I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 29, 2011
Four words wake me up each day as the early morning sunlight streams through our curtains.
“Mommy… I love you!”
Half asleep, I smile and open my eyes a tiny crack. Four-year-old Bruiser stands before me, his hair mussed from sleeping, a hopeful grin on his face. I hold out my arms and he eagerly climbs up into our bed.
“I will be very quiet, okay, Mommy?” he stage whispers. I glance at the clock as he clambers over me. My alarm won’t go off for another 30 minutes. I sigh and roll over as Bruiser settles himself between my husband and me and pulls up the blankets.
“I love you Mommy,” he says, turning toward me and putting his arms around my neck. He rubs his nose against mine. “Mommy,” he repeats, gazing at me dreamily. “My mommy.”
Supernanny wouldn’t like Bruiser’s new ritual and my pediatrician would surely caution against it. “He needs to learn to sleep in his own bed,” I can hear her fussing. “And you need your sleep.”
But looking into his clear blue eyes, I’m certain I need this more. Because no one has ever looked at me quite like my son looks at me in the mornings. I see in his gaze complete, unquestioning adoration. Pure love.
And I realize, seeing that look on his face, that while I’ve certainly felt love from others, it’s never been quite like this. The love I’ve felt in the past, even as a child, has always has come with caveats. Criticisms. Expectations.
From Bruiser, though, there is none of that. I am his mommy and that’s enough. He loves me. And it feels…
Of course, after raising two stepdaughters to adulthood, I have no illusions that these mornings will last. Soon enough, my son will get older, and soon enough, he’ll begin cataloging a litany of complaints against me and sleeping well into the day. I know all too well that the time will come when rising at dawn and crawling into his parents’ bed will seem about as appealing to him as having a tooth pulled.
And so I wave off the childrearing experts that crowd my mind with their concerns, and help my my four-year-old as he climbs up into our bed. I wrap my arms around him. I whisper into his ear how very much I love him. I force myself to stay awake and listen as attentively as I can to his tales of dreams about Smurfs and race cars.
I tuck these early mornings away in my mind to be treasured as memories, long after they’ve come to an end. And I write now because I want my son to know this, years and years down the road:
Bruiser, I really loved being loved by you.