Letter to the boy, month 32

Dear Simon,

You spent a week with your Nonni and Papa, then a night with your Uncle Bert, and saw so many family members in a short period of time that you were officially spoiled rotten. I’m sure others would think they didn’t get to see you or spoil you enough, but I assure you, it happened.  You went horseback riding with your cousin Celeste, swimming at a hotel party, and got a tour of a real fire station. You even got to sit in the driver’s seat of a firetruck. I’m honestly surprised they were able to pry you out of there.

While you were gone, we missed you. You talked to me on the phone and told me you loved me, but also babbled on about firetrucks and tools, and boo boo goggles (safety glasses) and your new baseball glove. I wondered if you ever asked for me, but I was reassured that you didn’t- which is a bittersweet reassurance to a mom of a very VERY independent child. Of course with your extended family you were sweet as pie, only revealing a small glimpse of a meltdown at one point during the week, when we (your parents) are lucky enough to get one at LEAST once per day.

You came back from the week with new words, sentences and explanations for all sorts of things. Now, if you aren’t sure of what something is called, you call it “spunk” or “spunka”. I don’t know where that’s from.  On our wedding day, you danced harder and more than anyone there- breakdancing on the ground and even wiping the floor clean with a napkin at one point- since someone had dribbled their drink on the floor.

You were by far the most handsome fella at the wedding, in your Tommy Hilfiger blazer and preppy oxford shirt. Your hat was the added special touch that made you look like something straight out of a children’s clothing catalog, or comic book, depending on how you looked at it.

And when you came home, you were sneezing and itchy, most likely allergic to life in general with red blotches everywhere and eyes that look like they’ve got red eyeliner drawn around the edges. At one point this week I had to take you to urgent care for a breathing treatment due to some very scary wheezing you were doing. I slept with you that night. It reminded me of the first few nights you were home with us- me waking every 10 minutes to check on your breathing. The worried-sick feeling took over and I haven’t felt quite right since.

You are still into firetrucks but have gotten really interested in outer space and astronauts and rocket ships. You bounce back and forth wanting to hear stories about “a firefighter named Simon” or “an astronaut named Simon” and even more recently a “Bunny Bear” (I have no idea what that’s about). You also like to pretend you’re a ladybug, a monster or a space man. Since your visit to the doctor, you also like to listen to our hearts and look in our ears. Daddy took you to the toy store the day after your hospital visit and got you two new firefighter dudes that you love. You’ve named them “Firefighter Jor” and “Firefighter Frank”. You also got an astronaut who you call “Astronaut Driver”. I like to think of it as the equivalent of Barbies for boys. They have lots of cool accessories: a “wittle ax for rescuing the people” and “a flashlight to fix the rocket ship”. Your imagination is insane and I like to use it to my advantage sometimes….to get you to think of something else as I wedge you into your carseat or convince you to sit in the shopping cart longer. “It’s a firetruck!” “It’s a rocket ship!” And sometimes, while we’re shopping or something, you’ll whip out your two pointer fingers and have long conversations between the two of them, playing “hide and sink” with them or putting one in Time Out.

You are still really into knowing signs for things, which we find hilariously awesome, since you talk all the time. We brought home a Signing Time DVD today called Potty Time, thinking that might interest you more than Elmo’s potty time, or anything else we’ve brought home about potties. You did like it, but you weren’t as enthused as usual. I think you’re onto us trying to get you to potty train. When you have to go #2 now, you tell me, “I’m gonna go poop in the kitchen, I’ll be right back!” and then you run to the kitchen and stand next to the window and cover your head with the curtain that hangs just below your chin. Since you were doing that regularly I thought I would trick you and I put your potty right there, where you usually go- but no success yet. Now you just refer to that portion of the kitchen as “my bathroom” even though you have never, not once, put anything in that toilet other than time. And a “toot.” My dad reassures me that “not many 7 year olds are running around in diapers so eventually he’ll get it.” I guess he’s right. You just don’t want to stop or interrupt your playing, you say “I wanna keep goin'” whenever we try to suggest you go to the potty. There is a pants-less long weekend in our future, I think. Nothing says America like Memorial Day weekend barbeques and potty training.

Tomorrow is Easter and when I told you the easter bunny is coming, you said, “AND HE IS REALLY ANGRY!” and I laughed because, Why? Why is the easter bunny angry!? You don’t know. Sometimes I think you just like to hear stories and make them up as you go. I love that about you. You make everything funny and interesting. Even a trip to the bank or the grocery becomes a fun discussion these days, as you loudly comment on all the people around you. “Mommy, that man is dancing!” and “Mommy, she has a car too!” (to the lady in the motorized wheelchair).

Tonight we did one of your favorite little narcissistic things- watched slideshows of pictures of yourself. In some of the slideshows there are videos that your dad takes on the days I’m at work. In one of them from a few months ago you were jumping on couch pillows on the ground yelling “NO! No! Stop!” and then stopped and looked at the camera and said, “Daddy, wanna tackle me?” And your dad just chuckled to himself. And I started to cry. Because you’ve changed so much since then. Because your dad’s laugh at you just oozes how much he loves you. Because we weren’t married then and we are now- and it doesn’t mean anything and it means everything to me all at once.

We have been a family for years, but I want to stress to you that YOU were the seed that planted this family. What a gift that is! How lucky are we, to be able to say that? I know it sounds weird to you and probably doesn’t make sense. But you and your father are everything to me, and I just adore every minute that’s been captured on camera and in my mind’s eye. For every moment that you are beginning to barter with me and plead for things you know you won’t get- those moments of frustration are like tiny blips on a radar of bliss for me, kiddo. And I just want you to know, that I am thankful for you every day. The harder days with the awful mornings- where the coffee is cold and you WON’T PUT ON YOUR SHOES or get int he car, or let me leave the sitter….and the wonderful days, when everything moves like clockwork and you smile and wave goodbye to me through the window….it’s all worth it to be your mom.

I love you son of mine. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you.




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