In The Crook of My Arms

Marsha Maung

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His head is tilted back, mouth slightly open. His breath is slow and steady and his eyes almost all-closed but slightly open. His neck nestles over the crook of my arm and I stare at his face as he breathed in and breathed out. A feeling of overwhelming love washed over me. I was totally at peace as I watched my son sleep in my arms.

I must say that there’s absolutely nothing quite like it at all.

When was it that he got so big? He’s almost too big to fit into my arms as his legs dangled off the edge of my other arm. He speaks almost in adult-fashion now but in child lingo. He has mastered the art of writing and drawing a very funny and ‘individualistic’ sketch of the sun and a smiley face. He is old enough to tell me that his favorite color is red and favorite number is 4. I know I am his mom but the effects of being a protector, a caregiver; a mom has never failed to astound me.

Sometimes daily needs outweigh the needs of our children. Their need to have us by their sides to kiss the wounds and to heal the tantrums. They need us – now what else can be more important than that. They need us to tell them that it’s OK when others are not nice to them and that they don’t have to avenge the bad behavior of others. They need us to tell them that it’s OK to feel bad when they’ve made a mistake and are asked to say sorry for the mistakes. They need us to bring them out in the playground and teach them about nature, about living and about the world. They need us. Period.

There are times that I wonder if I should just give up the working arrangement that I have fiercely fought for for the past 5 years and go back into the rat race. There are weak moments when I wonder if I have done the wrong thing and have pampered them by trying to be an overly ‘positive’ parent. I wonder too, if my kids are good kids or bad kids. But now I know, there’s no such thing as a bad kid; and a good kid is a stroke of luck.

Everything becomes worthwhile when he runs over to me and shouts, “Mommy!!! My mommy!” and come crashing into me, bumping my nose and cracking my lips with his forehead. He buries his head into my shoulder and I bury mine into his. We stay in that position for a full minute before we peel apart and start planting wet kisses all over each others’ faces. We don’t care about germs, do we? I just want to kiss him until the day I die – just kiss him senseless and no one can tell me that I can’t kiss my own baby that way.

But till when will this luxury last? Our kids are borrowed treasure for we know they won’t remain babies for very long. My babies won’t need me for very long now. Soon, they’ll be old enough to prefer their friends to me. Soon enough, they’ll want to go out with their friends and won’t want me to tag along. Soon enough, they’ll only speak to me when they want my car or want me to pay their cell phone or Internet bills for them. Soon enough, they’ll have a life of their own and mine is kicked aside.

So, for now, I treasure this 3-year-old baby in my arms, lying so soundlessly sleeping in the crook of my arms. He fits just perfect right now.

How I wish he would fit into my arms like that for the rest of my life…. and his. But I know he won’t. And that’s one BIG, FAT reason to treasure the moments now.

Marsha Maung is a freelance work @ home graphic designer and writer who lives in Selangor, Malaysia with her husband and 2 sons, Joshua and Jared. She is a firm advocate of the work@home environment and liberating mothers. Marsha Maung is the author or “Raising Little Magicians", “No Products to Sell" and other popular books. For more information, please visit


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