I’m recalling a moment one evening recently when my son Ezra came right up to me at my desk where I was writing, and announced, “I need snuggles NOW Mom.”
I turned to him, and because I was in the middle of something, I asked him, “Right now?” Nodding, he repeated with seriousness, “Right now, please.”
I looked at him more carefully, noting tender softness around his eyes, and recognized he was clearly doing his very best to meet some vulnerability arising. Then I recalled earlier in the evening when he had walked into Wilder’s room to find me snuggling Wilder close in his bed while singing him a bedtime lullaby I used to sing to Ezra, when he was small. And how when Ezra had seen us so close together like that, he had quickly left the room, giving us space.
Putting the pieces together now, turning my whole body towards him, I asked gently, “Did you have some jealousy come up for you, my Love?” And he leaned all the way into me then, burying his big boy face into my neck, as he confessed softly, in a much younger version of his voice, “Yes. You were snuggling Wilder too much.”
At that I scooped him into my arms, all one hundred pounds of solid boy muscle, and staggered to the couch, four feet away, where I collapsed, cradling my big boy like he was tiny again, kissing his face, his head, rocking him close.
I said: “Oh, do you need to be reminded about how incredibly loved you are?”
He nodded, meekly. He whispered, “About how I am your special boy?”
I said, “Oh yes, my most special boy. That’s what you are. You are my Ezra Star. There is nobody else like you in the world. There is nobody I love in this way I love you. It’s a most incredibly special love all of its own.”
And how I watched his doubts fade from his face, rapidly replaced by the clear light of truth. How his cup was filled again as his needs were met.
And how he sat up then, took a deep breath, and regained his almost ten year old composure.
How he grinned at me, his cheeks flushed, as he said sheepishly, “Thanks, Mom. That really helped a lot.”
And how I beamed back at him, and said: “Anytime. You just keep letting me know what you need in all this, my Love. It’s so very helpful. I’m so proud of you for asking for what you need.”