Monday, September 14, 2015

Surviving two (and semi-enjoying it)

The other night I was lying in bed when I suddenly felt crushed by this thought.

This may well be my last year home with a child.

Benjamin will go to school next year and, regardless of what I do, I won't have a kid there, doing everyday life with me.  For the first time in eight years I won't have a small human being in my home, all day, every day.

I can't even imagine driving away from school all by myself.  I can't imagine folding laundry without a toddler wrapped around my leg.  Writing without Curious George in the background.  To be honest, when I try to imagine a quiet house, seven hours a day, it terrifies me.

And so I'm trying to channel that terror into my current life.  The one that's loud and noisy.  The one that is controlled by the many and varying moods of one tiny dictator-like person.

And I'm trying to remember that next year, when I walk away from school with nothing but my car keys in hand, I will miss these things that currently drive me crazy.

Like when Benjamin begs for a juice box from the school cafe, only to scream and sob for fifteen minutes, or what feels like a lifetime, when I finally cave and buy it.  And when I realize three juice boxes later that he didn't want to actually drink the juice box, he just wanted to hold it, I think... I am going to miss these days.

Or when he shrieks as I go to put him in the car every morning, and I am forced to use my full body weight to maneuver his freakishly stiff body to a place where I can finally fasten him down.  And when he stops yelling long enough to pull into our parking spot, only to start up again when I try to take him out of the car.  And when the same scene repeats, in and out of the car, ALL DAY LONG, I think... I am going to miss these days.

Or when he randomly decides to run right out onto the road, and I suffer a thousand heart attacks in the span of half a second, I think... I am going to miss these days.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I won't miss those moments one bit.

I tried really hard that day after my midnight panic attack to enjoy every second with him.  I didn't manage every second.  I just couldn't.  But I did get a few.

I soaked up his giggles and the sunlight on his little blonde head as he swung at the park.  I tuned into his endless car-ride chatter, and marveled at my baby turning boy.  I snuggled him on the couch, without trying to sneak away.  I was with him, completely with him, for a few beautiful moments that day.

After three kids I know this toddler phase will pass before I know it.  Some days it feels like it will go on forever.  And others I absolutely dread its sudden ending.  But no matter what my mood, or, more accurately, his mood, one day I'll look up and there will be a little boy standing in front of me.  One who can be reasoned with and, at least partially, trusted.  But one who will need me less every day.

For now, though, his face lights up when I'm around.  And sometimes he throws his arms around my neck with such force it knocks me over.  And I realize I may never feel the power of a child's love more than I do this very day.

So I'll try my best to survive the tantrums and find one or two moments to really be with him.  Because here's the thing.  Even when we've had an awful day, when his emotions have run wild, and mine were close behind.  Even when I find him endlessly frustrating and he knows it.  All I have to do is drop to my knees and open my arms and he will run into them without hesitation.  Without any hesitation.

And some days, even the most frustrating, that one moment is the only one I really remember.

1 comment:

  1. Hang on,the next part of your amazing life is about to begin. Enjoy it.