Either Mini is going through a particularly cute period right now, or my hormones are messed up or something, because lately I’ve caught myself staring at him like I’m a starving Survivor cast member and he’s a bowl full of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.
Not really. I’m still trying to come up with the right metaphor, because that’s not it. But seriously. This kid is the love of my life, the apple of my eye, the darling of my heart (next to Mr. Right-Click, naturally), and lately, I have found myself overwhelmed by him and how much I love him.
Am I creeping you out yet?
Mini has one favorite place to watch movies, and that is in my lap. So when we tried to take him to see Despereaux this past weekend, I was a little surprised that he chose to sit in the little kiddie chair they give you at the theater instead. Perhaps he was too occupied with processing the concept of a screen the size of a building to consider my lap as an alternative. But, sure enough, after about ten minutes, he was jumping off into my lap and laying down, resting his left hand on my wrist, just where my watch band is, where he likes to tuck in his fingers, like a handle he has to keep on me so I cannot get away. And, as usual, I could hear his sucking on the sippy cup, and occasionally he’d turn around, point at my nose, and say, “Whaaas this?”
And laugh, because this is a joke: he knows what it is already. And there is nothing sweeter in this world than the sound of my son laughing, especially when he really puts his heart and soul into it, and gives himself over to the laugh, so much so that he has to sigh after he’s done to catch his breath.
Sure, it’s a major pain in the ass to never be able to sleep in unless one parent trades off with the other, and to never really get a vacation, because when we go away we still bring this thing along with us that requires constant attention and love. And diaper changes. And countless walks up and down the airplane aisle. And Bruin Bear is really getting grungy these days, and I’m afraid for what will happen when he’s too far gone to be snuggled anymore. But for now, Mini has his bear and I have him.
We made it about 20 minutes into Despereaux before Mini decided to start running up and down the aisles of the theater, jumping from level to level and examining the light strip on each stair. So we called it a day, and walked out into the light of the midday LA, with Mini’s face covered in snot and chocolate residue from the M&Ms I was feeding him in the dark. I thought then that even if we fail with everything else involved in parenting, at the very least we have this. That we cherish our son and our time with him, and that he knows it and, for now, he knows of nothing greater in his little life than himself. Because when he looks at us, he sees himself shining back in our eyes, beautiful, strong, amazing, and life-affirming, and that this is the foundation he will take with him when he is too big for us to tag along. And the world is full of possibilities for him, friends he will make, goals he will accomplish, places he will visit along the way. My son is everything I ever wanted, before I even knew I wanted it, and I love him so much.