To everything there is a season…

When I was a young married woman without kids, my husband and I (okay so maybe it was just I, and he went along with it because he couldn’t resist my charms, heh) decided to get a pet kitten.  We went to the SPCA and brought home a teensy orange tabby that weighed exactly one pound.  He fit in the palm of my hand, and he was the sweetest wittle ting you’ve ever seen.  Okay, so this picture was after he had grown for a few months.  I know I had younger pictures of him, but danged if I know what happened to them.


Pay no attention to the child holding the kitten.  What was I, 12?

I had never had pets as a child, unless you count the fish and the highly reproductive gerbils, Diana and Charles.  Yes, Diana and Charles.  I am dead serious.

All that to say, I had never had a pet that loves you back until we brought our little Peanut home.  One afternoon, a few weeks after we brought him home, when he was still very much a kitten, he leaped up into my lap and fell fast asleep while I rubbed his furry head.  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, cradling my pet kitty in my lap, and I looked forward to spending many hours indulging my heretofore unfulfilled maternal instincts.

*Giggle.  I just used heretofore in a sentence.*

I’m sure you know where this is going.  Kittens, like children, grow and change rapidly.  And those afternoons of my kitten napping in my lap were short-lived.  One day he hopped up in my lap, laid down for a bit, and then scampered off to snooze elsewhere.  And that was that.  He never again napped in my lap, and I while I loved him for his other sweet antics, I always missed the early days.

Fast forward about 10 years, and I have a child that does the same thing.  It is not unusual for my youngest child to crawl up into my lap when I’m sitting here at the computer, nestle herself into my arms, and fall fast asleep.  I absolutely treasure every single moment she spends curled up in my lap.  She started doing it when she was two, and now that she is a sturdy four-year-old, her impromptu lap naps are growing scarce.

These days I’m a seasoned mom of three, and I have no delusions of this stage lasting forever.  In fact, when she crawled up in my lap this afternoon and fell asleep, I sat here thinking, this could very well be the last time she does this.

My instincts were confirmed when I tried to get up and move her to her bed, and we wound up everywhere BUT her bed.  She immediately woke up as I tip-toed lumbered up the stairs.  (Did I mention this child is SOLID?  I’m talking about one heavy load.)  When she realized what was going on, she waged a protest, and it wasn’t a peaceful one either.  I quickly determined that there was no use trying to get her back to sleep in her bed and allowed her to stay up and play.

So here I sit, once again bemoaning the passing of the early days.  My youngest is a full-fledged preschooler with a mind of her own and a will to prove it.  I wouldn’t have her any other way, and yet I would do almost anything to re-live a few precious moments from her younger years.

Perhaps it’s time to get another kitten.

Author’s Note: I wrote this post last week sometime.

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17 Responses

  1. Fortunately for me our cat George (name NOT chosen by us!) (also a ginger cat) loves to snuggle up beside me or the sofa, or on top of me, or with one paw draped over me……definitely easier than contemplating another mini-human!

  2. That’s exactly what I did. When my youngest hit 3 and his snuggling reduced drastically, I told hubby it was time for another cat- my previous one had died of old age a few months earlier. I now have an exotic (a recognized breed that is a cross between a Persian and a domestic shorthair) and he’s a total snugglebug. I got him off of Freecycle. I have been told Persians are considerably more snuggly than any other type of cat, and I believe it.

    1. I wish I could get another cat, but I’m dreadfully allergic, so I will just have to enjoy the memories! 🙂

  3. Or you could have another baby…

    My youngest is almost 20 months now. She is a little devil when it comes to letting me get my computer work done. I think she waits until I busy myself with the notebook before she executes the plan to sabotage my writing. Truly, I need to see it as a sweet time that I will never get back. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Well, I’ll be having neither, but it’s nice to dream about sometimes. 🙂

      It is hard, sometimes, to stop working and give her the attention she wants, but once I do I’m always glad I did, if that makes sense. Still, 20 months is definitely challenging! 🙂

  4. Love this post :). My youngest (and God willing my last) is 3 1/2 and I have a hard time letting her grow up- more so than her older sister and brother. I want to baby her so much more :).

    I do have to say though that I’m loving this season of my life. No diapers, no naps, 3 kids that can dress themselves head to toe! I’m trying to enjoy every season as it comes, but so far this has been the best.

  5. Oh, I know how you feel. *Tears* My 16 month old still often has me rock her to sleep and I worry that she won’t ever be able to go to sleep on her own. But then I think exactly as you said–this could be the last time I get to…

    Oh, and we had two cats, Samson and Delilah. 🙂

    1. Jackie, I used to worry about that. They do seem to outgrow it, and I wouldn’t trade those nights for the world. I still lay down with my 4-year-old, but I don’t stay till she falls asleep. I did until she was well over 3, though. It’s such a precious time, and it’s gone so quick.

  6. Oh Jo-Lynne—I know how you feel…exactly how you feel! My son is 22 years old and there are days I wish–absolutely WISH that he was the sweet little boy that fell asleep in my arms again. That sweet goofy-smiling baby boy that grew into a toddler boy with his first hair cut…Oh the memories!

    But I also adore the fact he can argue with me now about socio-political issues that face our country, our world and there’s an element of respect that lies between us. It’s curious how I went from being “MOM” to “Friend.” I treasure these days as much as I miss the young baby boy…

  7. Ah fantastic – totally took me back to the days of having my baby boys laid out fast asleep on me Sunday afternoons watching formula 1.

    I’d be telling them all about the cars and the drivers and the tactics in the hope that something would sink in subliminally and I’d have some little fans to watch it with later in life (didn’t work).

    I loved those moments and miss them, though they get replaced by other things like yesterday when my youngest (challenged to go put his pyjamas on and then come back before I could count to 50) shouted down the stairs, “Dad – can you pause the count for a minute? I need the toilet!” – priceless moments.

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