what do YOU think of in the morning? {a mother’s response}

there’s an episode of One Tree Hill that popped into my brain as i was driving to work today. i’m a devoted fan of this show, so it was no surprise to me that a specific episode crossed my mind, but what delighted me was the reasoning behind why i found myself smiling as i remembered it.

this episode {from season five, called “What Do You Go Home To?”} opens with a glimpse into the bedrooms of all of the show’s major characters. as each character awakens, their voice speaks a single word or thought, presumably the first thing on their minds as soon as their eyes open.

the one that hit me the most? nathan and haley’s. as both of their eyes open, they speak the name of their child: Jamie.

* *

as my eyes open each morning and i greet the sunshine with {admittedly} hesitant, why-can’t-i-sleep-in-later groans, my mind immediately flashes two names across my cerebellum:

Lionel. Quincy.

these names appear simultaneously, of course; as all mothers know, there is no ultimate favorite child in the world of mothering {but there certainly are days where one child is favored more, simply because they are better behaved that day, or in that particular moment}.

it didn’t surprise me one bit that my brain, my heart, turned to my beautiful boys as soon as my eyes opened this morning.

of course i thought of them this morning, i said to myself. i think of them every morning.

L-Q-Stroller

i think of Lionel’s sweet insistence last night that he sleep “in Mama’s bed” instead of his own.

i think of his arms – the same arms that show off his “big-boy muscles” to me as he swats golf balls to and fro in our basement – wrapping tightly around my neck, my belly, my back as he snuggles in close. he’s always been my cuddly one.

i think of his fingers pull, pull, pulling on my hair as he tries to surrender to slumber, an act of comfort that he’s made his own since our eyes first met on that morning in June, nearly three years ago.

i think of his stubborn statement the day before that he “doesn’t like Elsa,” an out-of-character admittance that, i’m convinced, was the result of a teasing session from a boy or two at school. step back, Mama Bear, i told myself. boys can like Frozen, tooi told my sweet boy.

i think of his approaching birthday – the big, how-is-this-possible THIRD birthday on the horizon – and my heart aches when i think of all of the time that has passed, and how it has evaporated all too quickly. have most of our days together been good days? i ask myself. does he feel loved? does he feel abandoned, now that his little brother is around? all of my fears before welcoming Quincy into our lives resurface in that moment, and i work hard – each day, each minute – to convince myself that giving him a sibling – giving him Quincy – is a gift, and that any future children that join our family will be blessings in his life as well.

of course, while these thoughts are running marathons in my brain, ruminations on my other son, my sweet baby Quincy, take their turn in the relay race as well.

i think of Quincy’s chubby, dimpled elbows, and how i need to spend more time kissing that fleshy chub before his arms, like his brother’s, boast “big-boy muscles,” too.

i think of his eyes, the ones that i pray so fervently to stay green, like his Daddy’s.

i think of the way that he smiles with his entire body when he sees my face, and the way that he wrenches his little self this way and that to follow me as i move about a room.

i think of his stubborn insistence that he’s just fine to sleep on his own now, Mom, which he tells me through his exasperated cries as i try to hold him close. in the darkest part of the night, he awakens and eagerly nurses, and then just as eagerly demands to be swaddled back up tightly and placed back in the Moses basket that flanks our bed. he shifts and shuffles his way into a comfortable position, and as his eyes close, i lie awake in awe that i, famous for my reliance and need for others, am the mother to a very independent child.

i think of his refusal to feed from a bottle yesterday at daycare, preferring instead to nurse while snuggled closely in the arms of his Mama. perhaps he’s not so independent after all.

* *

what do YOU think of first thing in the morning? {admittedly, my second thought, after dwelling for few moments on the wonders that are my sons, is COFFEE.}

About Sara

Sara works in higher education, but she's most proud of her role as a Mama to two precocious boys, Lionel Conner, age 4, and Quincy August, age 2. In honor of turning 30 in 2016, she pierced her nose to "keep her young." She loves watching guilty-pleasure television, writing about motherhood, decorating her first home, sipping red wine with her husband Jordan, and chasing after her sons.
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