Thursday, March 8, 2007

Thrice Blessed

A two and a half year old comes pounding down the stairs after a shower calling, "Mommy! Mommy! I have a diaper on! And pajamas on! Mommy, where are yoooouuu?" And then, because this coming downstairs in his pajamas and finding me in the kitchen so closely mirrors today's early morning experience, he smirks and says, "I want my break-ist! What's for break-ist? Ceam cheese?"

We sit on the floor and play together, but all I want to do is hug him. This little guy stands up on a step stool, about to jump, but then pauses for a moment, distracted by his own freshly bathed sweetness. He plucks at his pajama shirt with dimpled hands, saying shyly to me, "I all nice now! I all shiny!" and then jumps down into my arms.


"I'll make another run when the boys are in bed tonight," emails Matt this afternoon. He does. After working all day, surviving a particularly mind-bending dinner period, commandeering the boys into the shower (the novelty does it), getting them in their jammies, trimming their fingernails, and then rolling his eyes at me over an episode of Caillou while we're all snuggled together on the couch, Matt puts them to bed. I don't know how he manages not to fall asleep in there, but he emerges, wide awake if not energetic, and without a word of complaint, goes to get the car and packs it to the gills with boxes and bins, just to get another load up to the new house before Saturday's move. Matt has moved countless boxes up there already (as has his father - thank you, Pops!) and he's made it look easy. For this move, our division of labor has been that I pack the stuff and Matt moves it. I am sure that I have the easy end of this deal. At Baxter's first birthday party, Matt presented me with an award for being the "Mommy who never complained". I truly believe that a good attitude makes a big difference in this life, but it can only be maintained if it is recognized, not taken for granted. And so I hereby return the favor, awarding him the "Husband who never complained" gold medal. And yes, Matt, I will fire up the Netflix DVD of Arrested Development for us (shall I call the watching of this show an evening ritual or an obsession?), and grab you a beer from the fridge, so that we can relax together as soon as you get home.


A gangly-limbed 6 year old sits in the back of my car (how did he get there, anyway?) with his tassel hat at a funny angle and big wet boots propped against the passenger seat in front of him, and starts a conversation cheerfully with the words, "You know, Mommy? Something really weird about me is..." and I hardly concentrate on the next words, so happy am I that he embraces his own weirdness, which is, in actuality, his own differentness, or self. A few minutes later he confesses that his memory isn't all that it used to be. "For instance," he begins (a phrase he's using frequently right now), "if you asked me if we had our vitamins this morning, I wouldn't be able to tell you if we did or not! That's strange." And so we talk about how, the more complex one's life is, the easier it is to forget things. How when you're small, your world tends to be relatively small, too, and you sure do remember everything (he did, anyway) but as you grow older and are exposed to more of the world, there is a lot to think about. Especially when your life is changing again as ours is right now. We talk about how Daddy and I are forgetting things more right now, too, and saying things wrong in silly ways because we're tired and distracted.

And it's true. There is change happening. Nearly every cabinet here on Fletcher St. is empty, most of the boys' books and toys are packed and sitting in boxes in the new house, and life as we know it is going to shift yet again. So I am forgetting little things. And losing my temper more easily. And having trouble dealing with the boys' extra meltdowns and hyperactivity. And this is why it's so important, in the midst of it all, for me to stop and remember the boy so pleased to be nice and shiny, the man who makes those arduous trips to the new house seem effortless, and the child who doesn't mind being weird. I am thrice blessed.


Mrs. Chicken said...

Shiny, indeed. I love this age, don't you? Yesterday The Poo dropped some snacks on the floor and as I picked them up she said, "You a good mudder!"

I almost died then and there, of love.

Moving sucks, eh? Hope you feel settled soon!

Christopher Tassava said...

I've been thinking about this post all the time since you wrote it: it's one of your best.