Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Pocket of Serenity

Over the running water I hear the creak of little footsteps on the stairs.

I look to my right from where I stand doing the dishes and his sleepy-sweet six year old face peers back between wooden spindles.  "Mommy, lay with me?"

"Baby, I can't right now but I will.  Your brother's birthday cake in in the oven and will be ready in ten minutes.  I promise I'll come up then."  Promises are meant to be kept.  He knows that but he shakes his head.

"Can I help you?"  He wants to help me do the dishes.  My first thought was no.  I'll get them done a lot faster on my own.  But that voice in the back of my head pushed out another answer.

"You sure can." I place all the unbreakable dishes - God knows my eldest has his father's inherent lovable clumsiness - on a dish towel and hand him another.  "You can help me dry."

I washed and he dried - quite thoroughly, I was impressed - in complete silence except for one question, "Mommy do you know Jacob in grade 3?"  A daily question since I started working at the school which usually leads to no other conversation except that he is just curious.  Sometimes he'll tell me it's so and so's brother or sister but mostly he just wants to know if I know.

I don't know who Jacob is and so we continue our chore while music plays in the background and the delicious smell of baked cake fills the air.  

It was that pocket of a moment that you wish you could just sit in with your child forever.  Pure serene loveliness.  And then the dishes were done.  Five minutes remained on the oven timer for the cake.  The music played on.  He looked up at me, "Mommy, can you come lay with me now?"

"Sweetie there are still 5 minutes left for the cake."  I paused.  "Do you want to dance with me?"

He nods.  

In the soft light beckoning from the kitchen onto our dance floor, we danced in our pajamas, my six year old son and I.  He twirled and dipped me (ever so slightly) and I him.  We danced until the song was over and it was time for the cake to come out of the oven.

Up we went and I tucked him into his bed and laid down beside him, the sounds of his little brother's sound asleep breaths coming from the bunk above.  

Within minutes his breaths matched those of his brother's and I kissed him and my baby, who was going to have his fifth birthday party the next day, their last kiss until morning.  The insurmountable Mother-Love feeling overcame my heart as I gave one last glance back before leaving their room.

Until morning.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Finley is Five - A Birthday Letter

Dear Finley,

After I picked you up from school the other day, we walked over to get your brother and you put your arms up toward me like a toddler and said, "Pick me up Mummy."

"Oh honey.  You're way too big for that.  Do you want Mummy's arms to fall off?"

"Up Mummy." Your face was set on stubborn and I gave in.  Of course I did.  I haul up onto my hip all 40 plus pounds of you with a smattering of at least 20 kisses on your still cherbic cheeks because you still let me.  You smile and wrap your arms around me and I don't care if people think you're too big for this.  I indulge you and when it comes to affection there is never too much I can give to you and your brother.  

This banter happens several times a week.  I'll carry you for a bit and then it feels like my arms actually will fall off and down you go to run ahead home with your brother.  Or you'll hold my hand ask me questions like, "Did I have gym today or not Mummy?  Guess."  "Did I play with so and so today Mummy?  Guess."  "Did I play tag today Mummy?  Guess"  And I do.  When I get it right you ask, always, "How did you know?  Why do you know everything Mummy?"  

I revel in the fact that you think Mummy knows all but I'm sure to let you know, that sometimes, Mummy doesn't actually know everything.  

I don't think you really believe me.  I don't look forward to the day you do.

This year has been a bit of a revelation for me observing who you're turning into.  I am so fortunate that I get to spend time with you at school and see you interact with your friends and teachers.  You've turned into quite the confident little boy.  You've never been afraid to speak your mind or simply be who you are.  Funny, quiet, introspective, genuine.  You have a certain quality about you that one can't quite identify but can only say, "That Fin.  He is something."  You are quirk personified.  You are lovable.  Everyone enjoys being around you.   

And you love to hide on me. Ever since you were a baby...hiding is your favourite thing.  I can't tell you how many near heart attacks I've had and no matter how many times I've explained why you need to stay close to me when we're in public you just think it's funny to hear me yelling out your name, searching for you like a crazy lady.  

You love your Cheerios.  You've pretty much eaten them everyday since you were a baby.  You like to pour the milk.  God help the person who pours your milk, for though you are quiet, your temper is volcanic. Mostly towards your big brother.  No one can piss you off more than him.  I suppose that's to be expected though.  

You are incredibly thoughtful.  Anytime we are out somewhere just the two of us and I get you something special you always ensure your brother gets something too.  Remember when we were at the pharmacy and that nice lady gave you a lollipop?  You made sure to ask for one for Adrian.  It was a very proud Mom moment for me.  I could see the woman's heart melt right in front of me.  As did mine.

You have that ability with your angelic face and big blue eyes.  To charm people.  Lips like a perfect little rosebud and a voice that no one can get enough of.  You still have a little lisp that is unbearably  adorable.  Perhaps I should get you into speech therapy though.  It won't be as cute when you're 8. 

You love little critters.  It can be painful to get to school with you on the warmer days of spring and summer for every little potato bug, caterpillar and snail must be picked up, talked to, examined or moved to the grass so they don't get stepped on.  It's endearing and I hope that your love for the tiny creatures on Earth continues. Who knows...maybe you'll become an entomologist one day.  

Well my darling...I could go on and on and on about you but reality calls and I must get ready now.  I have to be at your class in less than an hour.  How lucky I am that I'm still able to see you throughout the day...though you don't run up to me anymore when I arrive, I'll take it as a good sign.  You know I'm there.  As I always will be.  

Like the moments when I carry you around and nuzzle you, your head on my shoulder and your legs over my arms and exclaim, "You're my baaaaby!"

"I'm not a baby!"

"No.  You're not a baby.  But you are my baby.  And you always will be."

No truer words have been spoken between Mother and Son, I think all Mother's can agree to that.

I love you big much baby boy.  Forever and eternity plus one million thousand hundred.  

Happy Birthday bug.



My sweet, sweet Finley is now officially five.