Friday, April 22, 2011
My Wallaby (Hint: If You're Looking Up Information on Wallabies, You Aren't Finding It Here.).
My son toddles into my room every day around 5 a.m. The sun is glowing behind our curtains already at that time of morning, not yet at full capacity but apparently bright enough to open his eyes. It might happen at 4:35 or 5:45, but it's the same thing every morning. Padding of feet. Two blue eyes and a mop of cornsilk hair at my eye level. A chubby, warm hand on my arm or my cheek. A baby-sweet voice, which I dread someday turning into the deep rumble of a man's voice, pointing to the warm spot I'm currently occupying.
"Want dere," he commands.
And 'dere' he goes, as I help him climb into our bed and move a bit to create a warm pocket for him, nestled in the blankets and curled against my body. Once there, he has to be touching me at all time, sleepily grabbing onto my arm or slipping a hand under my face between my cheek and my pillow. Usually, he goes back to sleep and I can move a few centimeters away so that we're not crushed into each other on the edge of the bed. Sometimes, he only wants to play, prompting me into action with a, "Get up, Mommmmy!" or a, "Go downtairs? Downtairs, Mommmy!"
He wants to be carried downstairs. He wants to be held. "Hooo-yud me!" he begs, near tears when I dare attempt to walk somewhere without him planted on a hip. This morning, he begged to come with me to work as I walked out the door leaving him home with his Daddy and sister (both of whom are off today for Good Friday).
In his perfect world, Rohan would be doing this today. (Credit)
While I make up a salad for my lunch, brew coffee, and do other kitchen chores, he asks to sit on the counter. I'm not sure where this came from because Luca never cared to sit on the counters (unless her brother is up there, in which case she wants to be as well), but it's become a part of our morning routine. Heft him downstairs. Change his diaper. Carry him into the kitchen and sit him on the counter away from the coffee maker. I empty the old coffee grounds and rinse out the mesh and the coffee pot, and then as I approach the cabinet to pull out the coffee, I marvel at how in synch we can be with our little ones. The cabinet door is behind his head, and this being our old routine, I don't have to say a word anymore. As I step in close to open the door and get the coffee off its shelf, he leans into me, resting a warm cheek on my collarbone and faithfully entrusting me not to let him fall forward onto the floor. I kiss his head and close the cabinet, and without a word he sits back upright. A perfectly choreographed movement between a mama and her son, and one that makes my heart so happy.
There are definitely days when my humor with this whole neediness for mama wears my nerves. Times when I feel like every time I turn around there is one kid or the other (or both) underfoot. Times when I want to eat without little hands stealing food from my plate. Times when I want to bathe or put on make-up without 'helping' hands.
But then, I love this. This is what I've wanted to do for nearly my whole life, and I know I'm lucky to have the opportunity to be a mother to such amazing souls.
My little wallaby (or buddy, cuddle puppy, puppy, pup, yipper, cuddle monster, snugs) has made me realize something else, too: I'm kind of in love with being a mom to a boy. I was so nervous my whole pregnancy with him, worried he'd come out with boy parts and I wouldn't know how to love him the way I knew how to love Luca. It was all for nothing. My kids are so different, and rather than wishing one's sense of humor or temperment was more like the others, I have realized that it's their differences I love most of all. I love getting to know them as individuals and seeing them grow into the people they will be; the people they have always been. And I love the special and unique bond I have with each of them as an individual. How she gets excited about something and asks me to 'build a cuddle puddle under a blankie!!!!' with her. How he 'shoots fire' with his hand and then hug-tackles me, rubbing his nose against mine. Which is why I am still madly in love with this little boy, even when his constant need for closeness starts to feel a little like this: