I think we get so busy in our lives that all the sudden we look at them and think...when was the last time I got up him 5 times during the night? Or when was the last time he held my hand walking somewhere other than a forced hold in the parking lot or busy mall? Those "last" milestones just sort of morph into the fog of time....or do they? They don't have to, if we are consciously aware of things and try to cherish the fleeting moments. I've not written down as much as I should, but that's one way we can remember things.
A couple nights ago we spent the evening with good friends. Enjoyed great food, even better company and then I sat and watched and laughed as Z jumped, wrestled and laughed loudly as four teenagers included Z in their fun and games. They were careful with him, but he was ready to rumble and kept forcing them down on the trampoline, sitting on them, rough housing and throwing the football...oh and that infectious laughter, I just soaked up. When we got home, he was exhausted. A good thing many would say...but for Z it means his attitude quickly deteriorates into an "I hate everything" mantra and his behavior travels downhill at the speed of light. That's no exaggeration; promise!
Right in the the midst of this, I called him into our room to try to reset him so he could go to sleep without having to "cry it out." I was sitting in the rocking chair that I used to spend hours in when he was a baby (even though we did spend more time bouncing on an exercise ball since that calmed him more then) I told him his attitude and behavior were unacceptable and he needed to apologize straight away. His daggers quickly softened and he tipped his head slightly down and very quietly said he was sorry for being bad. I reached out to hug him and he put his arms around my neck and then as if the mood were just too serious for him, he lifted his feet off the ground to hang from my neck and started giggling. I scooped him up, all nearly 4-feet of him. I had his head in the bend of my left arm and the rest of him slung across my body with his knees resting on the opposite arm of the rocking chair.
He was wiggling and trying not to be comfortable. So I started whispering to him, telling him about when I used to rock him as a baby, sing to him, stroke his face, then sit for a long time wondering if he was asleep enough to lay down (lifting his arm up and seeing if it dropped like a lead weight or if it still had some pull to it was a good test). His eyes fluttered and he pretended to be falling asleep as I rocked. Then out of nowhere, he jumped off my lap and stood sleepily in front me giggling. I pouted and said oh don't you want me to rock you to sleep tonight? He said yes and we both laughed. So I did; I rocked him to sleep...stroked his face, held him tight, did the arm test...didn't keep rocking nearly as long as I used to because well...he's a bit heavier now at 48 pounds! The whole time I was thinking "will this be the last time we do this?" If so I have to remember it. I need to remember it.
Love is such a strange thing sometimes. When it feels the best, the next second it breaks you and hurts you to love that much. I was so grateful for the moment and yes, that's all it was - a moment.
As I got up and navigated getting his long body through the door frames and into bed, I was surprised he stayed asleep. I put him down super gentle, or so I thought ugh. As soon as his head touched the pillow, his eyes popped open. I had a brief time travel moment in the mind of his babyhood and screamed silently, but at this age he can actually talk instead of cry and he started babbling all sorts of nonsensical stuff. I knew he was sleep talking, confusional arousal, whatever. But then he completely woke up and started talking about a flap of skin on his toe that I MUST clip off immediately or he would not be able to sleep. He was frantic. We got that taken care of and he curled up on his side and asked me to turn on his series of night lights that have become part of his sleep routine....1. Rainbow in my Room 2. alien glow light 3. dinosaur glow light that changes colors 4. slow-moving disco ball type light with colors 5. Twilight Turtle blue stars only, please 6. Thank goodness Moon in My Room needs batteries right now. Add the classical music and we're ready to sleep. OH MY GOODNESS, there is no way that all that mess would help me fall asleep, but for him it's like nyquil so whatevs right?
Oh and I can't believe the thought of selling that rocking chair because it didn't match our bedroom furniture anymore ever, ever, ever entered my head. I will never sell that precious thing!