Just one more…
So tonight, I was extremely tired. I woke up at 4:00 to go to the bathroom, because Heaven forbid I not wake up to make that happen. Anyhow, as I stumbled back to bed I found that I couldn’t go back to sleep. When my alarm rang at 5:30 so I could get my am workout in before heading to camp I struggled to get my shoes on and get my body moving. But…I did because I am a nicer, more patient person when I make this happen. Then I went to camp and arrived to an un air conditioned gym and 90 campers ready to party.
The heat didn’t really bother me; I actually love a good sweat. Makes me feel accomplished. However, the campers…not such a big fan of the heat. They were pretty upset actually and told me about it…a lot. So that, in turn, did not make me happy about the no air thing.
After 3 hours of that, camp ended and we all survived. Then in my attempts to suck every last second out of summer I took our four oldest to the city pool, their favorite place…my least favorite. While there I finally gave in to the pressure the kids have given me all summer long and went off the high dive while my kids and two of my nephews chanted “flip, flip, flip”. They wanted a back flip. They got a pencil jump. At any rate this was a decision I am sitting here regretting at this very moment. The kids found it awesome so in the end, totally worth it.
Now nothing about above sounds awesome does it? I’m getting there, I promise. At dinner I fielded at least 100 questions. You think I’m exaggerating; I promise I’m not. They ranged from, how did I get out of your tummy to, why do I have to eat my chicken? After feeding the kids dinner and bathing them we headed upstairs to say prayers and read books and talk about our awesome for the day (my favorite part of the day usually). I’m not gonna lie to you, tonight I was hoping would be one of those right to bed, I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open nights. Did I mention Bryan had a business dinner? No? Well, yes, he did. So I’m flying solo on this bed time ritual awesomeness and I’m barely hanging on.
So in light of all of this Fletcher thought tonight would be a good time to do some daring tricks off of his toddler bed into the king size bed in his room. The same bed that six months ago we had to take off of it’s king size bed frame because Fletcher is a bit of a ninja. A crazy, fearless ninja. He was quite fond of climbing on the bed and then throwing himself off of it, often head first. Tonight was one of those nights. He felt like entertaining and the older kids found it quite incredible. I couldn’t help but laugh as he’d raise his eyebrows, give a side glance and make sure they were watching. I couldn’t help but have a huge warmth in my heart when Finley, Ellen, Cooper and Fiona would laugh uncontrollably when he’d do one of his tricks and he’d stand up so proud of himself.
When I finally got the older kids out of his room and calmed him down we read a few of his favorite books and when I went to kiss him goodnight, he said “I hug Moose (Finley), Ellen, Coo Coo and Ki Ki (Fi Fi for Fiona).” Now he had already hugged them, twice actually. But hey, what’s one more on a night I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. We went and gave everyone one more hug. Each one of his siblings met him with the most joy. They gave him a huge hug and said things like “see you in the morning,” or “I love you bud”. My heart was bursting.
When we got back to his room he didn’t want to let me go. He hugged me like you see a baby chimpanzee hug their mommy. I didn’t know his arms and legs could hold on so tight. He wanted one more hug from mommy. He had just had a bath so I breathed in his baby sweet golden goodness and relished in that moment, because I know there will be a day he doesn’t want to hug me. I hope it’s many years from now, or even better, never, but I’m a realist…it’s coming whether I want it to or not. I wanted to memorize that moment, the way his hug felt on my skin, the way he smelled…I’m going to try. Just one more hug from Fletcher gave me a little boost and reminded me that no matter how tired I am I always have time for just one more.
As I left his room I went back to the older kid’s rooms and kissed and hugged them goodnight as well. All of them thanked me for dinner and for taking them to the pool. I’m pretty sure I cried a little. We’ve been working so hard on gratitude. We’ve been working so hard on not taking the good things or even the little things people do for you for granted and looking at life and trying to find the awesome. They found it today and that was more awesome then I could explain.
After our goodnights I headed downstairs to do some work for my camp tomorrow and to clean up the kitchen (truly the last thing I wanted to do in that moment). When I had it all done, and was about to sit down and relax before crashing into my bed I heard a little voice. “Mommy, can I just have one more hug?”
I about died. It was Cooper, one of our 7 year-old boys. If you don’t know Cooper, you should. He’s a sweet, sensitive soul who speaks in hyperbole. For example, he says something like I’m so hungry I’m going to eat ten thousand ninety-nine hundred hamburgers. Yep, he does that all the time about everything and it makes me laugh every single time.
Tonight, all he wanted was one more hug. Not twenty thousand, just one more. He couldn’t fall asleep even though he was exhausted. He couldn’t fall asleep because he felt like he needed one more hug. I wish I could have tape recorded his voice. It was sweet, maybe a little scared because he knew he should be sleeping after 4 hours of swimming in this incredible heat but he was certain that a hug was just what he needed. I am a high school teacher. I see sweaty, goofy, sweet and I’m too cool for my shoes high school boys every day…in moments like these with my children, it’s hard to believe they will ever get to the point where it’s embarrassing to want a hug from their mom.
In that moment I ran my tired, a little sore, definitely regretting the dives I did today body up the stairs and said “Cooper you can always have one more.” I hugged him so tight and even laid down with him for a little bit and soaked up the awesome of two of my five kids needing just one more from me today. I pray to GOD that they never stop needing one more hug and that they are never, ever afraid to come out of their room, even when they are supposed to be sleeping, and ask for it.
Thank you Fletcher and Cooper for being my awesome today. You reminded me that the time I spend with you at night brushing and flossing your teeth, saying prayers, reading and talking is by far and away the BEST part of our day (even though it doesn’t feel like it sometimes) and that hug you give me could cure any amount of tired or crappy my day has thrown at me. I love you and you can always have just one more.
Some pics of me and my snuggle bugs Cooper and Fletcher. My favorite is the one of Cooper snuggling Fletcher. Just. the. sweetest.