Late night closeness (and how I’m like a two year old boy)

I’m in the thick of parenting a two year old son, with all the awful drama and willful tantrums that accompany it.

He regularly walks up to his sister and smacks her on the head with a smile and he often grins at me while he runs toward the road, I running toward him on the wet grass screaming.

He’s also quite “type A” and so the wrong cup, fork, shirt or seatbelt routine can set him off and result in two minutes of screaming and a trip to time out.

Over. A. Fork… for the love.

All that is difficult to bear but what really causes my momma heart to ache is the pulling away that goes along with this independent streak.  He wants nothing to do with me.

Every request for a kiss or hug is met with an emphatic “no way momma!  no way!”


If I pick him up to kiss his face he wiggles and whines: “get me down!  No!”

When we go out and attempt to walk holding hands he refuses right out. He will just sit down in protest until I drag him away by both arms out of pure desperation.

When I buckle him into the shopping cart he screams for a solid three minutes because he wants to sit in the “big basket” so he can “eat all the foods.”  Which is exactly what he would do given the choice.

I’m sure so much of this comes along with the typical “quest for autonomy” that every two year old embarks on, but for me?  It feel like I’ve already lost him forever.  The snuggly sweetness is almost gone and I wonder if it will ever return or if I’ve already lost him to the “all grown up” place.

A few days back we had a particularly rough day with him, complete with defiance, dragging and tantrums.  To get through the insanity I picked up an afternoon iced coffee.

This was a mistake.

By the time we got everyone cleaned off and tucked in, my body was exhausted but my mind was buzzing, wide awake.

Hours after everyone had drifted off I sat at my keyboard, writing and crying, because life just seemed hard and you guys?  I was really tired and really low on little boy snuggles.

So I did the only logical thing I could think to do at 12:15 AM, I snuck into his room and sat next to his bed, rubbing his back through the slats in his crib.

The cat followed me in and began to sing his obnoxious song and woke up my “not so baby” boy.

I can’t say that I was sad about this.

We moved over to the rocking chair and I held him close to me for the first time in what felt like years.

I cried into his little shoulder as he wiggled on my chest, trying to get sleepy comfortable.

Then, from somewhere completely other a voice blew through my mind

Caedmon Pic

“Yes, I do love you this much.”

In that moment, God showed up to answer a question that my heart had been asking in a deep and wordless place.

Because, you see, lately there’s been this rift in my walk with God and I struggled to truly don’t believe he has the time for “us.”  I find it hard to imagine that the God of the universe wants my time, that he could get anything out of my small, weak presence.

I believe that he is a loving
I believe he provides and sustains
I believe that he is for me (for the most part)

But I honestly can’t get to a place where I believe that he’s all that into me.

That he truly desires my company.

I want to believe it, because it seems lovely and peaceful, but in my brain God is a workaholic father with better things to do than meet with me for a cup of coffee while I spill out the junk right down to the cobweb corners of my mind.

But in that rocking chair, I thought maybe… just maybe this is what we’re both aching for.  A tearful, late night closeness.

Maybe God does ache for me, as I do for this independent little man who thinks he smarter than me.

Maybe that’s exactly the nature of our relationship, I’m the one running away grinning and he’s the one chasing, intervening, ensuring that I don’t get hit by a car.

But if I could give up the game, grow into myself, see what is right in front of me… it would transform everything with a sonic boom of glorious … something.

Oh how I hope it will.

  • Mark Allman

    It really is humbling and glorious to think that God pursues us.

  • Pam Worcester

    One out of four of our boys was just like this. It took until he was an airman in the United States Air Force for him to willingly accept hugs and repeat back, “love you, too, momma.” And trust me, the first time he did that, I melted into a weeping puddle of goo. Somehow it’s hard to imagine God melting when we finally stop struggling in his pursuement of us, but I do like to think that he does shed a tear when we finally do stop.