in high school, it only took me two weeks to say i love you to the swoopy-haired emo boyfriend of my dreams. nearly 15 years later, it takes me so much longer to find these words for my son.
but it finally happened. like falling asleep- slowly, and then all at once.
james has been sick this week, hampered by a minor cold. it's not unexpected, given the rapid change in weather and his introduction to the world of daycare germs (i am side-eyeing one particularly sketchy baby what had his nose running like a dang slip 'n slide). we take an unnecessary trip to the pediatrician, and dr. macdonald confirms that it's clinically nbd. he also tells me that james looks like robin hood in his cool new booties.
lil man takes after his papa in the most important ways. the slightest illness will have me geared up to do the fucking most. i mope, i sob, i buy the entire contents of a walgreen's, i wrap myself in every blanket i've ever owned, i write my last will and testament and think of returning as a ghost to haunt the fools that might have coughed within 10 yards of me. ian, on the other hand, is somewhere between stoic and comatose. he makes a hot toddy, sleeps for a full day, and remains a pleasant person. in this approach, james is his father's son.
he's not himself today, miss jemi at the daycare tells me. but he's still such a happy baby, only sleeping all day and not much playing.
so i know james is fine, but his big ol' bobblehead is still a giant ball of mucus. he snorts and coughs through every hour, snuffling like a little piglet while his nose stays permanently running like he's serving a consistent wet mustache look. and in an uncharacteristic fit of parental anxiety, i gamble with both my sleep and his to bedshare carefully in the spare room.
we've never really done this and i am mentally berating myself with a nightmare ticker tape of sids articles, but my dude lies beside me in his sleep suit and grips my finger with his tiny fist. i listen to his struggling breaths and feel like my own sinuses are massively congested. for a wild moment, i think that i must have caught his cold. then it takes me several minutes to realize that i am not at all sick and breathing just fine- but fuck, his little snorts and coughs somehow physically pain me. this is a wild phenomenon. i am not a particularly empathetic person, but here in this moment i know that every neuron in my brain and every fiber of my body is reacting to this little man's desperate snuffling. please feel better, please feel better i think pointlessly, redundantly. and i do not sleep until his breathing eases.
another night, before bedtime, we are playing with mr. james in the kitchen in sort of the only way you can play with a floppy 18 pound pile of cheeks- swinging him around and showering him with kisses. lil dude tries to suck on my chin while ian tickles him- and he can't decide whether he wants to commit to slobbering all over my face or giggling like a lunatic, so he does both and it sounds seriously dumb while i type this out but it was so fun. legit, present, unabashed fun. and for one moment i was finally in a beautiful headspace where i was no longer thinking about work or commitments or how i'm faring as a mediocre parent but 100% immersed in my little family and all i could think was, my god i am so in love with these gorgeous boys.
tonight we bring him home from a dinner that he slept through completely, and he is out cold. he looks like a corn dog stuffed into a very cool new jacket. when i bring him to bed, hoping for a little dream feed to bolster his immune system, he continues to snooze relentlessly in any position we place him in. i cradle him in my arms while he grins in his sleep, somewhere between barely nursing and maybe having a fun dream about petting puppies. i realize that ian and i are both just staring at him, wearing nearly identical goofy and soppy expressions. and i think i could probably look at him forever, freeze framing and savoring these minutes that have rapidly gained momentum and traction in my life, snowballing into the massive, inexplicable, and unrestrained love i knew was waiting all along.
i literally threw up while halfway through writing this damn entry and i'm not sure if it's because i decided to inhale a metric ton of food and hot chocolate OR because i am the lamest cheeseball and someone should take this blog away from me before all my entries devolve into generic mommy bullshit.