So Happy Together

This past Monday I clocked in 7.75 hours of vacation and spent the day with Parker. Praise the Lord from whom all blessing flow that someone saw it fitting for the Presidents of our United States to have a day to honor them and call it a holiday. My place of employment doesn’t observe it (And neither do they observe Memorial Day or Veterans Day; but hey, I’ll take a Spring Break and the twelve days of Christmas any day of the week in exchange.) nor does Jake’s private school; but Parker’s preschool does, so duty called.

We played the day away and ran an errand or two or three. I popped open a new Sesame Street DVD that I bought out of the five dollar bin at Wal-mart during our Christmas break - he watched it intently - and I took the remaining hangers in my closet from wire to white plastic ($1.25 per ten from Dollar General) while he napped. I said, “Yes, that’s right. I see that doggy. And oh look at that penguin. Can you pet his fur?” as we looked at the pages of his favorite books again and again, I wheeled him in his wagon around our entire neighborhood, and at the end of the day when the other two that makes us four came through the door, I asked Jim, “So when can I do this every day?”

I’ve been both - a stay-at-home-mom and a working mom - and I can honestly say in both cases, I feel like I have my cake, and I’m eating it too. With Jake, it was my life - twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week - to be his everything. For eighteen months, I changed every diaper (minus the ones his daddy did for me in the evenings), woke with him for every middle-of-the-night-feeding, sang every song that came to my mind, practiced tummy time, read books, and helped to balance him until he learned to sit and finally stand on his own. He was my perfect shadow. I remember sitting him in his Bumbo seat and moving him from room to room while I vacuumed and Jim having to repair the door of our dishwasher because I let him climb on top while I loaded and unloaded dishes. Oh, he loved that. And just like the saying goes…I didn’t miss a thing.

But with Parker, things are different. Or are they really? Just pondering here. Our time - those days that consisted of twenty-four/seven shifts - were cut shorter. He was nearly four months old when I went back to work and then almost six months when he started preschool. With him, somehow, I still feel like I’m not missing anything. My love for him runs so deep, I’ve even asked my mom, “Gosh, Mom, did I really enjoy Jake THIS much?” She, of course, always tells me, “Yes.” And it’s true. She’s so right, I did.

But with Parker, I think my feelings are such because I’m aware that our time is more limited in quantity, I’m always careful and ever-presently making it quality. I soak him up like a sponge watching the way he bends from a standing position to a crawling one and the way his nose wrinkles and he breathes in and out of his mouth with his teeth grit when he’s watching out his window. All of the minutes I spend with him are crazy precious – even the ones we spend in the car together every morning. I make sure that we actually connect - eye-to-eye, cheek-to-cheek - and I’m much quicker to say, “This can wait. It will still be there when these hours and days and months and years are not.” I’ve also realized that our bond is no less stronger than mine is with Jake. He knows I love him. I’m still the one he longs to be with above anyone else. The hours we aren’t together hasn’t changed that at all. Thank you, Lord, for that.

Oh our day was so great. And by the way, his answer was, “Not for a while, Babe. Not for a while.”

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