When my kids were babies, it was easy to cuddle them close, to nuzzle their necks, to tickle their pudgy bellies, to play games with them, to nibble on those chubby cheeks and rolly-polly thighs. It literally came naturally! I mean, who can resist chubby thighs like these?!
But now I have a 5-year-old. (I know, I wonder how that happened too!) It doesn't come so naturally to play silly games with her and to tickle her and to nuzzle her neck and to nibble on her cheeks.
I've noticed a trend with Areyna lately, though. She has been wanting more of me. While I'm picking up Zeke and squeezing him she'll ask, "Mommy, will you do that to me? Will you pick me up and squeeze me as many times as you did to Zeke?" (Note, Zeke weighs almost less than Micaiah!=) My first reaction used to be, "Rainy you are getting so big I can't pick you up anymore", and just kept moving. When I'd start tickling Zeke on his lower bunk she'd say, "Mommy, will you come up and tickle me as many times as you tickled Zeke?" When Josh starts playing silly night-time games with Zeke, Areyna will literally get hysterical if Josh leaves the room without doing the exact same thing, the exact same amount of times, as he does to Zeke.
That's when I realized that, subconsciously, I had been withholding these sweet acts of love from her. I realized that this is a very pivotal time in my little girl's life, and that I need to love on her even more! She NEEDS me almost more now than ever. She needs me to live out my love. To exemplify Christ's love!
I think so many times we, as parents, miss seeing this need of our older children, the need to be kept close. She may not be as small, cuddly and cute anymore, but Josh and I were reminded that she won't always want us so close and that we need to take advantage of these times as long as we can.
So, I apologize for cutting this short, but I have some 5-year-old cheeks to go nibble!
***Don't Forget - only 2 days until "The First The Last" hits iTunes!***