This evening, I was making a mad dash for the Y, having focused all my energies from about 4:30pm on to getting kids fed, kitchen cleaned, baby nursed, clothes prepared for tomorrow, and everything taken care of to do so. I had to be back by 8:30 so that Dave could get dinner, and was finally ready to leave around 7pm. My time was ticking, so I said a quick goodbye to the boys, who ignored me, then got into my car.
"Wait!" I heard imploringly. "Mommy!!" I got out, quelling my irritation. "Where are you going?" I explained again, gave them each a quick hug, then ran back into my car.
"WAIT!!! MOMM-MY!!!!!" Argh!! Now what?!! "I want to give you a hug and a kiss!" Oh, OK. I can't complain about those after all. Brushing aside a flash of guilt from curtailing this moment of affection, I gave them both the prescribed hugs and kisses, then ran back into my car. Quickly, I started to pull out of the driveway.
"WAAIIIIITTT!!! Mommy! Mommy!!!!"
@&$&#@!*! Come on! Another round of hugs and kisses. Mwah, hug, kiss, pat on the bottom, go play. BYE!
Back in my car. Close the door. Snap on seatbelt. Car in gear, pull forward as fast as politely possible, down the driveway, just about to make my escape....
Screeeech!. Slam on the brakes. Car in neutral. Put on emergency brake. Unsnap seatbelt. Dash out of the car, leave it running, door open. Run back to the backyard gate, seriously annoyed now.
WHAT!!! I demand.
Gabriel said, "I just wanted to tell you something."
NOT NOW!!! I turn to leave. Then:
"Mom -- I love you!"
I looked back at two innocent faces standing there wide-eyed, waiting to see the impact of this unexpected, and apparently sincere, declaration. Julian then piped in too: "yeah, Mommy, I love you too."
My energy for escape drained instantly, the urgency to leave replaced with guilt, a smart smack on my conscience, and a wave of love and affection. I kneeled down and gave my sons long hugs and kisses and told them, completely from the heart, how much I loved them too. I stayed with them until they were kissed out and ready to do their own thing. Then, one more kiss each, one more pat on the bottom, and I was off to do mine.
And I did, smiling the whole way.