Posted on | April 2, 2013 | 3 Comments
My phone went off at 6:30 this morning, belting out the new “alarm tone” meant to encourage and entice me to face my days with a smile… “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. I lay in bed for the length of a good snooze button, flipping through emails that arrived over night and quickly scanning some of my favorite blogs for new content. Beside me, J slept on, completely oblivious to the rustle of motion beside him.
One arm was thrown across his forehead, his legs were spread over and across the covers and the menagerie of animals he’s taken to sleeping with were strewn about with abandon. I could have stayed there, watching him sleep and postponing my responsibilities… maybe I should have… but instead I arose, letting the dogs outside and starting my morning routine. My routine. My rote movements of life, of living… one foot after another, one day ticking by as identical and as routine as the last.
“Yesterday was plain awful,” I heard Annie singing in my head, over and over, and I wondered what this day would bring… what familiar dramas, what remembered heartaches, what routine torments. Everything has been feeling so very overwhelming lately, as though the weight of the world is draped securely across my shoulders and there’s no escape from the burden of it all. I straightened my hair and put on my make up, started the coffee and sighed with the very repetition of it all… the wash, rinse, repeat of my life. This can’t be it, I thought, this can’t be everything. As I snuck back into my bedroom to get dressed, I heard a soft sigh and then my name, more of a question than identification.
I stopped for a minute, stopped the spiral of movement that is morning in this house and I crept over to his side, leaning down and feeling my nose nuzzle against the warmth of his cheek.
“Yeah, buddy?” My voice sounded tired, even to me, worn out and faded like an overused dish cloth.
“I need you.” His eyes didn’t open, but his arms reached up, wrapping around my neck and holding tight. We stayed like that for a moment, my back aching from the weight of the awkward position and his breathing soft and slow against my face. Then his eyes opened and we were nose to nose, his grinning face all I could see in the dim light of the closet bulb.
“Good morning!” He grinned, squeezing my neck before letting go and stretching so big that he seemed to grow three inches in just that half second of movement. He’s all legs and arms and curls these days, all bumps and bruises and little boy but oh my yes, he needs me. Still. And is it okay, is it safe to say… will you judge and turn up your nose if I admit that oh my yes… how I need him, too. As I watched him move the stuffed animals around on the bed and then bound with preschool energy out of the room to the sofa, I realized that yes… this IS it. This is everything.
And it is good.
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