As I tried to catch a few more precious minutes of sleep this morning, my bedroom door was opened and in ran my youngest blonde headed little boy. He didn’t say a word, simply sprinted to my bed side where he lay his little head so that I could reach over and rub and pat it.
He was wearing these very pajamas:I don’t know where they came from – probably some fully grown nephew used to wear them, and then, eight years ago, Abe wore them. They have little patches of velcro on the shoulders where a cape is meant to attach. They are horribly thin and worn and look, I think, rather goofy. Only, there is something about my kids wearing something a little uncool and worn-out that makes me love them a little extra. Maybe it is because they appear to need a little extra love when wearing things like old, capeless, Superman pajamas?
Mike tried to coax him away by suggesting to Jesse that he might want to run errands with him. Jesse lifted his little head to me and, with a sad little face, admitted that “yah” he did want to go with dad, but that what he most needed was a cup of milk. I told him that I thought dad would be happy to get him a little drink of milk first, and with that assurance, he left me. Only, not completely. He was back a minute later with said cup of milk – holding it out to me – clearly aware that it couldn’t come with him to run errands with dad.
“Just set it on my dresser, Honey,” I said.
His eyebrows knit and he looked like he might cry, “Please hold it,” he plead. Because, who knows, when leaving a house full of other siblings whether a cup of milk might remain completely safe if it is simply left sitting somewhere. So, Jesse left with Mike, and I fell back into a half sleep with a little sippy cup of milk held safe from tiny thieves in my hand.
Also, the other night Mike had been upstairs shortly after we’d put the kids to bed. When he came down, he said, “You might be interested to know that your son is having a discussion with the ‘fire smoke.’” Fire smokes are what Jesse calls smoke detectors. He is very interested in them. I asked Mike just what this conversation was all about. He told me I’d have to go up and find out for myself, but I decided maybe it was best just not to know.
It turns out his bedroom fire smoke isn’t his only friend (or enemy, perhaps?). The next day I was putting a few things away in the girls’ room when Jesse chanced upon a little plastic star. He took it into the closet where, after a few minutes, I heard him angrily cry, “NO!” He then shouted to me, from said closet, “Star’s being mean to me!”
“The star is being mean?” I questioned.
“Yah,” he said in a voice meant to illicit pity in any possible listener.
“Well, tell star to be nice,” I said.
And then, from the closet: “Star! Be nice!”
I guess things went well enough after that because I heard no further complaint.
It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, and there are really truly lots of things that make mothering little ones very frustrating and stressful, but there is something cool that doesn’t really make sense about it all. It is that when one of those little ones has a moment where he needs you to rub his little head or even maybe has a moment where he tells you that a small toy star is being mean to him, it somehow wipes all the bad moments right out of your mind. Strange how it doesn’t take much – a messy haired boy in old pajamas knowing you are the only one he can trust to keep his milk safe – to make being a mom seem like the greatest thing ever. And then, of course, he may be throwing and breaking the rotating plate in the microwave – shattering glass across the floor soon after that being-a-mother-is-the-greatest-thing-in-the-world moment; but that’s OK, because all those other moments just keep clearing the rough ones again and again.