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Tweens, Gangly Boys and Maturity

This morning my children, once again, took my breath away.

It was unremarkable except that my son allowed me to apply his sunscreen. As I smeared the white goo across the bridge of his nose, I could not help but look at his long brown eyelashes and the curve of his lids. It struck me how hard we’d worked to give him sight, and the horrible months of swollen lids from surgery. I feel ownership of my children’s faces as they are smaller versions of my husbands and of mine. Every turn, every curve, every freckle is because I married the kindest, most handsome man I’ve ever met.

I wanted to stop the world and hug him for a moment. I wanted to beg him to try and understand just for one moment that I love him more wholly and completely than I’ll ever love anyone. I’ll love him and his sister with a force that they will never understand. Not until they become parents.

Instead I continued to apply sunscreen, and lamented the fact that my ten year old daughter no longer needs help with the bridge of her nose.

I’m so often alone in my bursts of Mother Love.

13 thoughts on “Tweens, Gangly Boys and Maturity”

  1. Never fear, they will some day realize the amount of unconditional love you have for them… We all do sooner or later as we inevitably mature.

  2. Darn it, Jessica. I should not have read this at work. Now I’m missing my kids & distracted!

    My sweet 5 YO boy this weekend told me “mom, this is the best day ever because I’m spending it with you” as we walked through the farmer’s market with his arm around me.

    It is totally amazing the love you feel for your child.


  3. Never alone in those bursts when you can share them with us.

    And of course they already know how much you love them unconditionally. The beauty of that knowledge is that growing up in your home, it is just a given for them.

    On a side note, one day when he goes away to camp or somewhere on his own he will mistake his bug spray for suntan lotion and although he will be bite free his skin will peel relentlessly (yes that happened with my son his first year at camp). I still give him credit for making the effort.

    It gets better every year, I promise.

  4. That’s a really beautiful post, thanks for sharing.

    I remember my mom having to use a vice grip on my arm to keep me from running into the water while she applied my sunscreen…

  5. Jessica, you made me all teary eyed this morning. I agree with Giselle, that this is a beautiful post and thank you for sharing your “bursts of Mother Love.”

  6. I don’t think I understood how much my parents love me until I had my own child and my heart swelled to the point of explosion and every day I love him more. I mean, damn.

  7. I am in a self-indulgently foul mood, and this really truly helped. Quite a bit, actually. You are right. You are right. And that is what it is all for.


  8. Yep, I’m blinking hard too. It is such a fierce love, often so fierce it’s difficult to communicate to them, the ones who we most wish to know of it. But every day, with every drive home from school and every dinner, they’re absorbing it. Their mother’s love is a foundation so solid they won’t know its strength until they need to call on it.

  9. I look at my 13 yo daughter with whom I have clashed with, fought with, been driven to frustration with, but ultimately love with a fierce strength. College looms ahead. Just at the time she is breaking free, wanting to go on her own, I want to keep her in the fold of our family of 5. I treasure every movie night, drive in the car, and even every argument. Once she heads off to college she will be on the verge of her own life. Right now she is part of our life. I cling to the moments.

    Jessica, thanks for the post.

  10. Both of your children are both beautiful human beings. They are stunning creatures of God. You and Robert are very blessed.

    You brought tears to my eyes with this post. I was having one of those days where I was feeling unappreciated as a mother. Thanks for the beautiful words….

  11. It breaks my heart that they won’t understand the love until they are parents themselves. I want them to now!
    I just never knew this kind of love existed.

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