Before my son even opens his eyes in the morning, his arms are reaching for a hug. I happily embrace his warm body, and his sleepy smile could wake the sun. “Come on, baby.” I coo. “It’s time.”
He purrs like a kitten instead of a 10 year-old boy, and when I detach myself, he pouts, “Nooo.”
“Nope. No more hugs. Get on up.” I shake him till he giggles, then play time is over and I turn to business. “Your clothes are on the floor. Brush your teeth and get downstairs.” I leave him and hope I don’t have to make a trip back up to wake him again.
My five and eight year-olds are already dressed and downstairs, finished with their breakfasts and playing a computer game in their time before school, when my oldest sleepwalks into the kitchen and immediately attaches himself to my side. “Mama.”
I love it, like the sick, needy mother I am, and take a moment to lean my head against his before ushering him into his morning routine.
Occasionally, some person has the nerve to say to me, “Oh you have three boys? You know boys, they leave.” I always respond with a smug smile and say, “Not if you do it right.”
And although I believe that, it still touches a nerve, because to some extent, of course, it’s true. Boys love their mommies, until they get a wife. Boys are so affectionate when they are young, but somewhere along the way, they seem to detach. No. That will not do at all. That’s why I have worked hard to make my boys ‘mama’s boys,’ and they have pretty much towed the line, but the results vary.
My youngest is a wild child, full of love and energy. Even if he really isn’t one anymore, he’s the baby and he still acts like one, cuddling and preferring mommy’s company to any other. Score! My middle son has got the most spunk and fight in him, but he’s also a clingy little monkey around his mommy’s neck. Score!
But my oldest, has by far, exceeded my mama boy expectations. A sentimentalist at heart, wistful at five for who he was at four, he is openly expressive in his emotions and affections and really, really, really loves his mommy. Homerun!
I worry a little that I’m ruining my boys for all the girls, but, only a little. Because, we all know that the best men are the ones who love and respect their mothers. Eventually, poo poo poo (sorry it’s the future Jewish grandma in me), my boys will grow up and leave to have their own lives and children. While I sort of dread the day when my reign comes to an end, I will quietly – although it will be hard to muffle all of my sobbing – step back and do my best to win over their significant others. Really, what else can I do?
Often, at the end the day, my oldest son gets off the bus from school and runs straight to me, wrapping his arms around me, and says, “It’s been six hours since I hugged my mommy.”
My other boys, their competitive natures stirred, jump in for the hug.
These boys are going to break my heart.