I find such solace in touch- whether it’s a gesture from a stranger, or a hug of a friend. Sometimes, the touches in life are what’s most surprising of all- the unexpected emotion from feeling warmth from another can be incredible.
I stayed home with my daughter today. I don’t know what posessed me. She had been under the weather lately, true- but I stayed mostly- because something in my dream last night told me- “time passes too quickly, slow it down.”
I remember the dream somewhat- C. and I were eating dinner at a fancy restaraunt, we didn’t realize that it was a special-occasion menu, amounting to hundreds of dollars when we expected to pay a significantly smaller amount- the waitress asked what the special occasion was and we shrugged, she looked surprise and left us to decide whether to stay or leave. This is where I remember waking up. Sometimes, I dream of people I miss- or the comfort I felt with them. Having so much comfort in my life lately- between Josh and friends, I wondered what the hell it all meant. (As I think dreams mean something.) I woke up and my daughter’s door was opening. “Hi Mommy!” And she went upstairs to Palma and Papa, and to have breakfast. I made her the usual breakfast, and watched her eat for a bit, before coming back downstairs to decide what to do. I decided in a split second- I’d stay home. I had half-assed-pirations, to clean the closets out, and go through her toys, but I ended up sitting on the couch with her after she picked out, “The Incredibles,” and she climbed into my lap.
I’ve failed her sometimes. I’ve thrown in movies in hopes of getting things done, and when she asked me for the simple act of sitting with her, I always stated, “Honey! I gotta get this done.” And I’ll face it- the downstairs still looks like a fisher-price tornado, the closets never get cleaned anyway- I usually end up doing something not productive at all, and I hate myself for just not sitting there. I always thought I’d be lazy- to sit while I could get something done- and although those somethings never were done, I could never bring myself to say yes. …until today.
She’s been climbing up into my lap lately- I figured it was a passing trend. When she was a baby, she omitted screams at the mere thought of you touching her or kissing her face. I learned to love her from a distance, and although it hurt me that the child was so independant, I figured it would make her stronger and better, and I was proud to have raised such a toddler. But sometimes in the ten seconds she gave me on my lap, I thought maybe- I had done wrong. Maybe I should have pushed more for her to hold me. (I was the mom who traded extra cookies for kisses,) I figured she’d do what she wanted anyway, and I was along for the ride.
I sat with her for almost three movies, (who watches three movies at 2.5?) She climbed in and out of my lap, and sometimes put her head down on my shoulder. She said, “Thank you Mommy!” everytime she rose up to go back to her toys and I sat dumbfounded on the couch. And in turn, I didn’t worry about the closets or the laundry, and I didn’t get crabbypants that my list of what was not getting done was ever-growing-longer, I simply just sat- and enjoyed.
I showered at 5pm, and she waltzed into the bathroom, (she owns the place,) and announced that my hair was wet, and she wanted a cookie. I hurried, and we went upstairs while I made her dinner.
There are moments of such maternal bliss that occur that sicken you. Even typing out the words- “Today was the best day, because we watched three movies, (THREE!) and we were babies and mommies again.” Suddenly you’re welled up in tears and your nose is sniffling and you feel like a complete, hormone-driven, Ava-obsessed, pile of motherly GOO. She never let me hold her- you see? So today, maybe made up for all the lost time of wanting to stare at that child and remind her for every second of every day- no one could ever cherish her more. This just might be a passing trend. Tomorrow she’ll go back to being the toddlermonster action figure, (complete with overfilled, diaper and the phrases, “NO, leavemeLONE!” and, “I do it!”) But today, she was mine- and I was hers.
It was a moment- like I always promised I’d give her. When you find out you’re going to be a parent, you debate the awesomeness of telling your shell-shocked kids that you are going to eat ice-cream for dinner, and you’ll go to the park nightly. Your intentions of awesomeness fall by the wayside during tantrums and realizing you’ve been yelling, “STOP YELLING,” for the past 30 seconds. Few things I kept: The importance of explanation, and the importance of telling her everyday how much I loved her- so by the time preeteendom came, she would be so ingrained of her worth and love, that she’d never question anyone’s middle school evil-dom. I kept the important things, but forgot about the ice-cream for dinner dreams, and staying in bed together watching movies.
For the first two years- for fear of her becoming too attached, I didn’t let her sleep with me. I worried I’d be -that- mom of a toddler that couldn’t mate with anyone because they’d be afraid of squashing, or waking my sleeping 8 year old. I had a friend that continues to sleep with her 3 year old boy- so you can imagine my fear that my actions would lead to that. I deprived, afraid to find a medium- and everytime my parents stated how independent she was- I glowed. Well… I should have cuddled that kid- many times until morning. I seriously worried I broke something unfixable between her and me. (This is what you do as a parent- you worry… a lot.) And maybe this was the day that showed me- I haven’t screwed her up enough for a child psychologist… yet- and that really enabled me to breathe easier, and accept that my mistakes of coddling too much, or not enough- didn’t cause her distrust or fear. And it didn’t sever a connection- which I imagined I did all the times I told her, ‘no’ or, ‘i’m busy!’ Because being a single mom is balls-hard, and I worried that my lack of yes’s – would, (will?) cause her to seek out attention in the male form. (Do you see the things that go through my mind?) And if you say yes? I’m imagining a whining, spoiled, snarky, bratress- capable of clearing out a room with a huff, and a flick of the hair.
I love you. Sometimes? I think the thought of today even might still bring me to tears. We were pajama buddies, and you told me stories of babies, and sleeping and your love of CEYOYOYOS! (Cereal.) We sat side, by side, and you sat with your head in the perfect spot for hours- off and on. You won’t remember because you are entirely, perfectly, small- but I will remember for eternity. This will maybe show you- that even when you had no idea what you were doing, I was still proud, and found you to be remarkable- something I knew- but which was only proved farther when you thanked me for holding you. I’m sorry I am busy sometimes- (I wish I could help it.) Maybe today, was there to show me that slowing down and enjoying you more- is what I need to do. (I’m always in a rush lately.) Those moments were perfection- and never have I had or enjoyed such an afternoon. Thank you for the best, Baby and Mommies- Day.
Oh it’s such a perfect day,
I’m glad I spent it with you.
Oh such a perfect day,
You just keep me hanging on… Lou Reed