Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sleeping with Children

Hot Mess Mom recently posted a sweet and tender bit about sleeping with her boys. It was something that hit close to home, especially last night.

As a military wife/mom, Dad has a tendency to be away quite a bit, and has been throughout the last 13 years. So it is not uncommon when Dad's away the children fight for position in the bed next to mom. During one deployment I had to create a rotating schedule so there wasn't a huge argument at bedtime about who gets to sleep with mom. It got so bad, I would schedule nights alone so that I could get some rest from the tossing, kicking and movement of little ones in the bed with me.

Except this deployment has been different.

My daughter is going to be 17 in April, and my son will be 11 next Friday. Princess only occasionally likes to sleep with me, and I usually have to ask first:

"Hey ya wanna sleep with Mom tonight?"
"Sure." (Why I banned the word sure.)

She is on her own sheet of music. She stays up late doing homework, and has the iPhone glued to her hand whether it is on music, texting or the latest and greatest, Voxer.  I'm just grateful she still confides in me and wants to occasionally hang out with Mom. I will take what I can get!

Bear, who is usually the one under the covers before anyone can take his place, hasn't really wanted to sleep with me either. It seems I can't bribe them anymore either. Staying up late was always a great bribe!

So last night (Wed.), Bear asked if he could sleep with me tonight (Thurs). I said sure, but since I had to work that it might not be a good idea. I would get in late and then wake him when I was shuffling about the room. So we made a date for Friday night.

As I was standing there thinking about the exchange, I asked him: "What prompted this? Usually I have to beg you kids to sleep with me nowadays." His response, while candid, hurt my heart a bit, he said: "Mom we are getting older. We are looking for our independence."

All that wisdom from an 11 year old.

I know they're looking for their own independence. I also know that these are the easiest days they will experience in their lives, and I want it to last. I want him to cuddle with me, and give me hugs and kisses. I love the evenings when he wants to watch a movie with me. Some of the best moments have been watching the Sand Lot, Stand By Me and Second Hand Lions with him at my side, all cuddled on the recliner, sharing a blanket.

I want to be able to walk up to my teenager and just give her a hug without her asking what's wrong or in the kid voice she does "why you touchy me?"

I want the days where my lap was big enough to fit them. Now she towers over me and he is not far behind, and I am 5'5 1/2". (Yes that half inch makes a difference to me.)

Now she finds it comical to jump into my arms like she did when she was two and watching mom fall or struggle not to. Her latest trick is to jump on my back when I am crouched down. And it doesn't matter where we are. She did it in the commissary embarrassingly enough, and I toppled and bounced back up like a Weeble-Wooble.

Right or wrong I have lived the last 17 years for my children. My entire world is focused on them. What will happen when Princess graduates next summer? What will happen when Bear leaves the nest? Will I be happy to enjoy my hubby? I believe I will... Or will I be that Mom that can't leg go, and struggles to cut the umbilical cord?

Well the good thing is he has already told me that he plans on being a "stay at home son." For right now, I kinda like that idea.

Anyone else struggling with the impending empty nest? How do you cope with the changing maturity of your children?

*I like it when you it when you comment!*


  1. We started the empty nest process this fall when the oldest left for college. It's terrible. I hate it. Thank God for FaceTime and Skype! I don't know how my mother survived with just random phone calls (mostly for money).
    I've discovered I need to find other areas of interest. Hence my blog! And, that, I love!

  2. love! well said! and I think it's amazing that your 17 year old will even consider laying with you ;)