This weekend, we visited with family while attending a funeral, and there were (as there often are at family gatherings) a well-loved collection of kids of all ages floating around. (And by floating, I mean running and laughing and chasing and laughing and admiring butterflies and laughing and hugging grown ups and laughing and playing shy and then laughing some more). Some were shoulder height, some were knee high, and one was taller than I am (!) but all are very, very loved by a large extended family that is very good at loving.
Little kids have energy. Lots and lots of energy. And in that curious way that life has, the smaller the child, the greater the energy. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the littlest ones at the gathering had more energy to burn than all the adults in the room combined – so much energy, in fact, that they managed to wear out more than one adult as they worked their way around the gathering.
It is easy to forget, once your kids reach a certain age, how very much energy a child of two or three or four has to burn, and how much adult energy their caretaking requires. Luckily, it is just as easy to recall all the silly games and songs and knee-bounces that your kids loved when they were two or three or four, and then proceed to amuse yourself for an hour (or two, or three) singing silly songs, playing with play dough, colouring pictures, inventing stories, and bouncing babies on your knee while singing “Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up… Fall down!” and dipping them down almost to the floor amidst many giggles.
The giggles, of course, are often followed by cries for “More! More!” and, being a softy who can’t resist a happy child, you do it over and over and over again… and then you do it some more.
(For the record – there is nothing cuter than chubby little baby fingers signing “More! More!” while the finger-owner is grinning the kind of grin that sets eyes to sparkling and cheeks to glowing).
The next morning, I managed to get my niece to giggling so hard she could barely breathe, and K announced in all seriousness: “Mom, you are a goof!”
Wait — is that a good thing or a bad thing? I had no idea, and as serious as he was looking at that moment, I really wasn’t sure where he stood on the matter. So I did the only thing a Mama can do at such puzzling moments. I said “Really,” then I arched my eyebrow in his general direction and waited to see what he would do next.
“Yup. You are a big goof. You are always so silly when you play with kids.” he told me [insert a dramatic not-yet-teenaged eye-roll here.]
I was fully expecting the next words out of his mouth to be “You are so embarrassing!” or something along those lines, but instead, he threw himself into my arms for a hug and whispered in my ear:
“You are the best goofy mom ever.”
Huh. How about that. Mother’s Day came a week early for me, it seems.
And just for the record? I love you too, my darling boy. More than you’ll ever know.