My baby, still.

I feel like my kid is the one not listening. He's the one testing me at every second to see what he can get away with. He's the one I have to pay attention to carefully, because if I don't, he takes his liberties and he runs wild. 

Lately if I disappear for a moment, he gets scared and thinks I am leaving him. This doesn't apply to places of routine like school and church, but as an example if I go outside to do something with mail for a moment, he runs out scared.

This happened yesterday at the park. He was crying because he thought I had left him, when he just didn't see me on the bench from where he was standing. It happened again tonight when I ran out to my friends van to give her something.

So when this happens, I take him in my arms and I kiss his weepy face and I remind him, "I will never leave you. You are my son and I am your mama. It's my job to be your mom, before any other job, this is my job. To be here. To take care of you. To be your mom." He tells me of how he felt scared, and we sit there together awhile like this. Then he gets up and goes about his young wild man business. 

Before bed today he leaped up and give me a big squeezin' hug. I said, "I am lucky to be your mama." He replied, "I love you mama." 

He is now a over 4.5 years old, which is longer than it took to get my BA in Psychology. I have been a mom now for slightly longer than it took for me to earn my college degree. I look at his little unchanging face (seriously, he has the exact same little face since birth), and remember the days of his infancy when he was a brand new babe, and me, a brand new mom. It's no wonder I continue to make the flaw of calling him "baby". He calls,  "MAMA!" And I answer, "What baby?" I am chastised for calling my baby, a baby.  And he is right, he's not a baby anymore. He is a boy who is strong willed, independent, quick, witty, and sometimes, just sometimes, in need for his mama. But 4.5 years old or 25 years old, no matter the age, he is and always will be, my baby. So it slips sometimes, calling that big boy a babe. Because he's my babe, still. 

Comforting the grumpy one. Post nap is not the best time for a family photo shoot.

This morning we were going to the car, and I guess I did a little dance on the way there. Caleb was exasperated by this and said, "Mom that IS NOT EVEN a good dance. I don't like your slow dance." I didn't know I was doing any sort of slow dance, but my skills are questionable at best, and thus may be up for interpretation at any given time. BUT, this also implies that I may have other dance moves he likes? Genius. 

A bit of time went by after this apparent offensive behavior of alleged slow dance.  I said to him, "I love you Caleb." And in response, slightly louder than a mummer, I heard, "I love you mama." So I guess, we are the lucky ones still. 

I leave with one last anecdote-This evening, I was putting Caleb into the car upon leaving the store. I asked him, "Do you know that you are loved?" He answered in the affirmative, and so I asked him by whom. He first replied that I did, and then sighed to himself thinking of all the others who love him and said, "This could take awhile." He so knows he is loved by so many people, that he figuratively shook his head to himself and said, "This could take awhile" when thinking of listing the folks who love him. What a blessing of a problem to have. I hope you are loved in this same way, and I bet you are. But above all else, believe it or not, remember that our Father God loves you still. Just like that.