It was three years ago today that at 3:36pm, Jeff Buckley sang Hallelujah and you drew your first breath earth side. We have been talking about your birthday coming up for a few weeks now and you are getting excited. We have talked about the number three, about when you were a baby, practiced how to hold up three fingers, and gotten excited about presents, but all you really care about is a cake. Any time we talk about someones birthday, this is your chief concern, and I can't really blame you! "Yay, it's Lilly's birthday!" And you're like, that's cute and all, but will we have cake? "Mommy, when is your birthday? Will there be cake?" And not just any cake will do for your third birthday. No, you want a cake pop, specifically a pink one with white sprinkles from "the store" because, oh I don't know, maybe eight months ago, your grandparents brought one for you and you remember eating it. Caches, you remember everything!
Yes, there is not much we can get away with around you, son. You remember everything everyone ever said, EVER! In a weak moment during a 4am potty trip you ask for pancakes for breakfast and I sleepily agree. 5:43am and it's, "Mama! My eyes are open, I'm awake! Are you awake too? Hi, Mama. Are your eyes open? We are going to wake up and make pancakes and eat my vitamins and cook bacon and play with my animals and listen to songs and I'm going to go outside and feed my chickens and play. That's what we are going to do. Did you have a good nap, mama? Mama? You awake mama? Your eyes open? Hi Arlowe! Arlowe's awake! Come with me mama! MAMA! I'm awake! Mama, I gotta go poo poo!" Ah yes, you know what will actually get me moving.
Caches, you have oh so much to say. I swear there are days when you do. not. stop. talking. I remember wondering when you would talk, what your voice would sound like, what your imagination would explore. I am beginning to get peeks into the world of your imagination, and it is pure magic. I walk into your room and you have an alligator trapped under a blanket! "Be careful mama! I got this alligator trapped and he's not friendly. You no step on him or he could snap you and you'll have blood." You talk to your animals and introduce them to other toys. You tell Abner stories and replay fun or unsettling tales of the day to yourself. Caches, you have become quite the storyteller over the past 6 months. You have also started to play alone.
There were times, many times in fact, when I thought you would never ever play alone. You would never just get up and go pee when you needed to. You would never want your own space, but you do. You happily play with your garbage trucks and cans, making the rounds and dumping each can, complete with sound effects. You sit down and manipulate a puzzle or thumb through a book, stopping to use the bathroom and then returning to your play. I try not to interrupt you when you are playing in your own world, because then it wouldn't be anymore, but sometimes the urge to peek in and watch you play is overwhelming. It isn't often, but it is pretty amazing.
Something else that's amazing!? Caches, you actually sleep now. Well, kind of, let me explain. Your sleeping patters would make any normal person shutter and run for a pot of coffee, but not me, not with how far we have come. I swear if it weren't for your newborn sister I'd actually be getting some sleep! You now fall asleep in your own bed laying next to daddy or I. You like to rub my arm, sometimes I think you like it too much and I'll wake up with my tattoos rubbed clean off. You like that my skin feels cold and has tiny bumps. Once asleep, I kiss your perfect face and try to breath in your peacefulness. Caches, sometimes when I look at your sleeping face I am overwhelmed. I don't even know how it is possible to love someone as much as I love you. Tears fill my eyes and just before they fall, I sneak out of your room. And this is the truly amazing part, you don't wake up for hours, HOURS Caches!! Sometimes like 5 whole hours!! Like I said before, I'm sure a lot of people would disagree that 5 hours is amazing, but I don't, I know that it is.
You have officially given up napping unless you accidently fall asleep telling me how not tired you are, but for the most part naps are done. And again, most normal people would be all, NOOO, I need my kid to nap, and I'm all YAY, my kid doesn't need a nap! Because quite frankly, naps were never your thing, which means they were never my thing, but that is a whole other story...
You still tend to wake up grumpy, you always have, and you want to be held by only me. You wrap your impossibly long, wiry limbs around me, blonde curls wafting your little boy sent into my nose, and for a brief moment I am transported to a smaller you. A tiny, unsettled baby who wanted, no NEEDED to be held all day and night. Your head has spent countless hours settled on my chest and you still rest it there when you feel sleepy, sad, scared or sick. You tell me that it it cozy and that you can hear my heart telling you that it is okay, I melt. Please know that no matter how big you become, or how uncool I become, that my chest will still rise and fall for you, my son. Learning to share this sacred spot with your sister has been a struggle these past few months, but again, that's a different letter all together.
Three years, Caches, three whole years and I still catch myself looking at you and wondering how we got to where we are. How did we survive those first six months? When did you get so big? When did those freckles start kissing your nose and cheeks? When did we start having full blown conversations with each other? Why are you so ridiculously sweet? Holy shit, why are you so feisty? Thank goodness you are feisty, but really, how are you three? I don't know how, my love, but I do know this. Every single day I wake up with but one goal, to love. All my other to-do's can go unchecked, my hair unwashed and my house uncleaned as long as I know at the end of the day that you felt loved. And I hope you always do.
P.S The other day you looked at me and said, "Hey, mom. I'm going to call you mom now because I like it." Guess what, I don't, but I didn't tell you that.
I actually wrote most of this two days before his birthday, which was three months ago, and intended to finish and publish it on his birthday. That never happened, obviously, and I've tried to finish this letter so many times but it just isn't happening! Starting and stopping and starting the same letter again is really impossible so I'm giving up and publishing it unfinished and unedited.
Moving on and trying to get back into the swing of writing regularly. I'm really struggling, but I am determined.