I know it will not always be this way. I won't always have a child whose little hands fit in the whole of my palm. And I wont always have a little one who peacefully, happily tells people of how he is playing with his mama. "I am playing kinetic sand...with my mama!", he boasts with a hint of pride in his voice. "Mama, will you please play with me?" He asks me this often, and I have to kick myself off my seat to sit on the floor with him. Playing with my kid is not a strong suit of mine, I'll be honest. It really depends on what it is, but as far as building and creating imaginary worlds go, he has me beat in this regard, and for that, I am glad. I love that he does that. I just don't really do it myself.
I went to Vegas with my now ex-colleague-turned-good-friend Yonca the other week.
I don't remember all the parting words that I shared with my little one. I'm sure I told him I would be back soon, that I would miss him, and that I loved him. What I remember about that weekend goodbye, was his sadness. His little cheeks puckered out and he had a big, sad lip protruding out from his little face. His little being was so sad that his mama was leaving. The weekend in his mind equaled months. He told everyone at school that his mama was leaving the country to "Lost Vegas" for weeks and that when I got back, there would be a party. He also expressed his concern to me that if I was going to "Lost Vegas", surely it meant I would be lost.
A day and a half into my trip, I saw that I missed a call from my friend who was with him. She said that he missed me, so I called right after we got out of the Cirque de Soliel show and spoke to him. My mama heart was saddened. It had been a day and a half.
When I got back from Vegas, there was my big boy strapped into the seat of my friends car. She had gotten his haircut (THANK YOU AMY, YESS!!!), and he looked older. A weekend away, and he was that much bigger. That much older.
Yes, I was back, I was never lost, and all was well. It was good that I went on the trip, but it is true that these things are never easy, especially as a single mom. I am glad I did it, and I think Caleb had just as much fun as I did. But I recognize that his stability as a growing, little person, comes from my stability as his mother and as a person. I am grateful that I can offer him this.
We have phases of peace and phases of craziness. I just came out of a phase with him where I felt near parenting burnout. It seemed that I was cranky all the time with him. It makes it hard being the main, sole parent of a child while working full time at a decent commute away. I was short tempered and I didn't like it. But no matter what, my presence with him in our routine is his consistency. And if Mama goes on a trip for a weekend, he takes notice.
I look at his happy face and don't even see the baby he once was at all. I see a child that I am responsible for. A child who shares my DNA. A child who tests me often, and is wild for the sake of being wild. His body is long and stretching. He is growing, and it is impossible to believe. Just as time marches forward, so does he in his life. It won't always be this way. He won't always miss his mama. Already when I try to give him hugs or kisses, I get a karate high block to the face. Every day-high block.
Sooner than I know it, my kid will know more math than me and will have a leg up on technology. Until then, I ought to really enjoy the times he still wants to kick it with his mama and is proud of telling people about it. Because THAT sure won't last. ;)