By: Anne Marie Holloway
“Mom?” he speaks my name quizzically. “How long have you known me?” he continues with a furrowed brow.
I am elbow deep in old dress-up clothes and October decorations, focused on trying to figure out how to convince my kids that using the hundreds of costumes we currently own as costumes for Halloween this year is a creative idea that will reap the benefit of both my wallet and my sanity.
“What was that, Pumpkin?” (I smile at my pun)…
“I asked, how long you have known me?” he somewhat impatiently questioned me again.
I look at his little frame as he sits next to me on a stool made by his Dad. His little chubby four-year-old hands are in fists holding up his noggin, little ears sticking out the sides of an army hat he has confiscated. His blue eyes concerned and staring at me through my mess.
He continues, as if to help clarify, “I mean… have you known me your whole life? Do you know that I have known you my whole life? Did you pick me?”
Slowly coming out of the fog that was created by the imaginary arguments that I was having with my older two kids about Halloween costumes , I slightly shook my head and blinked.
“What? Yes – Well of course sweetie…Umm…” is all I could manage to spit out, as I apparently am no longer skilled at having one-on-one conversations such as these with my youngest child…
Liam grabs a ninja sword and swirls past me. Apparently he has given up on me. He is smart; if he wants a conversation with his mom, he better join the others in battle over Halloween costumes rather than engage in heartfelt philosophical discussions about the unspoken connections between mother and child. Seriously…
Then it hit me, like a panic attack, a flash of terror. I missed it. I missed a brief moment of opportunity to affirm my son’s adoration… What if it never presents itself again? Love lost…
At 4 years old, I am still the sun and the moon and the stars to my son. I revel in the fact that he still believes that I still possess some sort of Momma magic. I am omnipotent, all knowing… at least for now. And I know all too well that this phase is short lived…
Such a precious inquiry requires attentive and thoughtful recourse from a mom.
So I decided to put my mess away and go find my child. But, that is when my fourth born re-enters the room, now dressed as a ninja and riding a stuffed horse….
And as he gallops past me he squeals, “Does that mean you will always be my mommy? Will I ever have a new mom? I hope not, I like you as my mom.”
Then he stops, grabs a pair of blue-ish wings and a Nerf gun, throws himself on his stomach and crawls away like a soldier – but with wings.
The (mental and physical) mess from all the old Halloween costumes strewn across the floor does not seem like such a big deal anymore.
And it’s all good.