As things would have it, my little boy taught me a thing or two about parenting one Sunday night. He and I had spent three full days together at home, something completely out of the ordinary given his daily classes and my erratic work schedule. But there we were, on the last stretch of our long weekend together, tired and weary. Or at least I was feeling tired and weary. He, on the other hand, always the eternal bundle of energy, had a lot of questions he still had to ask, and a lot of things he still wanted to do. Meanwhile, my patience was running low and I just wanted to turn out the lights and get some peace and quiet.
Just when I thought I could take no more, he says, “I wish you could stay home again tomorrow mommy. Because I still want to stay with you and be with you and hug you and kiss you.”
And at that moment I felt a little pinch of guilt in my chest for having gotten annoyed with my five-year old son.
He asked me to get his favorite pillow, which he had forgotten in his grandparents’ room. As tired and weary as I was, I just had to get up and do that one favor for the little guy because that’s just how it is. When you’re a parent, you need to learn to be the bigger person because at the end of the day, you ARE the bigger person. At the end of the day, your kid needs you. He asks questions because he wants to learn from you. He bugs you about doing so many things simply because he wants to do them with you. At the end of the day, you should remember to be thankful that he wants his days and nights to revolve around the time you spend together.
I told him I had to go back to work tomorrow, but I promised to find a way to spend another long weekend with him. He said he wanted me to stay for five days next time. Of course I told him I’d try. Luckily his dad remembered that he will be home for the coming long weekend, and that he will get to spend five whole days with the the little boy. He hugged his dad tight when he found out.
I got up to go to my parents’ room to fetch the little guy’s pillow and his dad whispers to me that the kiddo was counting. I looked over at him and saw him with his arms outstretched, bending his fingers as he counted. And I reminded myself that he was just a kid. He’s such a smart one that I forget just how little he is, and I have to check myself when I realize that sometimes I expect too much from him.
He’s growing up so fast. I should remember to enjoy the moments when he just wants to be a kid with me. Those times when he just wants me to act like a kid with him. He looked so cute counting on his little fingers all the days he would be spending with his mommy and daddy. Days that I wish would just last forever.