My son’s voice erupted into a scream, his eyes bursting with tears, for what felt like the millionth time. And the morning had barely begun.
I was frustrated, desperately trying to complete just one task, but due to a needy toddler, my hands hadn’t yet been given the freedom to do so.
I picked him up and held him close to me, praying for the tears to stop and the hours until nap time to pass quickly.
He nestled his head into my shoulder, his arms wrapped around my neck. In just a brief moment, his crying turned into a whimper and his tears dried up. His body pressed heavily against mine as he whispered words into my ear that only he could understand.
And when he was ready, he slid out of my arms with a gleeful smile on his face.
Toddlers are mysterious creatures. They scream when you give them what they want and they scream when you don’t. And most of the time they don’t actually know what they want, which can lead to screaming from both of us. There always seems to be something that triggers their raw emotions, though we hardly ever know what it is.
They always seem to need something. And they always seem to need mama.
They steal every last ounce of a mother’s sanity. With their constant movement, their ceaseless noise and their extreme moodiness, it’s difficult not to be in a constant state of frazzle.
But after this latest episode of madness, my sanity was restored a bit as I realized that we are at the stage where I can easily provide everything that is needed to fix whatever mysterious problem set him off in the first place. “Thank God this is an easy fix,” I thought, as the mere warmth of my body seemed to calm him.
The days of caring for a toddler are so hard, but I wondered if the toddler years are actually the easy part. Right now the only things that are required to turn his frown upside down are strong arms and a shoulder to cry on. And luckily, I possess both of those things which are readily available at all times.
It won’t always be this way. In just a few more tomorrows, there will be more complicated problems that he will face. There will be greater frustrations. There will be challenges that will require much more than what I have to give him. The issues at hand won’t be fixed with a gentle hug and a cry on mama’s shoulder.
So even though this phase of motherhood is hard, today I will appreciate the gift of being here. The phase where all he needs is for me to be his mama.