“Mommy, can I sit with you?”
I hear those words from my 5-year-old constantly.
She always wants to sit with me. She has ever since she was big enough to have an opinion.
It doesn’t matter how many other seats are available at the moment. It doesn’t matter where I’m sitting, whether it’s scrunched up in a tight chair or sprawled out on the sofa or in line in a waiting room at the doctor’s office.
It doesn’t matter if I’m working or reading or watching TV or talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter if I’m holding the baby or if her big sister is already squished up beside me.
Sometimes it’s not convenient. Sometimes I have writing to do or other work to finish. Sometimes I just want a little space. Sometimes I just want to be comfortable and sit alone for a few minutes.
Sometimes I hear those words “Mommy, can I sit with you?” and I wish that I didn’t. Sometimes I say, “Not right now, honey.” Sometimes I answer them in a tone that’s not-so-nice.
As she grows, it’s getting less and less comfortable to be shoved into our normal seat together. I can’t move much without pushing against her. And now I have an equally clingy toddler who also insists on being with me constantly. My sweet middle child doesn’t mind though, as long as she can sit with me.
But you know what?
I hope she always wants to sit with me.
I hope she never stops minding the discomfort. I hope she always wants to be close to me, to share as much time together as possible. I hope that I’m always her happy place. Her safe place. Her home.
I know one day she probably won’t think it’s cool to sit with Mom. Someday, she’ll want her own space. Someday, she may prefer the isolation of her bedroom instead of the fellowship of the family room. I hope not, but I expect it’ll happen.
So, for now, I’ll cherish this time when she always to sit with me. I’ll be grateful for it, even when it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable.
But I hope if the time comes that she doesn’t want to sit with me anymore, I’ll remember this time and smile. I’ll remember back to her sweet 5-year-old self and her little voice asking me over and over again. I might cry, but I hope I also smile, knowing that I had something so special.
And then—as she grows into an adult, becomes a woman, and starts a family of her own— I hope she’ll want to sit with me again.