N was born to snuggle. As an infant, he would relax into my arms like he was melting back into my body. Like I was just an extension of him. Now, at age 5, N asks at least five times a day if he can climb onto my lap and snuggle. When he’s tired, when he’s nervous, when he is embarrassed or in trouble – my lap is where he fills his bucket and resets his mood.
Some days, I get exhausted. I just want to push him away from me and tell him to give me space. And sometimes I do. Sometimes I get my laptop out and put him off with “just a minute,” or “I just need to do one more thing.” And then I am relieved when he distracts himself with Legos and forgets he wanted to cuddle. I am a person, too. Not simply a mother whose lap and arms and attention are available for the sole purpose of comfort. I need physical space sometimes.
While that will remain true, I came across a terrific article that reminded me just how fleeting the snuggle-era really is. Honestly, I’m terrified of the day N rejects my hand-holding or my snuggles on the couch. I know it will come far sooner than I am prepared for, and I will never look back and say, “I sure wish I’d said ‘no’ to snuggling a little more often.” So I will just remind myself that this is so temporary, and saying yes to the can I sleep you requests or the put the computer down and give me your time demands is really saying yes to holding onto time as it speeds too quickly out of my grasp.