Love Hurts

10 Feb

A means of survival?

I dropped the boys off to sleep over at my in-laws the other day.  As I walked them to the house, I realized this was a great opportunity to get my good-bye kiss.  You see, it was the dark of night. No neighbors were outside and there was no one to witness an unwanted expression of love from Mom.  But as soon as I moved in to kiss my 5′ 7″ baby on his head, he froze.  You would have thought I was a hunter with a high-caliber rifle, and he the 10-point buck alone in the distance.  As soon as I moved, his body tensed and spine went rigid.  No eye contact.  Gaze frozen into the distance. His mind scrambling for his next course of action.  At any minute, I was sure his flight instinct would kick in and he’d gallop off into the darkness never to be seen again.

It’s really all so ridiculous.  I am still his mother and I should get a kiss whenever I want one, right?  So I gently reassured him, “It’s just going to be a kiss on the head, please.”   Reluctantly he allowed his upper body to angle in my general direction just enough that I could get on my tip-toes and reach his temple for a quick peck.   I know it was difficult on him. And he acted kind of like it burned his skin.  Every year the aversion to Mommy affection just seems to increase.

But there is hope.  I still have my younger one who isn’t completely in the throes of beasthood yet.  Not only does he still willingly cuddle with me, but I can USUALLY give him a temple kiss when I want.  Of course, a cheek or lips kiss is totally out of the question now.  I guess that is how you know the aversion to Mommy affection is setting in – the parts of the face where I am allowed access begin to decrease.  Same goes for hugs and holding hands too.  The instances become fewer and farther between until one day, we are limited to one arm hugs where both bodies must be facing forward, and then ultimately a pat on the back.   The hand holding may transform into a high-five or fist bump, but will more than likely just disappear.

There is also the blowing of kisses.  Long gone.  That moves to a wink, then a wave and ultimately a head nod, or even the more subtle eyebrow raise.  Actually nowadays, if I get eye contact at all, I consider that a sign of affection from my elder son.   Way back when, we used to exchange the sign for “I Love You” with our hands – no way now.

The other day, I saw a mom and her son having a subtle pinky war during opening hymns at church.  We were all standing and I could visibly see them in front of me grinning and wrestling their fingers to fight for the top position.  Man was I jealous and actually very happy for her.  She still gets those moments.   I guess I get them too, but they just aren’t as sweet as I remembered them before.  I  know it is all part of the process – the son has to be ready one day to live apart and be less dependent on Mom.  And, I know someday it will all come full circle, and he’ll be okay with hugging and kissing me again – someday.

I guess for now, I have to get used to stalking him like a hunter in the night to enjoy what I can while I can.  And as I write this, I realize there is a reason he wears so much brown, green and camo-colored clothing — he really is trying to hide from me.  I guess it’s my fault I bought all this camo-colored stuff for him. I thought they were just clothes he liked, and I didn’t realize it really was his survival tactic.

Parenting Tip:  Deep sleepers don’t mind cheek kisses.  Steal them while you can.

[1 Peter 6:5-8  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.]


7 Responses to “Love Hurts”

  1. Melissa February 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Cute blog! I have 13 year-old triplet boys (starting high school in August – yikes!). Mine still kiss me in front of just about anyone. If they are at a Cross Country meet and I show up to watch them run, they run up to me (in front of their entire team – Jr. High AND High School) and give me a kiss or a hug. I keep thinking they’ll stop, but no one gives them a hard time. They are perceived as fairly “cool” among their jock buddies, so maybe it’s just an “I dare you to razz me” kind of deal. I dread that one day that it will eventually change.

  2. Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I know you may not think so, but this is hilarious! Your description is on the money. The good news is that it does get better as they older. Don’t you remember?

    Love you!


  3. Billie Martin February 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Believe me, it will get better.couldnt help laughing. your description was hilarious.Love you Billie

  4. Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Awwwww….so sweet. But there is hope. My husband loves to hug his mama and lingers just a little bit longer every time with an “I love you”. It all comes full circle 😉

    • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      Oh, I guess I have to log in and create a profile and call the white house to share a comment. I am lazy. So this is Shelby. LOL!

      • Bringing Up Beasts February 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

        Odd – I thought I changed that setting. I’ll check it out again.


  1. Yes, you can buy love | Bringing Up Beasts - October 14, 2013

    […] posted in a past blog, ”Love Hurts ,” how as the beasts get older, their willingness to show affection decreases.  (If I were […]

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