“Mom? Can we take a trip again when everyone is gone; just me, you, and Laura? ” he asks timidly. To speak it louder than a whisper would certainly draw unwanted, non-physical but equally painful abrasion from the excluded. Underlying his request is several years of feeling displaced in his own family, in his home.
No one said it’d be easy. No one warned me that he’d suffer from this merger.
My baby boy, no longer a baby at just shy of six, lashes out. He’s increasingly more volatile – the great debater on all miniscule factoids. He makes demands. He interrupts, imposing his presence in every conversation. He makes me frustrated; so frustrated that sometimes I just have to separate from him.
My boy. The one who introduced himself to me unexpectedly. The baby Doc said I shouldn’t carry to term because of some fluke condition a test said he possessed. My tiny, skinny son born weeks ahead of what I was certain was his due date. My screamer who couldn’t eat without the pain of reflux. My water baby. My chubby cheeked, kiss – loving gentleman. My co-sleeping, extended nursing babe. My child with the wisdom of one far older, but without the foresight of action’s effect.
At each meal, he insists, “I’m sitting next to mom.”
He imparts himself in conversation with frequent, repetitive interjection. It’s important, his persistence insists, and critical to present discussion
He endures possessive interference from his little sister (who borrows his “guys!?!” label as a sibling call all).
And he waits endlessly for a chance to cuddle – to just sit next to me silently present.
“Please can I sleep on your floor? Dad’s not going to hug you no more. He’s got all the time. I only got snuggle time for like an hour. Why can’t he sleep in his man cave?” he begs, boomeranging into my room 18 minutes past our first goodnight hug and kiss.
Reluctantly, I send him away. He hugs me tight and I kiss his forehead. He smells of my perfume, having fiddled with the bottle on my dresser and shot the potent mist all over. I reiterate my promise to photograph his Lego creation in the morning.
My heart aches for him. I don’t know how to stretch my time. I pray he doesn’t condemn me as a mom failure with evidence of my shortcomings. He is a critical piece of my heart.
I hear the familiar mantra echo in my head, ‘Actions speak louder…’