mothers
Did you enjoy mothering and staying home right from the start?
Keeping the Joy in Mothering