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Archive for September, 2013

The Last Afternoon of Summer

It’s the last afternoon of summer. I dangle my toes in the water and watch as the boys splash and tease each other, blissfully unaware of the heaviness in their mama’s heart. They disappear under the surface and their giddy shouts of glee are interrupted by a silence, a stillness, a stifling sense of loneliness. School starts tomorrow and I feel like I am losing them a little more. Addison starts second grade, Hayden will be in kindergarten, and for the first time in over eight years I will be on my own.

A tear slides down my cheek just as they both burst through the glassy water. I hurriedly brush it away, pretending a bee is buzzing around me and Addison looks at me sideways. His intuition, his empathy, his astute sense of others make him always so keenly aware, and I know that he knows I am sad. “Jump in, Mama, it feels like a smile in here.” And I can’t help but laugh at his analogy, and I do jump in, and he’s right. It does feel like a smile. And as we swim and splash and play, I wonder at the wisdom, at the insight, at the heart of this little boy, and my own heart swells with a bittersweet pride.

My little boy isn’t really a little boy at all anymore…

I tuck Hayden into his bed, whisper our nightly ritual, “I love you to infinity plus some and a whole lot more, to the moon and all the stars in the sky. Sweet dreams, my sweet, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. Call me if you need me. I’ll see you in the morning. I love you,” and he sleepily whispers back, “I love you too, mama. You’re my bestest friend.” My heart hurts, and I reach down and pull him out of his cocoon of covers, his truck blankie, soft blankie and monkeys, to pick him up again. I try to hold him in my arms like I did when he was a baby, but I can’t, and he spills out everywhere. He pulls himself away and looks at me like I might be just a little bit crazy. And I think that he might be right. Maybe I am. Just a little bit crazy. And I tuck him in again. He makes a funny face and says, “don’t let the uggie buggies bite you mommy,” and he laughs and touches his fingers to his lips and blows me a kiss, and turns away to snuggle into sleep and dreams of minecraft and legos. And I run my hand through his hair and remember the sweet smell of him as a baby and how he would roll his little fists into my own hair and fall asleep as I rocked him.

My baby isn’t really a baby at all anymore….

I crawl into my own bed, and pull Addison toward me. He puts his hand on my cheek, and I lean forward to kiss his nose. And we talk about horses and chickens, and his favorite parts of the summer, and the year ahead. And I listen as his words come more slowly, his breathing grows deeper, and watch as those gorgeous lashes come to rest on his cheeks. And I stroke his face and remember holding him in the hospital until the nicu nurses would scold me for not leaving his side so that I could get my own rest because I didn’t want to miss a single second of being with him. And I still don’t .

I slip quietly out of bed, and go between them, looking from one to the other. They are so quiet, so peaceful. So grown, so big. And so beautiful. So stunningly, jaw dropping beautiful. The kind of beautiful that radiates out from deep within. The kind of beautiful that comes from their hearts, from their souls. The kind of beautiful that really only comes from God. And the tears start again.

I never imagined it could be this way.

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Goodbye, My Sweet Baby Roos

“Don’t you worry. We’re not going to eat them. They’ll be pets and keep our pig company. They’ll eat all of our table scraps and have a happy life. BTW, here’s my business card.” I gave each little frizzle a farewell pat and reluctant wave and watched as he placed them in their carrier. Goodbye, my sweet baby Roos. And as he drove off down the road in his little yellow car reminiscent of a Puerto Vallarta taxi cab, I studied the card in my hand. I read it three times as the truth settled in like a cold pit in my stomach. “….Pastured Pork and Poultry”.

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