Our family turned four this week with the celebration of Ben’s birthday! We always remind him that although he has to share his mothers, he will always be the one who made us a family. Our first everything. The guinea pig for two overenthusiastic, overly-read parents. He has two MOTHERS for heaven’s sake J
Normally A puts him to bed, but on Mondays I have the privilege of guiding him into la-la land (lying with him for the few minutes it takes him to fall asleep has changed our life for the better). Tonight he drifted off with his forehead pressed to mine, our breathing becoming in sync. I told him I loved him forever and he replied, “I love you forever Maman”. Melt my heart, that boy is a love machine sometimes. It’s extra dear to me now because he and I have been having some challenges connecting lately. He’s said some classic, mean, kid stuff to me, and though I’m accepting the kid/Neanderthal place he’s coming from sometimes, some of his words were starting to seep through the barrier. I want him to know that I not only love him, but like him too, that I look forward to seeing him. I’m not sure he knows that all the time, since his unique person-hood includes some strong feelings and actions that make me feel nuts and push my monster buttons. It should come naturally I suppose, for a kid to just know how you feel. A partner too, just read my mind! Instead it takes practice, hearing every time Ben calls my name, noticing and commenting on what fires him up with joy and concentration, my eyes lighting up when he comes home. I think it’s working too, since he really snuggled me tonight and every chamber of my heart is glowing.
Luckily his little bro and he are getting along better too. God they're cute. Daniel has finally succumbed to Ben's longstanding desire for a peer wrestling partner. Ben and I wrestle on the play room mattress most evenings, Ben being thrown around, pillows going "poosh" onto each other, laughter erupting. It's really precious to me (and I think him). But I know he's wanted Dee to play since he was born, really play with him. I caught them the other night on our (low) bed, jumping and pillow fighting and giggling so much. BOTH of them. No crying. Amazing. I really hope Dee realizes how great it can be to play along to his Ben’s games and imaginative ideas, and how lucky he is to have such a caring and thoughtful big bro.
Sustaining loving relationships IS a practice. Like yoga, or eating well. It may come in fits and starts, but pretty soon you get into the flow… Your body unfurls, your breathing deepens, your cells rest in full nourishment. Suddenly a big, little boy, soft in his “footie jammas” is holding onto you like you being there really matters. Happy birthday sweet thing.