“Mommy, Can I Lick You?”
Blessed with three boys and more experience with “men” than I care to talk about I’ve come to realize that yep, baby boys arrive here pre-programmed with a very natural drive, in fact, God-given drive. Funny story…
We were attending a going away shindig for some great young men from our Bible Fellowship who were heading from Hawaii to California for an extended period of concentrated study. I really like each of these guys but since we’re in way different phases of our lives we just don’t get the chance to hang out much.
So whaddya know right in the middle of the party I find myself sitting on opposite couches and having a great talk with several of them. Up comes my WAY overly-tired, sanguine, two-year old child, the one and only “Moose.” He crawls up to me and I think, “Oh good, he can lie down and go to sleep.” But oh no, he has much different aspirations.
“MOMMY, CAN I LICK YOU?” he bellows. “No.” “PLLLEEEEEASSSSE, can I lick you?” “No.” “Mommy, I really, really, REEEEEALLY want to lick you.” At this point Moose has completely hijacked our adult conversation and I’m noticing my young men friends glancing and elbowing each other, like, did you hear that?!??!
Moose kept right on trying and as I turned my attention to him I heard my friends saying to each other, “See man, we just come that way we can’t help it!” and other such self-confirming observations.
What was completely embarrassing in the moment has become, very insightful to me as a mama of boys. I now know that I am in a uniquely special place for my boys to come with their God-given desires. I am their training ground, their safe haven. They come to me for physical comfort, they want to be close, to cuddle, to smell me, to cling to, and do their own special coziness things they only do with mommy.
When they’ve been reprimanded, or spanked, they fling themselves at me to reconnect physically. My gut reaction when I’m upset is, “Don’t Touch Me!!!” But I’ve seen the blow these words deliver on my boys and it’s oh so much more crushing than the swat on their sweet okole. And worse, their retort…”Fine, then I WON’T touch you!!,” as small feet stomp away hurt and furious.
Ouch. Wait come back, please, don’t turn off, don’t stay away, deep breath… I’m here, I AM your safe place, you CAN trust me – I won’t hold myself back from you.
Take the time for yourself if you need it, mama, sister-friend, just don’t start a power struggle over your physical love with your kids.
If motherhood teaches us anything it’s how to balance things, important things, like OUR feelings and our KIDS feelings. If I really need that cooling off period, I say to them, “I’m gonna sit down in this chair and for 5 minutes I want it to be just me – then you come and we’ll cuddle, OK?” That’s different than reacting in anger.
I’m very well aware that my days as this hallowed ground are numbered. There is the imminent tsunami wave of hormones due to come crashing on the scene in a short time. Hopefully, they will weather the hormones and transition into manhood with wisdom and good choices.
However, there’s also a Godly ordained time limit on our season for this special time with our sons. Ephesians 5:31 states, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” And, you know what? That’s a darn good thing.
While I’m loving up my kids, pouring everything I’ve got into being a mama – I KNOW that it’s only gonna be this way for a fleeting season. Guess who’s gonna be there when the kids are gone? My man! As much as I love, love, love being a mama it’s so very important to love my man like he’s the King Pin and let the boys see that happening.
We’re the “one flesh” model for our kids. It’s impactful when I say to them, “Nope, not going to lay down with you, Daddy’s here and it’s very important for us to have husband and wife time together without you guys – good night!”
And, it’s not just for show – my man and I, we really do need “us time” because all relationships need constant care, and nurture. My man is the little boy into which God planted deep physical desires in every fiber of his being. And me? I’m HIS safe haven and the only person in the world who is so deeply a part of him that we are “one flesh.” What a blessing and it’s this perspective of gratitude that melts away fleeting sparks of frustration, resentment, and anger.
Boy mama – savor the moments of special cuddles with your sons. We are their training ground and our special time in this blessed role is fleeting.