End of the Day
Whew. It might be obvious by the times of my posts that I get most of my writing done at the end of the day. I’ll tell you what, having any energy at the end of the day to do anything says something…right?
I remember when my son was still an infant. Night-times were often filled with feeding, bathing, diapering, clothing and putting to bed (hold on a minute, did that even change?). After the duties of preparing baby for the nights sleep I would sit on a chair in the room and hum – I made something up. A nice little melody that sounded sweet and wasn’t too complicated. It seemed to work well, so I stuck with it. By the time he fell asleep, I was lucky to not have fallen out for the night right in that chair. Bed time was a tiring process. Hell, parenting in general was a tiring process. And I thought it would get easier – that as he got older I would be less tired (insert laugh here).
Fast forward 4 years. With the exception of the diapers, the bed time routine is pretty much the same. Actually, I lie. It’s much different. There’s much more to it. He talks now. While I’m negotiation with him to get undressed, put his clothes in the closet hamper, take a bath (or not take a bath – don’t get me started. I could write a few paragraphs on that one), brush his teeth, wipe his mouth, stop pretending to be a baby bird on the floor, bargaining how many books I’m going to read… Yep, sure got easier, didn’t it?
Despite being completely exhausted from a full day of whatever, tonight I was reminded of why this is such a magical time. I have his attention. I have him when his energy is low – he’s not a squirmy wormy. I have him when he’s contemplating his day and resting with whatever other thoughts are flowing through his little mind. I have one of the most precious opportunities to talk to my son. And tonight I took it.
Mom’s away for the weekend and it’s just us. He misses her. As he began the conversation, he said to me “I bet mommy’s not sleeping yet.” “You’re probably right buddy. She’s probably reading.” “Yeah”, he said, “she loves to read.” I then asked him “Do you know what she loves more than reading?” His smile stretched across his face – “ME!”
I kissed him on the head and started to hum – you know, the melody I started when he was a baby. A few minutes in and he asked me “Do you miss your mommy”? For those of you reading this who don’t know, my mother passed away in August (2014). She had a chance to spend her final years with our son and experience that part of his life. For that I am grateful. Anyway, I said “I sure do.” He said he missed her too. He started talking about how she used to come and visit him on Saturday’s. How she would bring him snacks that we wouldn’t give him (that’s Grammy 101).
He asked if I missed talking to her and I reminded him that I still do. That I simply close my eyes, think of her and say hello and I love you. Then he went a bit deeper that I’ve experienced with him so far. He continued “A lot of people you love died.” “That’s true” I said. “You love me daddy. And I’m still here.” He gave me a smile, a kiss, and went to sleep.
Yeah, from a four year old.
This boy. This loving, sympathetic, curious boy reminded me of how precious conversations are. How taking only a few more moments of my long and tiring day could fill me with the love and energy to make all the other ‘stuff’ I was concerned with simply melt away.