Just another day with magic

Raising a two-year-old boy is magical and exhausting and he breaks my heart with his beauty about five hundred times a day. I don’t know what to do with these feelings. Sometimes I just grin and cry simultaneously and look at him and feel his essence. I just stand there and look and look, and feel and feel.

I am so exhausted. I am so happy.

This is not the newborn-phase kind of exhausted. This is the kind of exhausted that comes with raising up a very energetic and comedic little person whose personality is blossoming by the minute. Keeping up with his physical and emotional and psychological needs is a whirlwind of deep love, hilarity, profundity, frustration. The rapid swings from this to that are both exhilarating and annihilating. There really aren’t very many moments of the day that are just, you know, normal. Steady. Walking along, hanging. No, no. It’s all zig-zags, darts, jumps, leaps, spins, both in terms of what our bodies are doing and what our hearts are doing.

Oh, my dear, sweet baby boy! You are so magical! You are both the wildest creature and the most celestial being I have ever known!

Today, he counted to eight—eight little torn pieces of tandoori chicken around the rim of his plate at the Indian buffet. “Rice puddin and chicken, Mama? And melon?” This is what he says instead of “hello” these days when I pick him up from preschool, in order to get me to go the Indian buffet. He loves it there (and if we don’t go, he is very upset most of the way home). He wants to drink chai with me, like at a tea party, and we always “cheers” our mugs. He likes to point out the Indian deity on the wall who to him looks just like Santa Clause. “Hi, Santa!” He giggles with delight at passersby—I seem to always leave that place with phone numbers in my pocket, and I know it’s not me who draws those new friends to us.

After lunch (a fellow patron running after us with S’s lost boot) he let me know that we would not be getting back in the car. “NO CAR!” This said with the saddest face you have ever seen in your life, eyebrows peaked, lips jutting out. The dramatic expressions of S. I’ll be surprised if he is not one day attracted to the theater.

“We walk city, Mama? We see cars? We airplane, Mama?” This said with head cocked and his most charming, hey-look-at-how-adorable-I-am flirty smile.

Doing airplane means finding the chained-off parking lot where, one day, he and I stuck our arms out and acted like airplanes. He has never forgotten. It was, unbeknownst to me, a really important event in his life. And so of course I put more money in the meter and we go find that lot and “vooorrrrrooommmm” all over it. And then there are rocks to be looked at and played with. Because I am the kind of mom who will jump in mud puddles with him, I am also the kind of mom who plops down in a rocky lot with him and comes up with a story about rocks with him. There is Roundy Rock, and his friend, Square, and Square goes and gets some grass for Roundy to eat. Mmmmm, yummy. “That’s tasty!” S exclaims. Then Square balances on Roundy, and all the little pebbles cheer. “You did it!”

He then talked me into walking up a very steep hill with him because, hey, look, how neat is that hill! “Let’s do it!” he said. On the way there, he saw some dogs in a window, and he giggled with such delight I could have died. “Hi, Oowa!” he said softly and sweetly (oowa = dog), peering in, grinning in this way that is so hard to describe—the purity of it, the abandon into delight, it is something adults crave and can almost never find. “Hi there!” His voice, so soft, so kind. “Nice to meet you, Oowa! Oh, and ‘nother one oowa. Hi!”

We get to the hill and halfway up, he decided that it was time to do some yoga, so he did upward-facing dog on the sidewalk and looked up at me. “I stretchin, Mama! I stretchin!” Then he did downward dog and frog pose—and seemed to forget that we were in the middle of this adventure, climbing this dang hill. “Come on!” I encouraged him, but no, he decided in that moment that it was time for mom to carry him. “Picka-you-up, Mama,” he said, reaching. I stood my ground and said he must use his big strong legs—I am trying more and more not to give in to these requests, in no small part because my freaking knees  are now starting to give me problems (a 43-year-old mother of a two-year-old boy kind of problem). But at a certain point, there he was, side-saddle on my hip, and we were heading back to the car.

I kept checking the rearview mirror to see if he would nod off, but no, life was too exciting today. There were diggers and wee-oo-wee-oos (police cars) and all manner of trees, birds, and hills to comment on. Piles of sand. Piles of salt. An empty potato chip bag loose on the wind. “What’s that, Mama? What’s that? Look! Look!” The world is a treasure chest and I get to see every bit of the treasure, once again, just like when I was little. That is one of the most delicious gifts of motherhood.

A gift I mourned so deeply when I was having miscarriages and did not know if I would ever become a mom.

Having gone through that—for me, it does deepen the appreciation of what is happening now.

We stopped and got ice cream and then went to the park, where he greeted the ducks in the pond just like he had greeted the dogs in the window, and I stealthily teared up again. “Hi, Mama Duck! Hi, Dada Duck! So nice to see you. Bye-bye. See you soon!”

We climbed to the top of the big-kids jungle-gym, where there is a steering wheel that looks out over the entire park. S could see down, where all of the kids were climbing, sliding, swinging. “Hey kid!” he kept saying. “I drivin! Hey kid, hey kid, I drivin!” I was laughing so hard.

Fast forward to dinner, where our little lovebug sat eating edamame and, for reasons that were unclear to us, suddenly squeezed his little hands together, threw back his head, and said, “I so happy! Soooooo happeeeeee!” What struck him in that moment? Was it the way DH and I were chuckling and talking? Was it just the three of us eating dinner together? The sunny, fun-filled day?

DH took him on a hike after dinner in the woods and, DH reported to me later, he announced on the trail: “I want Mama. I love Mama.” He wasn’t distressed, DH said. He was very happy when he said it, as if he were just looking forward to coming home to see me.

He says “I love you” now quite a bit. And “I miss Dada.” And he asks to hug. He gives us back rubs. He says: Please, “Scoozie!” (excuse me) and, my favorite,”oh-thank-you!” or “geek-ooo!”—which is always said with a little note of surprise.

Once he was at home, we went through our favorite ritual: naked mouse. Somewhere along the line, S thought that “Mickey Mouse” was “Naked Mouse,” and he started calling himself “naked mouse” whenever he left the bathtub, naked. He loves to run around the house and come find me, going, “Naked Mouse!!!!” and when I see him, I call out, “Naked Mouse!!!!” and I swoop his little naked body, still a little damp from the bath, into my arms. He squeals, I squeal, and it is a total love fest, hugs, kisses, giggles. Then, of course, he runs and runs and runs and runs around the house, begging us to chase him. “I get you, Mamaaaa!” he says, and we take turns “getting” each other.

It’s hard to explain what it is like. The accumulation of these moments. The end of the day, DH and I are totally spent, our bodies aching, our brains crazy-tired, and our hearts filled to bursting. We try to explain the way we are feeling. We try to grasp what kind and loving person he is. We talk about all of the little things that happened. DH might go into detail about how hilarious it was when they made Emmet (the stomach-alien from Aliens, whom S named Emmet), Piggie, and Kitty Meow-Meow fall off the couch, and he knows that only I will truly understand the hilarity, and only I will be able to understand the magic of the belly laughter. We talk about what it was like to look at the moon with S. I tell DH that when I sing that song I wrote for S, the one about him being from the stars, he interrupts me with “stars and moon, Mama,” and I can’t quite get over that he is adding to, riffing off of, a song I wrote for him when he was born. And DH—he gets it. He gets how unfathomable that really is.

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. This is the way I feel and think about BG and our family! But I can never express it the way you can! Love love love <3

    Reply
  2. Polly

     /  March 30, 2017

    I love when you write as you put into words the thoughts I have but can’t seem to articulate! My 20-month old recently started self-identifying when she’s excited – “Hazel! Excited!” she says as she frantically shakes her hands back and forth. Every time she says it I could cry, both because I’m so proud that she can identify and articulate her emotions at such a young age and because I’m thrilled that her first articulation was “excited” (as opposed to something like sad or mad) and it makes me feel like her life must be pretty good. :-)

    Reply
  3. I loved this! So true, every word of it. You know, this morning Noah woke up, hugged me (which sorta caught be my surprise because he HATES being woken up!) and he points to his heart center, looks at me and says, “My kindness woke up Mama. Your kindness too?!” at 2.2, this is just not what expected to hear. But let me tell ya, woke my kindness right up, and set up a day similar to what you described above. So touching, so beautiful, but so basic right? Kids huh? They sorta change everything…

    Reply

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: