A couple of nights ago, the two year old, G$, was a pistol. He’s always a pistol, but that night he was more so than even he normally is.
He’s generally pretty good about getting to sleep nowadays, but for whatever reason he wailed and wailed for his mommy. He’s the youngest, so his status as a momma’s boy is totally not his fault and I don’t begrudge him for wanting her more than me nearly all the time when he wants consoling. Mom’s are where it’s at when it comes to TLC.
Wife went in to settle him down several times, but every time she left, his screaming continued. Exasperated, I’m sure, she tagged me in to try.
When I went in, he was sitting up and, of course, his first words upon seeing daddy were, “I want…I want mommy…” Whatever, little dude, it’s my turn.
I’d made up my mind before going into his room that I wasn’t going to butt heads with him. It was after 10 and he needed to get to sleep, so yelling at him for being a little butthole wasn’t going to help. It’d just rile him up even more.
We chatted a bit and at some point he said, “hold you?” That’s G$ speak for hold me. My first thought was that it wasn’t going to happen, sorry son.
We’ve never been ones to let the kids out of their beds. We’ve never had a crib or bassinet in our room and I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had a kid in our bed asleep with the both of us. We are loathe to let the kids get their way when they’re being little jerkoffs.
For whatever reason though, I took him up on his sloppy seconds offer and took him and his favorite brown blanket out of the crib and over to the rocker.
I sat down and he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck and rested his head on my shoulder. He was tired. He turned his head a couple of times and was snoozing within five minutes. I’ve always marveled at how quickly a child can fall asleep.
I could have gotten away with putting him back in bed right then and there, but G$ and I seldom have these sort of alone moments so I stole some cuddle time. I sat in his dimly lit room and enjoyed the feel of his little heart beating against my own chest. I hugged him tightly and rubbed my hand on his little back. I could feel his spine where it arched just a bit as I rubbed. Up to his shoulder blades and back down to his diaper. I smelled his head and I’d swear that there was still the faint odor of new baby smell in there somewhere. It’s faint and will no doubt he gone soon, but it was in there along with the scented shampoo and lotion odors all competing for space in my nose.
We rocked and I thought it funny that G$ would never remember this time we’re enjoying together, that I’m enjoying at least. He’ll wake up and be the beast that he was born to be, and I’ll be happy, as I am right this second, with the memory of our time together.
I thought about what a challenge it’s been to get him to this point in his life.
He’s been loud.
He’s been stubborn.
He’s been rude.
He’s been G$, and I love him today, more than ever.
I thought about my whole family in the dark that night. I thought to myself that I really miss when the kids were tiny and they would sleep on my chest as I laid on the couch Those moments are so few and far between now.
Would I go back to that point though?
I love each of my family peeps as the them they are today even more than the them they were before. Does that make sense?
Oh silly wife, remember when I carried that picture of you from when you were 19 or 20 in my wallet? You were so young and beautiful.
I had that picture for years and years, but it was lost in the great wallet caper of 2013.
Truth be told, you’re more beautiful to me now than you were even then.
You sometimes act skeptical when I tell you how sexy or beautiful you are, but I mean it every time. I sneak peeks of you when you’re bathing the boys or reading them stories. They love you so much, and so do I.
You gave me three great kids and have done most of the heavy lifting to make them the awesome little people they are today. That’s sexy to me.
You understand my temperament and get my humor. You call me out when I’ve gone too far and build me up when I’m feeling down. You were a patient single mom when I was in law school and even today still, when I work extra shifts to pay the bills. Young Wife may not have been as understanding.
Your encouragement, support, love, hugs, kisses and friendship mean more to me than the couple of pounds you always worry about or the way your hair looks or your jeans fit.
The wife, friend and mother you are mean more to me than how you look, but having said that though, you’re still really smokin’ hot, so I feel as though I got it all with you.
What happened to my little girl?
In the blink of an eye you’ve managed to grow from this:
You don’t remember the Mondays we spent together when I was off work going to Lion’s Choice for lunch, and then to Best Buy, sometimes to look and sometimes to buy.
We rarely ever missed a Monday lunch date, and those times with you are some that I’ll always cherish. You are my first born, my special little girl.
When I came home last night, you were telling me about the classes you hoped to take in middle school next year. You were so happy and talking on and on, but all I could think about was how beautiful you were. I made this? Wow! Then I thought, wait, what?? Middle school?? How did that happen so fast??
You are perfect just the way you are, Ace. You and I can talk and play games together. We talk about our days and what you’ve been doing. I love that you have friends that you hug and laugh with and spend the nights with.
You’re ten now. You’re at a great age. You help around the house and with your brothers, but you’re still a child, and that side of you comes out from time to time to remind your mom and I to step off and cut you some slack sometimes.
I miss baby Ace occassionaly, sure, but I love the little girl you are right now and can’t wait to see who you grow up to be.
My little buddy. My main man! My first born son.
You are the clown prince of the family. What comes out of your mouth from day to day never ceases to amaze or amuse us. From coming home from preschool speaking entire Spanish sentences to telling our never before dinner seen waitress that you love her, it’s always something.
You’re a little guy right now, and people are drawn to you because you’re cute and funny and smart…you know, you’re a little me, right? Even down to your choice of beer.
You’re going to grow into a big guy soon enough. You’re four and will be five really soon.
I miss my tiny little guy, but love the you that you are today because you and I can talk to each other and play video games together. I can read you stories and you can ask me questions about them. You still think I’m really smart and cool and funny, so you earn points for that.
You’ve grown into quite the little man. I love to sit and watch you when you’re concentrating on doing whatever it is you’re doing, whether it be coloring or playing trains with your brother, or doing your favorite thing, playing video games. Look how into it you are.
You’ll be in kindergarten in the fall, and before I know it, you’ll be talking to me all excitedly about classes you want to take in middle school. I’ll be nodding my head in agreement, but I’ll be thinking wait, what?? Middle school?? How did that happen so fast?? Just like last night with Ace.
My youngest child. My big boy. You did this to me, pal. You got me all thinking about who you all used to be and how, even though I miss the little you and the little Ace and the little Cool, I really do love all of the today yous, mommy too, more than I do the old yous.
It makes sense. I’ve known the today you longer than the other yous.
While I did love you as this little guy who would sleep during the day and stay up ALL.NIGHT.LONG.
I love the today you even more. I really do.
You’re loud and strong and proud. You’re quite different from your brother and sister. Not better or worse, just different. At the end of the day, you’re our sweet boy.
You talk now. You’re talking really well, in fact.
Of course, with the talking comes a lot of yelling, but that’s ok. That’s just how you roll. We get that.
We hang out now and do things you like to do. When you were “little” you had to do what I liked to do and I would just hope you’d enjoy it. Now you can tell me where you want to go or what you want to do.
We’re closer now that we can reach an understanding, right?
I do enjoy looking at pictures from the past, but there isn’t ever a time when I want to go back and change anything. That sounds risky.
I love all my yous, just the way they are today, and I wouldn’t want anything to change on my account.
Instead, I’m doing my best to enjoy all of my today yous and looking ahead to what you’ll be like tomorrow.