Posted on | November 20, 2013 | 7 Comments
Last night, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. Work was kicking my butt, my house was dirty, and my kid wasn’t listening for shit. He’d dropped a lunchable pizza on the sofa and there I was, on my hands and knees, scrubbing pizza sauce out of the fabric of my sofa and feeling like the world was just about to rain down brimstone on me and tell me it was hell.
My son crouched down beside me, trying to help but really getting in the way and I turned to snap at him to just. leave. me. alone. And then he smiled.
“I’m glad we’re doing this together, mom.”
He was all earnestness and four-year-old smiles, with pizza sauce on his hands and face that was, no doubt, spreading to the carpet and the rest of the sofa and yet the urge to snap at him just… disappeared. He was glad we were doing this together… this messy clean up job of a lousy dinner prepared by ripping open a box and slapping the contents on a plate. He was glad that I was there beside him, frustrated and frazzled and worn thin with all the living I was trying to do in the time I was given to do it. He was just glad we were doing all of this together.
I rocked back on my heels and blew my hair off my forehead with a sigh. Sitting the bottle of cleaner down beside me, I looked at my son… really looked at him. His hair is too long on the top and it musses up into strange shapes that are more cubes than curls. He has my dimple right up on the right side of his cheek below his eye and he has my way of thinking too much about maybe everything. He was grinning up at me, in pajamas that are inexplicably a size 5, with hands that are incredibly capable at cursive writing, and feet that just seem to get longer and more childlike with each step he takes away from baby. He’s getting so big now, so full of personality and life and a curious form of child-like wonder that is part wisdom and part whimsy and I love every stinking bit of him even when he puts me here, after a long day, scrubbing pizza off the sofa.
“I’m glad we’re doing this together, too, buddy,” I smiled, draping an arm around his ever-growing shoulders. And for a moment, or maybe a lifetime, I really and truly meant it.Even when I get it all wrong, even when I snap and reprimand and reach the end of my always frayed rope. Even when I’m tired of explaining, tired of punishing, tired of feeling like nothing I ever do is enough. Even when he eats Lunchables for dinner and pizza sauce gets everywhere. Even then. Even now.
I’m so very glad we’re doing all of this together.