There was a day, right before Easter, where your brother and father wandered off to a local church to participate on an egg hunt, and you and I spread out on our front porch swing. It was a GORGEOUS day, one that you always dream about, and you were cooing to the trees, and I explained, “Those are trees. They give us air.”
I realized then that there is so much road ahead of us. I want to show you this world and explain to you what this world is about and keep you from it all at the same time. I want to show you sunbeams and not let them burn you; I want you to hear the birds while learning that holding them can kill them; I want you to realize that rainbows are only born out of storms. I want to make it very, plainly, painfully clear that days like that one day.. perfect as they may seem.. are only the product of a passing storm system that’s been weathered.
The roaring. OHMYGOD, the roaring. We don’t know what spawned it, or where you picked it up, but one day you started roaring. Most of the time, it’s quiet, like a baby lion figuring out his call, but sometimes, when you’re in the throes of a tantrum, you will suddenly morph into a roar, resulting in a Grover-esque noise that makes it easy to laugh at you. While you’re sobbing. I’m sure this does little to nothing for your esteem.
AND YET I LAUGH.
Bear with me, folks. It’s about halfway through that he growls. BUT IT’S WORTH THE WAIT.
This month, you began teething. We decided to force ourselves to keep you through this horrible stage. You lucky bastard, you. It’s a constant reminder how easy we have it, that THIS is your worst (and even that only lasts an evening at a stretch), but that 180 turn in your temperment is enough to make me want to swallow a bag of Pop Rocks and chase it with a Diet Pepsi. No teeth have actually surfaced yet though, so we may rescind our offer of hospitality if things don’t progress quickly. I need not mention the constant river of drool escaping your mouth; the wet spots on my shoulder on any given morning is testament enough.
Newly added: you WEREN’T teething. You had an ear infection. Which your mother knew right off, and the pediatrician dismissed because of your youth. But now you are medicated, which means my heart can stop breaking every hour of every day because you’re so miserable and yet you try and be a trooper and play through your pain and it’s enough to strangle my heart at every turn. This month, your mother realized her job is to be your biggest advocate. And she won’t soon forget.
This month, you found your motor skills. You went from being a limp noodle who constantly excretes some bodily fluid to being this little person. You held your head up as we held you, arching your back to watch the world as we passed. You rolled over because, dammit, you were freakin’ DONE with being on your stomach and how cruel are we to put you there, anyway? You started to find things funny, really and truly funny and would let us know through subtle cues that we were to repeat this funny thing AD NAUSEUM. And you found TV.
They may point at us over in the DHR building and say that we are horrible, neglectful parents, but Binja, I will forever treasure that your FAVORITE tv show — the one that will make you stop whatever you were doing and become immediately entranced — is Flavor of Love III. It just solidifies that you are, indeed, my child.
My child, let me just take this moment to thank you. This weekend, you were “healthy” again; at the very least, you were your happy, bouncy self again. And as we cuddled in your bed and you giggled while we rubbed noses, I realized how much I’ve come to love being your mother. Even when things are rough.. even when you wake up every hour, screaming, and none of us get any sleep, and you’re difficult, and I’m impatient, even then.. there is not a moment that I wish I could go back. You have brought such amazing things to my life, and I thank God daily for bringing you to us. You gave me the opportunity to grow, to nurture, to love in a capacity I thought was reserved for Lifetime movies and fairy tale books, and for that, I thank you.
Please don’t make me retract that.