Monday, August 31, 2009

Early Morning Snuggles

Rousing from a peaceful night's sleep the other morning, I awoke to find my four-year-old standing next to my bed staring at me. A quick glance at the clock told me my other children were probably still sleeping and that I needn't get up for a few more minutes.

"What do you need?" I yawned.

"Can I get in with you for a few minutes?"

How could I resist? Much to my husband's chagrin I love snuggling in bed with my children every now and again, and this seemed like the perfect time. I opened the sheets and she climbed over me, settling in right beside me. We lay there for a few moments, and then I reached over and pulled her close to me, soaking up the smile that spread across her sweet little face.

"Can we play our game, Mommy?" she asked.

Although she didn't specify, I knew exactly what she was referring to. I didn't much feel like playing a game, hoping to simply lie in bed and rest for my remaining few minutes of peace, knowing that soon three more kids would appear and "life" would begin in one hectic swoop, but it seems that whenever I am faced with a decision to make time for one of my children or selfishly follow my own agenda I suddenly glimpse them growing up and not wanting to spend time with me, and I immediately agree to take advantage of the time I still have with them. I agreed to play the game, and she began.

"I love someone in this room who . . .has brown hair." I rolled over to play along and say my part, which is, "Me?" and then I tickle her and kiss her cheek before taking a turn. But she stopped me before I could continue, saying, "Wasn't your hair red the last time we played this game?" I giggled inside. I had recently colored my hair and it was darker than last time. Four-year-olds are so perceptive, I thought.

Then it was my turn. "I love someone in this room who . . .loves to ride her purple bike."

"Mom, Nate gave me his bike and now I ride it. It's blue and yellow."

"Oh, well, I like the purple one better. Just say your part." This game wasn't going as well as it normally did. She said her part and started a new series.

"I love someone in this room who . . .hmm . . . has a nose," she finally managed.

"Honey, everyone has a nose," I said. "Can't you think of something else?" So much for her sharp perception.

"Oh yea. I love someone in this room who . . . has blue eyes."

My eyes aren't blue, I thought. Should I say something? Probably not, but I couldn't resist. "Regyn, my eyes are green."

"Oh. Okay, I love someone in this room who has green eyes."

"Me?" I asked as incredulously as ever before tickling her and planting a kiss on her cheek?

"Yes!" she said with as much enthusiasm.

And so the game went along for a few more minutes until, just as predicted, three more faces showed up telling me they were hungry. I squeezed Regyn one more time before rolling out of bed to start breakfast, still chuckling inside at how our little game had gone. I couldn't help but think as I plugged in the frying pan that it was the perfect start to my day, and I wondered to myself, Will Regyn remember these moments when she gets older? Will the memories of snuggles and tickles and giggles and love remain stronger than the memories of cross words and harsh discipline?

I certainly hope so, but to improve the chances, I hope to hope to store up a lot more memories of early morning snuggle games, taking turns professing our love to each other, rather than memories of nagging and yelling and being frustrated with each other. I sometimes fast forward in my mind to an interview someone has with my children when they are grown where the interviewer asks about their mother, and I fear their answer will be something like, "My mother loved to nag. I can still hear her nagging voice today." AAHH!! Oh, how I hope their answer will be something more like, "My mother loved us. She always told us she loved us."

I guess that means lots more early morning snuggle games. I can't wait!


Melanie said...

I still remember one specific snuggle with my mom. We were camping and I was tracing lines on her face and her skin was soo soft. It smelled of noxema face cream. To this day I love the smell of Noxema.