Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lost in the shuffle

Monday was busy at our house.

It was a holiday and we spent it entertaining a dear friend from university, her husband and their two children, aged six years and nine months. The kids played and splashed in the pool and the adults attempted to visit and enjoy a meal.

And it was busy.

Neither entertaining nor visiting are quite the same when little ones are underfoot. There are glorious messes made of carefully chosen food and drink. There is constant running and fetching. There are conversations interrupted in mid-sentence by a cry or a shriek or worse, a prolonged silence.

And so it was with no small sense of satisfaction that a few hours in I finally exhaled on our deck, lifted a glass of wine and congratulated myself on pulling off a warm and welcoming afternoon: the meal had been enjoyed, the parents were relaxing and the kids were safely tucked away in the downstairs playroom.

But just moments later I caught my breath when my friend's husband returned from a check downstairs clutching Graham's hand. My son was sobbing as if his little heart would break.

"Graham was just sitting by himself in the corner crying," he said. "I asked him what was wrong and he said he couldn't help it, he just missed his mommy today."

My heart sank as I opened my arms, gathered him to me and smothered him with kisses.

And just as surely as Graham's tears dried up so did the smug sense that I had somehow managed to create an afternoon where everyone had been touched by my warmth and hospitality.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

44 comments:

jen said...

in these moments i always remind myself it's the sum rather than the parts that matter in the end.

and your sum is good.

Kyla said...

Poor baby. But you know? I'm sure, in the end, you were the one feeling it more keenly. Kids, they forget...we carry it around long after they've moved on.

Oz said...

You're so right about entertaining and visiting. I can't even leave a voicemail anymore without interrupting myself or being interrupted. It's impossible to do everything at once, but I keep on trying anyway.

flutter said...

awww, Graham

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Entertaining with kids is a challenge; and after 16 years, I still haven't figured it out.

Casey's trio said...

Way to pull at the old heart strings with this one...poor baby.

JCK said...

What Jen said is brilliant. Who knows what set him off. Maybe he got his feelings hurt by one of the other children and needed his mommy. Whatever it was...you are a fantastic mom. We can't cover every moment. You are entitled to taking breaths and some wine occasionally. ;)

womaninawindow said...

What a tender heart he has. Reminds me of someone.

Indy said...

So sweet. At least you made up for it in the end.

Ellyn said...

You are a good mom. It is hard to please everyone every minute.

Wait until you have two and they are both crying...Who do you pick up first?

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Oh, poor thing! Kids and their fragile personalities and day-to-day living are so hard to juggle. You can't keep all the balls up all the time!

I'm sure he's fine - nothing that extra hugs and kisses won't fix!

Sweet post!

common mom said...

Princess still does that . . . wants to just be by me . . . and I truly love it. But I also love that they're a bit older and when we have friends over for dinner, the kids go play and we may not hear from them for hours. Really - hours. It's awesome! We can barely get them to stop long enough to shovel dinner in and clear their plates. Then they're off . . . while we sit on the deck with a beverage and talk, mostly about the kids and how we can't believe they're growing up so fast and that we haven't heard from them . . . but sometimes about adult stuff, like where we're buying our school supplies this year ;-)

amanda said...

he just missed his mommy...

how lucky are you. to be missed and adored by such a sweet little boy.

just precious.

Dawn said...

Oh...what a sweetheart! He sure loves his Mama.

Amy said...

What a candid moment! I am glad you rescued the day for that precious boy.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Aw sweetie, it is okay. And I think JCK may be right, something else may have caused the tears and then he just wanted you-like usual. Regardless, your mommy love covers over those hurts abundantly.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Poor li'l guy--you know the fact that he missed you shows what an awesome job your are doing :)

InTheFastLane said...

They do break your heart.

Kori said...

Oh, how bittersweet...and stop with the guilt-you are obviously a great, loving, compassionate mom, and we all do the best we can. Sometimes it isn't enough, but at the same time, it IS.

April said...

And all he needed was that hug, huh? Ain't it grand when it's just that easy?

Pregnantly Plump said...

Awww. Poor little guy. I'm glad a Mommy hug could make it all better.

kbreints said...

I know that you mean-- never knew that my heart could melt and grow at the same time until Henry!

Jaina said...

Awww baby! What a sweetheart you have there. Poor baby. He's just got the best mommy around and he's used to having her all to himself. ;)

chelle said...

oh my goodness!! Isn't it incredible to be missed :)

Helen E.M. Wright said...

That has got to be one of the best rewards EVER!

Desiree said...

Oh, I just can't wait til my little one is born and needs me like that. It has to be such a special feeling -- you must be one fabulous mommay ^_^

Tracey said...

Oh dear... :( Poor baby... Poor MAMA! But how sweet that he adores you so...

Girl said...

Sniff, it's all I can muster.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I often feel as though I have barely seen my children after we have entertained. However, I also feel as though I have barely seen my guests after we have entertained.

KEEP BELIEVING

angie said...

Poor Grahamy. This part really said it all, didn't it?

"And just as surely as Graham's tears dried up so did the smug sense that I had somehow managed to create an afternoon where everyone been touched by my warmth and hospitality."

Just Janice said...

Aww poor Graham! We have a backyard pool too and it's exactly for that reason that we don't have people over often. Maybe once everyone is older, but not yet.

E said...

Oh shit. Parenting is humbling stuff isn't it? It will not be a moment but a million that will form his memories and they will be of love and security.
But still...just shit. I hate those moments

anti-supermom said...

It's great to feel loved, even if that feeling sprung from another being ignored. Happy that you could make Graham feel much better with hugs and kisses.

Cee said...

Aww, that's sweet how he missed you- he sounds like such a sweetheart!

crazymumma said...

aw. lousy end for the both of you. But somehow I am sure you loved him up but good to make up for it.

Big social gatherings can be overwhelming for the little things....

Kelli said...

Awww... I'm sure he had fun that day too splashing around in the pool and playing with the kids. He was probably just tired from all the festivities. There's nothing like a hug from mom to make it all better.

Alexandria said...

Oh break my heart. That is so ... sad. Poor guy. Butgood for you for creating an awesome time for your friends! It's hard to pull off. I so know that feeling.

Lisa said...

That is so sweet. He just loves you so, so much. Is there anything better?

Heather said...

What a little sweetheart.

Kami said...

Poor G! It's so great that he was able to express his feelings so you could make it all better :-)

I often think that kids act out just when they are craving our love and attention most. Unfortunately it often gets them the opposite attention from which they seek.

Your G, is smart little boy!

caramama said...

Yikes! I guess you can't win them all. But how sweet that he missed you!

C said...

Gah! How sweet is that little Graham of yours!?! He absolutely melts my heart!

Karen MEG said...

Aw, sweet, sweet little boy!

It can get overwhelming when others are over, especially for kids. I found when little G was younger she would feel like that ... and now that she's 3 she's the party animal!

Chantal said...

Sniff, Sniff, poor little guy, and poor you.