stopping for snuggles

What is she doing?

The scene flashes before my eyes quicker than my brain can process what I see. There is a clearing where I get on the freeway and another ten freeways converge and veer off. I see a woman standing there, safely centered in the middle of a grassy area with her car pulled off the road. The expanse is surrounded by fast-paced, southern Californian roads and freeways. She stands out like a sore thumb.

She is holding her baby.

Her body gently sways back and forth as the look of patience and compassion adorns her. So many thoughts rush through me as I try to put the pieces together.

I have vivid memories of driving with my baby screaming behind me, helpless and frazzled as I navigated to our destinations. The tension would mount in my shoulders, tying my muscles into knotted rocks.

I was always so convinced of the nuisance I was to other drivers, sure they could hear what was happening in my car. They knew what a terrible mother I was a) for not being able to keep my child from crying in the car and b) for getting in everyone’s way as I drove so flustered and frantically.

But this woman let that all go. She stopped. And for this moment, when I saw her, she was living out her priority that her child was more important than her destination or what other people thought of her.

And she has come to my mind so many times in the last week. I have been raw and surging with hormones. I’ve been processing some family stuff. I’ve been wrestling with a desire to write more that clearly doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere. And I have been reading The Hunger Games – with all it’s intensity (dying I love it so much, by the way!) – which has delightfully pulled all of my emotions right to the surface of me.

As a result, I’ve been a little short tempered with my children. This is my Achilles’ heal, my continual battle with myself. Not getting loud and shaming when my patience runs thin. And while it is true that my children are neither perfect nor angelic, my temper is my problem, not theirs.

And in the middle of one of my “You better get your shoes on or you will be late for your preschool fieldtrip!” episodes, my four-year-old looked up at me with his crocodile-tears and big hazel-brown eyes and adorable little face and cried out, “I want some snuggles!”

He does this from time to time when I loose my cool.

And it is as precious as it sounds.

And I immediately think of that mom safely off to the side of the freeway, swaying back and forth with her baby cradled against her body. And I stop, and I snuggle my four year old. Know what? Turns out snuggles is just what I need right now, too.


10 thoughts on “stopping for snuggles

  1. emilyhawkes says:

    “I want some snuggles!”

    Oh my, this put the BIGGEST smile on my face and warmed my heart. What a true statement and a refreshing reminder to slow down sometimes 🙂

  2. clpollock says:

    Great entry! Savor those snuggles. My boy was such a snuggler but now that he’s 15 and way taller than me, he’ll only accept an occasional hugs. I was looking through photo albums today and when I got to the section when the kids were little, I cried! Time truly does fly.

  3. theharbormom says:

    Well said, Becca. I struggle with my words in the same way. God is transforming us.

  4. Oh wow, did you really see this? That would have definitely hit me deep, too. Good words.

  5. I know this middle aged man, who even though he’s been through just about everything, is reduced to tears every time he reads a certain blog….
    He says the author has this amazing gift of using the key of truth to unlock our hearts, and he prays she will never stops using it.

    • itsakoolife says:

      Wow. Thank you so much. This means the world to me. I am humbled and grateful. Thank you. I will have a smile on my face while I treasure your words all day long. And probably much longer, too. Thank you so very very much.

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