Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Missing Him

"Let's give hugs together," he tells me after first telling me to go away. He changed his mind when reminded that his friends would be over soon.

Let's give hugs together.

I've missed sentences like that from my son since my daughter arrived two months ago.  Sibling rivalry? Maybe. But since she arrived two days after he hit the big 3, it's too close to call. Either way,  Hurricane Threenager arrived.

While looking for pictures of my son to compare to pictures of my daughter (because say what you will, it's fascinating to see how alike and different they are, given that they came into this world the same way), I ran across some videos from his infancy and early toddlerhood. There he was, just singing, and yammering, and smashing his toy lawn mower into the wall. Oh. Wait. I had somehow forgotten that this whole "I'm a human tank" thing didn't magically appear at age three.  Oh, motherhood, AKA The Great Forgetting.

Even if those tendencies and behaviors have long been part of my son's repertoire, they have seriously ramped up since his sister's arrival.  And in the midst of all of the new discipline routines - choices, trying any consequences that will work, lots of time spent in time out - I had forgotten what it felt like to just love him.

A few weeks into this whole two kid adventure, we went to a pool party. and something inside me shifted. 

My husband chatted with the dads, held baby girl on his arm as she drooled and slept (oh, the simple needs of the human infant), and I went in the pool with my boy. We weren't even in sight of my husband and daughter. We existed in our own little world.

He chased after little toy torpedoes someone had left in the kiddy pool. He splashed with his friends.  He smiled. He laughed. He didn't get in trouble.

We went in the big pool, and he rested on my hip until he got up the gumption to "swim" with me as I held his hands. 

We laughed. We smiled.

I realized how much I'd missed this, missed him.

For the last three summers, it had been about the two of us. We went on picnics. We went to parks. We went on long walks with the dog (Oh, Lord, how I've neglected the poor dog since the baby arrived...).

Now, those summer days weren't perfect. He still fought naps and refused to eat - I mean, he wasn't an entirely different child - but it was about us.

I decided to make it about him again. To re-center my universe. Sure, the baby needs me, but her needs can be attended to just about anywhere.

We go to the park. We go on picnics. We go to the pool.  We go on walks, and I answer his endless stream of questions about cars and trucks and deer and bobcats and....we laugh. We smile.

And, you know what, he gets in trouble a whole lot less.

Who knows what will happen when I'm back at work, when he's back at school full time, but right now, I'm grateful that I don't have to miss my son anymore.

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