When my daughter was little she would hug me a million times, anytime we had to go our separate ways. Me to work. Her to daycare, school, a birthday party, grandparent visits. Sometimes tears would flow, hot and fast. She’d become a streaky red ball of snot with golden hair. She’d grab my neck and wrap herself around me like a kudzu vine.
Then 4 becomes 6. I’d get a pat. A peck. A one handed squeeze. 6 turns to 10. Air-kisses are slung over her shoulder. Because she knows I like them. Fingers wave while she says, “I’ve got to go”.
The teenage years came over night. Peace signs are flashed. Knuckle bumps are offered as she bolts from the car. Hugs around the neck are followed by a request to go roller skating. Kisses are saved for bedtime. At home. Where no one can see. I know she has to let me go a bit. I know I have to let her go, too. But as each year passes, I never feel ready.
Recently, work carried me out of town for a week. Back home, I sat on the bed. Staring at a suitcase in need of unpacking.
And then there was a weight. Across my lap. I’d almost forgotten. Warm breath on my legs. Hands tucked under her cheek. As if a butterfly had landed on my nose, I froze. Because I’ve missed this. The curling up. The curling into. The teenager who’s all elbows and knees disappears and a little girl takes her place. One who’s not too big for my lap. One’s who’s not too embarrassed to say “I missed you”. One who knows that the quickest way to get to your Mamma’s heart is to lay your head in her lap.
I just sat. She snuggled in. The suitcase can wait. That’s when I had a “Field of Dreams” moment. If I build it ~ she will come. If the lap is there. Waiting. She will find it. I have to sit still a moment. For laps aren’t created by a body on the move.
Here’s to taking a moment and making a lap no matter how big your kiddos are.