It’s daunting how much our kids need us parents, isn’t it? We aren’t like some animals that give birth and sneak away and let the babies fend for themselves or only stay with our young for a short time before sending them out into the world. Our babies are entirely dependent upon us for their survival for a very long time. It’s both a terrifying reality and responsibility yet an elevation of the highest honor. Sometimes it is difficult to be needed on such an intense level for so long. But then again, when that need is abated and our kids step away to their own independence, there is a gaping hole.
Even before birth, they need you
From the first positive pregnancy test, they need you. To help nourish them and be a safe haven for the next nine months. Once they are born into the world, they thrive off your love and support. From colic to midnight feedings and car rides around the block in the middle of the night, the need you.
No one’s soft-spoken voice and warm gentle touch soothes your baby quiet like you do. When they feel your warm body against theirs, smell that familiar scent of mom or dad, they close their eyes (if you’re lucky) and snuggle into the safety that is theirs to enjoy.
Neediness is 24/7
Sunup to sundown, they need you. Even if it’s twenty minutes past bedtime and they are asking for a glass of water so they can prolong going to sleep just a few more minutes.
In the morning they need you from picking out outfits to getting dressed and everything in between.
When their bellies are growling for breakfast, they need you. But don’t you dare fill up a red cup when they asked for green or your whole morning will be ruined!
When it’s time to lace the shoes and head outside for the bus, they need you. They need you to wipe the toothpaste remnants off their face and the milk stain from their cereal off their shirt.
When they injure themselves out on the playground, they need you. Even though you aren’t around, they are always thinking about you.
When the bus pulls back up at the end of the day and their little face peers out the window smiling and waving, they need you. Because being away from you for ten hours door to door is an exhausting milestone for them.
At dinner, they need you. To fill their bellies and talk about how their day went, to ask them questions, to make them feel heard and appreciated.
When you’re doing the dishes and they’re sitting at the table doing their math homework, they need you. Heaven knows even you can’t figure it out, but maybe some mom somewhere in one of your handy-dandy mom groups on Facebook can help pull through for you with an answer so you don’t let down that frustrated little soul just yearning for an answer.
When they head up to bathe and lay their clothes out for the next day, they need you. To unwrinkle their clothes and find a pair of matching socks.
When they’re getting sleepy and want to cuddle, they need you.
When it’s time to say prayers and talk about what’s on their minds at the end of each day, they need you because no one listens as intently as you.
When they are growing up, they still need you
In some way throughout the span of their life they will always need you. Maybe they’ll need you to drive them somewhere, spot them some cash, come to parents night out on the ball field, walk them down the aisle, call you for advice, or even ask for your assistance in watching their children one day.
Whatever it is, they will always need you but they won’t always need you like they do now. The neediness will change and you may not even notice until they are grown.
Some days, you will be the needy one
And after all, maybe some days you will need them more than they need you because nothing soothes a bad day like looking into the eyes of your innocent strong-willed, full of laughter and bravery child, and hearing their contagious belly laughs from down the hall while they play with their siblings.
One day you just need to see their smile, feel their hand in yours, or hold their gaze just a second longer when they are running out of the house to see their friends. All those cuddles, midnight feedings, unwrinkling of laundry will seem like a flash of time. Where did it go? It’s ok to need them just as much as they need you.