Events conspired. They seem to like nothing more than to conspire lately, and they did so again here. We are all alone, my Little Monster and I – at least until Sunday.
We both woke up from our afternoon naps a little groggy and clingy. The day is rainy and grey, just starting to go cool. He was tucked up on the couch with his ‘juice’ (90% water, 10% juice) and my blanket snuggled around him. All I wanted was to sit there with him so I said, “Do you want to watch fishy?” We held hands and watched Finding Nemo as the monologue started in my head.
Do you remember how I just wanted everyone to leave us alone when you were born? I just wanted to hide? I’m so sorry about that, mister. I’m sorry about the times I yelled at you when you were just a little baby. I’m sorry that I cried every time we tried breastfeeding. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t find the joy in you then.
It went on and on, the list of my transgressions. The small things and the big things, the secret shame of the fuzzy memories. I don’t know what his first word was or when he crawled or took his first steps. I was there… but not. I was trying so hard to be there, to get to where we are now.
Now. Now I was sitting on the couch holding my little man’s hand while Marlin tried desperately to find his son. Now I was memorizing the softness and strength of those chubby little fingers around mine and the way that our hands wove together.
This would be the last time. When the next business trip rolls around there won’t be a duo left at home, but a trio. I’m going to miss this. I’m going to miss it just being the two of us, me and my tiny person who made me a mama and gave me the will to fight for that title. He is my whole heart. It will expand with Little Miss Peanut’s arrival. It will grow and change in miraculous ways, as our family will. But it will never be the same.
So I held on. I refilled his juice and my water and we sat and watched. When the movie was over I followed his lead. He drove his truck around and around me making race car noises while I narrated a contest only we could see. We did most of his train puzzle and crashed cars into the cabinets in the kitchen. He only had a banana for dinner and I didn’t stress about it.
At bath time it all came out – the monologue that had been building. I needed him to hear me. I needed to say it out loud and look into his eyes as I apologized. He asked me to reach his bucket and all I could do was laugh. Deep conversations with a two year old, you try it some time.
Still, there is a part of me that knows that he understands. He knows that I’m sorry. He knows how I love him. He knows that change is coming.
We sat and rocked while he had his milk and I just let myself stare at this perfect person that I made. I simultaneously wished that Dork Dad could be with us in that moment and was so selfishly glad to have it all to myself. Pajama clad and smelling yummy he climbed into bed and proceeded to ask for no less than seven different books. I read them all. I did voices and we meandered back and forth on pages naming colors and shapes and his favorite things: the moon, puppies, choo-choos.
Then I came out here to write this down in the silence that comes when a toddler sleeps. Little Miss Peanut has been kicking up a storm while I have. She took a break today and let me just be fully with her brother, but she’s back now and demanding attention (and possibly ice cream).
I wanted to write it down just in case. If I lose myself again, if I don’t and everything is wonderful, if life just rolls on and becomes routine once more – whatever happens I don’t want to forget this day. Tomorrow may be filled with tantrums and fatigue, after all we are talking about a toddler and a very pregnant mama. Today was soft and cool and comforting. In my darkest hours I could never imagine I would have a day like today with my son. I am so grateful to have been so grace-filled.