In These Last Days
On Friday night I completely melted. I gave way to the instability of hormones, life changes and motherhood sensitivity. And it all started because The Chief was eating a bean and cheese burrito.
"What are we doing?" I asked Chup directly though I was staring at my son.
"We are feeding our child dinner." He responded without effort.
"No. No. I mean, what are we doing to our son's life?" I repeated, this time with feeling. Verge of tears feeling. Lump in throat feeling. Desperate to be understood feeling.
"We are . . . raising him?" Chup was now guessing.
"No. I mean, we are totally messing up his perfect life. One of these days he is going to wake up and there will be a new baby. There is no way to warn him, no way to help him understand what is going to be here soon. One day he will be the only child, the next he won't. Isn't that disturbing?"
"It is going to be the best thing that ever happened to him. A sibling will bless his life in ways we can't imagine." Chup said in his low, low voice.
But I started to cry anyway. Somehow my brain or heart or whatever organ couldn't compute how it would all work out. How could I love two little babies at once? How would he know I still loved him when my affection was going to be split? How could I say goodbye to a time in my life shared only with my son and no one else? Those busy mornings and slow afternoons just the two of us with cheese and juice and Booty--gone forever?
It felt like prepartum depression.
I cried until I went to bed.
The next day was Saturday. After naps we put The Chief in the car barefoot and drove to the mall. We let him pick out new shoes for his expanding feet. He chose Converse, blue with velcro straps. We put them on and he ran around the store excitedly, hiding in the dressing rooms and pointing at the exotic fish tank. The saleswoman gave him a blue balloon which I could see darting in and out of clothes racks as I paid up front.
We let him ride the escalator as many times as he wanted.
Later in the day we went to the park where he tested out his new footwear. Ran up the hill and across through the trees. Pretended he was a car zooming in and out of traffic with a guttural broom broom sound everywhere he went. Played in the rocks and around the large pavilion. Then, when he could no longer see his long shadow we decided to make our way back.
"Coold." His little voice said to me from the stroller.
So I wrapped him in my cardigan and he broom-broomed the rest of the way home.
And I know he will never remember a second of that day, but I will.
It was all for me anyway.
*photo of The Chief and me last May taken by Jed Wells