Lately, almost every night after the boys have gone to bed, I am hit with a wave of melancholy…huh. That sounds like a disease.
Anyway, I just get a little nostalgic – perhaps that’s a better word. There is no more baby left in either of my children, and a part of me is a little sad.
The other day Arthur accidentally bumped into another boy on the playground, and after we made amends the mother picked up her son and said, “Oh, did that big boy bump into you?” Turns out Arthur was a good 6 months younger than the other little boy. But that’s just what it is. He secretly thinks he’s 5, and he acts accordingly.
Over the last couple of months or so he has exploded with language. He still has not yet had a speech therapy lesson, and now I am not even sure he needs them anymore. He just copies everything and expresses opinions left and right. All of a sudden I have a dinner table where four people try to speak at once. It’s all I ever wanted in life.
So now I have a two year old who pushes my hand away when I try to protect him and who tells me what he wants and “now, mama.”
Still I get the hugs. I get the hugs all day long. Right now, they are sweaty summertime hugs that sometimes taste of ice cream and lemonade. On the good days. Arthur is the most loving and intuitive child. Just like his brother. I am so lucky.
Julian is pretty much 25. He holds doors, helps me navigate the subway system, makes sandwiches, carries home groceries, chews gum, and has meaningful, insightful conversations. He makes up jokes, puts on performances, and gets lost in wonderful play. He is kind and loving and so so smart. Over the last month or so he’s really overcome many of the emotional outbursts that we’ve had to deal with. When I ask him to clean up or get dressed or brush his teeth, he usually says, “Okay, mama.” It makes 99% of my day with him so much more pleasant.
I didn’t know how the summer would go. Last summer I remember I was a little nervous to have Julian home all day every day, along with my then 14 month old Arthur. This year I was pretty much just excited. And the summer has not let us down. We’ve been having so much fun – and secretly I am dreading the beginning of school in September. Julian will go three days, and Arthur two. I know they will be so happy and love every minute of it. And it is so good for them, and we will find a new groove.
But man do I love packing up the bike in the morning and heading to the pool. Or going for walks without knowing where we end up. Or not saying no to ice cream, usually. I love their blond, messy hair and sticky hands and dirty shirts and skinned knees. This summer is my favorite summer yet.
Sometimes I totally want to pinch myself because I feel so lucky, but then a trip to the grocery store with two tired, hungry children grounds me right away.
I wouldn’t change any of it, and I hope I remember these days when I’m 80. I hope I can still hear my boys’ chatter and songs in my ear, feel their kisses on my cheek, their hands resting in mine. I hope I can taste the pretend ice cream they sell me all day, hear them argue over which toy train will leave the station first, and chase each other up and down our apartment with space ships in their hands.
I want to bottle all these moments up just in case I need them later. I hope these words will help me remember.