I snuggle Fynn in the moments before he goes to sleep. I stroke his hair. Run my hand down his cheek, my fingers trace the line in between his eyes that runs down his nose in an effort to help him close his sleepy blue eyes. He holds my hand for a few moments, then lets go, rolls over. He’s ready for sleep, ready for his space, ready to say goodnight. He’s had his fill of snuggles. I leave him to his slumber, and sulk out of the bedroom.

I always need more.

Tonight is my high school reunion. I’m not going. I thought about it, but the timing is not good – the night before Thanksgiving when we’re hosting, and now we have sick kids, and no babysitter. However, if I could take my {healthy} kids with me, I would have gone in a heartbeat.

Is that wrong?

People always want to show off their best sides at reunions. They are my best side. My best work. My everything. With them in tow I would had a built in shield from harsh conversations or off handed comments that might have occurred {though only in my head…} I have some wonderful memories from those years, and think fondly of the few good friends I had, but there are also memories that got shoved away due to painful content. For another day, another year.

There are times when I think I need the kids more than they will know. They are my protectors, my shield. When I’m out by myself, I’m not as vibrant and on the ball as when I’m out with them. With them, I want to be the mom they know, always. Relatively uninhibited, outgoing, fun. Not the shy, introvert that I’ve known and had a love hate relationship for 28 years.

They bring out the best in me.

They push me.

Egg me on to be better.

And yet they are safe.

In their absence during my alone time I wear a necklace bearing their names in hope that it reminds me of who I can be, who I’ve become. They’re with me always, in my heart and on my mind. I know I’m needy when it comes to my children, they’ve given me so much already. But it can’t be helped. It’s not that I wasn’t hugged enough as a child, or have a husband who doesn’t give me hugs. Neither one of those are even close to the truth.

When my children were born, I thought many insecurities would simply disappear. And some did. But some are here to stay. Thankfully it’s family and faith that gets us through them, makes us work at them, makes us stronger.

Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning I sneak in to the comfort of Fynn’s bed and steal a few midnight snuggles, then drift off to sleep smelling his Burt’s Bees washed hair. I breathe him in and it brings me back to earth, back from late night panic attacks and dreary thoughts. He and Paige both bring me peace.

If there’s a twenty year reunion, I will probably go. Without the kids. By that time I hope to have grown into myself a little more, with the help of two little ones. The family my husband and I created. The best parts of us.


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7 responses to “Needy

  1. When they are older, you will be that person even when they are not there. Sometimes I think God gives us children not so that we can mold them, but so that they can mold us into a closer representation of Christ. I know the deepest most enduring lessons I have learned have come through my children. God is good. May He bless you today.

  2. I totally understand. We had our 20th this past summer. Friday night was adults only and it was wonderful to have “grown up” conversations without interruption … but Saturday we had a big family picnic and that was great. We decided that for our 30th it’s going to be a full family affair!!

  3. Sarah

    Corinne I think this post and others you’ve written just show how very much you love your children and that is a wonderful thing! When I was in grad school I was working almost full time as the head coach for the team girls at gymnastics. I had many, many conversations with parents. Sadly, so many of them complained to me about how much they do for their kids and how they get no appreciation in return. They were often joking but the sheer number of times this occurred with parents left an imprint on me. Now look at your post, you recognize how much your kids give you instead! You don’t see taking care of them and offering them the world as a chore, you see how you and the kids benefit each other, in a true loving relationship! More parents should be like you.

    And the reunion? There will be plenty more and mini-reunions as well with closer friends. You seem to love your life and if you feel like you’d have to justify it to people at this reunion then it definitely doesn’t seem worth attending! That’s the great thing about being adults- we have to abide by the laws but nothing else is really required so we can pick and choose (whenever possible) the situations that we think are worth while, are meaningful. Once having made a decision on good solid reasons, I try to let the issue go or it’s wasted thought energy 🙂

    I would go to the reunion if it wasn’t 5,000 miles away from me but just to reconnect with people in a way that does not engage in ego stroking. We were born into the ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ – cherish individualism – be competitive – pit yourself against others – generation in many ways. It’s sad that it leads to a breaking away of community and, inadvertently, it leads to environmental pollution and resource plundering since we all have to have our own appliances for everything that, in reality, are not in constant use and could be shared. Wow- this has gotten long! Thanks for an inspiring post!

  4. Corinne, I love this post. You so beautifully articulate something that I do all the time, but never really thought about before: using my kids as armor.

    “They bring out the best in me. They push me. Egg me on to be better. And yet they are safe.” I’m just blown away by the truth and power of those words.

    So, so pleased to have found your blog!

  5. You’re a beautiful writer. And the love you have for your children is so lovely.

    And I cannot believe they’d have a reunion the day before Thanksgiving! Are they nuts?! I wouldn’t have gone either.


  6. liz

    lovely post. my class has never had a reunion, but i imagine if there ever was one i would feel some of the same conflict as you. i don’t think high school ever leaves us…and really, how could it?

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