I sit here, barely able to write because the tears filling my eyes are blurring my vision. If I am this much of a wreck over you turning four, I fear how I will be on the night before you turn 10… or 13… or 16!!! Do not even get me started on the idea of you leaving home.
I understand that my job as a Mom, my whole purpose, is the honor and privledge of providing a safe and loving environment in which you are able to thrive and grow so that you may reach adulthood and be able to be physically, mentally, and emotionally independent. I get that. I also understand that the alternative, your inability to do so due to illness or mental incapacity or death, is unthinkable. The plan is working. Things are trotting along as they are supposed to.
So, why am I so sad. I think it is nastalgia and fear that have invaded my mind and soul this evening, the last night of you being three years old.
These past twelve months have been sunshine and delight. Oh yes, we have had our moments and there have been days where bedtime could not arrive soon enough, to be sure. But mostly you and I spent these past twelve months laughing, learning and loving.
Let me share a few snapshots from my journal into these past twelve months…
"But Mom, do they have vegan water?"
Hart: So, are they grown ups now?
Me: I don't think so. My guess is they are teenagers.
Hart: But Mom, do they drink coffee?
Worse possible thing that could happen to Hart is not letting him be with me when I give Tayo his bottles. It is his favorite thing to cuddle with his baby and rub his tummy as he drinks his bottle.
Hart: Look Mom, I'm a D-Lion
Me: You mean a Sea-Lion
Hart: No. I want to be a D or an F Lion, not a C-Lion.
I asked Hartly what to put in my journal about him on July 7, 2013 and he said, "I did something good. I snuggled with Tayo. He was so sad because he didn't like the loud noise. I love Tayo. I want to say something else. I love my rocking horse."
Hartly: So Mom, if a lady has twins, does that mean there are 2 sperms and 1 egg or 1 sperm and 2 eggs?
Hart: If I am allowed 3 books in my room and 1 book in Tayo's, do I get 4 altogether?
Hart: What is that? Is that a dog barking?
Hart: Why is he there?
Me: He lives there
Hart: Why do we not have a dog?
Me: What do you think?
Hart: Because we are vegan?
Me: Do you love me Stink Bug?
Hart: I do, I really, really do Mommy.
Me: How much?
Hart: I love you from the top of the sky, all the way through my penis and out my butt to Saturn. That's a lot Mom
Me: Yup. That is a lot.
Hart: My underwear is upside over (instead of inside out - says often for different things)
Hart: Is Mother Nature God?
"please can you not"
"no please" (instead of no thank you)
Another common phrase, "I need to be near you Mommy… all the time"
"I want to stay my blocks out… I want to stay my magna tiles out… Can I stay this shirt on..."
If Hartly sees Tayo approaching hart;y's train tracks or buildings he often says, "Oh no! Here comes trouble"
Hartly dropped a cup tonight and said, "shit". I looked at him and I said, "What? Did you just make up that word?" He said, "Shit Mom. You know, shit. That word you always say right after you drop something" Oops!
Hartly cried at airport as we left Hawaii, "I don't want to leave Hawaii. I love it here. Why do we have to go? I feel so sad inside."
Among the chaos, jealousy, push/pull… Taye in my arms drinking a bottle and Hartly walks quietly over and leans close to Tayo's face and whispers, "May you have joy forever", kisses him on the forehead and then says, "I love you Bitty" and walks away.
This AM Bitty was playing in Hartly's room and swinging a toy around and it wacked Hartly on his head. Hartly started sobbing and grabbing his head in pain but through the tears said, "I still love you Tayo"
Hartly informed me tonight that he is always going to be my shadow forever and that we will stay together stuck like glue.
Hartly told me that he's want to hold my hand even when he's Daddy's age. How is it he is such my big boy and such my baby all at once.
"once upon a time there was a baby and it loved to play in the snow but while it was playing in the snow, it went under the snow and pooped."
Hart: Mommy, do you want to meet my children when I'm older?
Me: Yes. Of course.
Hart: Mommy, they are going to be so cute. They are going to be blue.
Me: Blue!? Have you ever seen blue kids?
Hart: No. But maybe my sperm will make blue kids Mom.
"and stuff like that…"
"You see what I'm trying to say Mom…"
"Mom, I love Tayo so much, I can't even find the words to tell you how much I love him"
"Mom, you are beautiful on the inside and out"
Today you got overwhelmed with quiet sadness… "Why Mommy? Why are the flowers dying? It makes me feel so sad inside"
There is sooo much more. These are just a handful of snapshots into everything that makes you, you. And you are so deliciously yummy that it often makes my head spin and my heart dizzy.
You are so ridiculous and so silly and you love making people laugh. You have strange voices that you make and you have crazy languages that you've invented and recently you have taken to doing this wacky, what you refer to as, thumb dance.
Although you can be competitive or rough with your baby brother you are also fiercely protective and in love with him. Your favorite thing is to make him laugh and you almost always want him near you. You have told me, a number of times, that you love Tayo more than you love anyone else in this world. You have declared that you both are moving to Hawaii when you grow up and will be living in adjoined houses. Your questions and insights often have my jaw dropping and your tenderness, sensitivity and sweetness bring me to tears. We can not read Velveteen rabbit or Horton hears a who because they just make you so sad. " Why Mommy, why would they throw his rabbit away!? I just don't understand why someone would do that"…
Recently your energy level has exploded and your emotions are wild and running rampant. For the first 3 years and 11 months of your life you had, maybe, 3 meltdowns. This past month alone, you have had, probably, 5. I have read that 4 year old boys double their amount of testosterone. Things may be bumpy for awhile. All the literature seems to indicate that I should not worry too much. My sweet little boy will return after a few months of crazy mood swings and crazy overloads of hormones. But even in the midst of them, I know you are there. I see you struggling and being weighed down with the yuckiness and feeling it all so much. I empathize and feel so much compassion for you my sweet boy. It is not easy being a kid. It is not easy being a boy. I am here for you, whether you are acting like a grump or acting like an angel. I am not going anywhere.
...As I put you to bed tonight, your last night as a three year old, you held me close, my face in your hands, inches away from your own face. You whispered, "I love you so much Mommy" and then you proceeded to press your forehead against mine, then your nose against mine… saying meanwhile, "head to head, nose to nose, mouth to mouth (here you gave me a sweet kiss), chin to chin, neck to neck…" Then you sighed. "I just wanted to see if we matched up" "Do we?" I asked. "Yes Mommy. We do." Then moments later you were asleep, still cradling my face, breathing lightly on my cheek. Ah me. How I cherish you my darling 3 year old. And as much as I am sad to say goodbye to 3, I know in my heart that I will cherish you just as much tomorrow morning as my newly 4 year old!