Saturday, February 10, 2007

I Love You Mama! 2-10-2007


I love you. 3 words I'd wondered about for a while since I gave birth. I've looked at my toddler of late wondering how the human emotion of love could be initially conceptualized. Wondered how that first statement of love would come about, what the circumstances would be, would he understand, what would it mean. I tell Kai I love him endlessly, especially at night when we're both curled up in his bed just before he falls asleep. "You're such a good boy. I love you more than anything in this world Kai."

Yesterday my musings came to fruition, although not necessarily as I fantasized. Then again, none of Kai's firsts have been as I've fantasized have they? My natural water birth was an emergency C-section, a breach baby, with me hopped up on morphine for 4 days. The dog got the first smile, laugh, word. The babysitter the first steps. Still, each and every moment was better than I dreamed, just with a somewhat comical twist. Yesterday was no different.

It's been cold here in NY. Very cold in the single digits for weeks now so the heat has been on non-stop making the apartment very dry. Because dehydration causes mastitis, joint flare ups, and general ugliness for me, I've been downing glasses of water before bed time to try to remain hydrated. Needless to say, yesterday morning when Kai woke up at 5:00 am and climbed in to bed with me, I was ready to burst. Still, I was in that "I really don't want to get up" desperate to get another half hour place, so I nursed him half awake as my bladder began to scream, "Help me!" It wasn't until about 7:00 that I gave in, as Kai, bored to tears and ready to start his day, began to climb all over me making the dire situation much, much worse.

I climbed out of bed, bent over. I was beyond doing any pee pee dance to save me. I walked knocked kneed to the bathroom with Kai in tow. As he is now potty training, Mama going potty is always a cause for observation and celebration with the finale being, "Mama did a big poop? I wanna flush it!"

As I eased my way on to the seat, the flood came out. It was relief. It was bliss. It was one for the records. My face turned red. My eyes began to water. Tears of relief poured down my face and my beautiful, inquisitive child said, "Mama sad?" "No baby." I said. "But Mama crying." Kai said quizzically. So I explained, as we all try to do in these very real life situations that the child rearing books don't ever explore. "Sometimes when you do a big tee-tee there's so much water in you that some comes out your wee-wee, and some comes out your eyes." I said with no better explanation to offer my 2 year old that he could possibly understand. "Not crying?" he asked. "No baby." I said. "Mama's fine. Here, touch my face." I offered him the opportunity to feel my tears and see me smile, then we went on with our morning after he ceremoniously flushed the potty diligently, watched and waved as it all went bye-bye.

About half an hour later, after I'd made my tea and gotten Kai his breakfast, I was at my desk checking e-mail. Kai came in and attached himself to my leg. As he is 2 years old and typically attached to any random body part at any given time of the day I didn't pay much attention until he quite indignantly said, "Mama! I hugged you!" I stopped typing immediately realizing the faux-pas on my part, and bent down to hug him back saying, "You did!" To which he replied, "Yeah. I love you Mama", then sheepishly scooted to the doorway.

I was stunned. Not sure of what I'd heard I asked him, "Did you just tell me you loved me?" "Yeah" was the bashful reply, then, "Mama not sad any more? Kai loves Mama. No more crying."

I almost fell over. I felt in that moment what the Grinch must have felt when his heart grew, and grew, and grew, until it was 10 times it's size. Pain and bliss of a heart expanding beyond the bounds of the body holding it. Not only had he said it, he understood it's meaning and had used it in an act of compassion to try to heal me. I still don't know how a 2 year old could grasp all of that encapsulated in such a simple form. I just know. My son loves me, and for once, I got a first.

Today he told the dog he loved her, but he told me first.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Very sweet story, Iz.. I missed a lot of "firsts" too but always forced myself to say "they were firsts for ME"

Yesterday, after a long day of b'day party, a nap for Maria until 7:30 p.m., she was rocking her new rocking chair from Mommy and then pushing her doll around in the stroller - as well as many other random things that I affectionately refer to as "Maria's stash." I was not paying attention and reading, etc., and she came over and said "Hug." She is affectionate but I usually have to ask. I was in tears when I leaned down to hug her and say "I love you more than anything in the world, sugar."

It is a life changing moment - as they all are...

Katherine