I was talking this afternoon with another teacher, after the kids had gone home and it was time to clean up, xerox papers, correct work and hang up the days’ art. We started by chatting about the day, the students, the usual recess dramas and the rapid approach of summer. Eventually, though, our conversation turned to the topic of her baby boy, as it always does. He is 13 months old, chubby cheeked, blue eyed and extravagantly loved by his parents.
My friend was describing how much fun it is to be with him, and what a great stage of life he is in. She told me that he is beginning to assert his independence from her, but he still needs to keep her in sight as his anchor.
“He is happy to wander off.”, she said with a huge smile, “but after about two minutes, he crawls back to me, puts his head on my shoulder, and pats me on the back. Then he’s off again!” It was such a great image that we both laughed, and I reminisced about the days when my kids did the same thing, making me the sun around which their lives would continually orbit. “I love this age!”, she sighed, “He really loves his mommy!”
With the tiniest pang in my heart, I told her to enjoy every minute of it. “I know”, she said, “Pretty soon that whole ‘I love Mommy’ thing goes away.”
We said goodbye, and she headed off to pick her baby up from day care. I packed my school bag and walked slowly to my car, thinking about my babies and wondering if their “I love mommy” thing had really gone away. I pulled out my keys to drive home, and flipped my phone open for a quick check.
There was a text from Tim. It read,”So I made you a Momma’s day card, but have gotten to the mail room late two days in a row. (i realize 2 days ago was already too late) soooo I think I’ll hand deliver it. Love you, Mom!”
Isn’t that ironic?