Last night my boy and I rolled around on the living room floor. He'd run towards me arms out, full scream... “AHHHHHHHH!!" Then his whole self would collide with my chest sending us both rolling backwards. His laugh was like summer rain, surprising at first, comforting as it washed over me, strong until it wasn't.
After a few seconds of rolling back and forth his laugh stuttered out and I set him down so he could grab more breathe from the room.
“AGAIN! AGAIN! Daddy!”
He turned, ran to the fireplace, turned again and ran once more to my chest.
When he was born I never really worried about loving him. When his sister came into the world my heart opened up in a way I didn’t know was possible. I found that love was not finite. My capacity to generate it was nuclear.
I did worry I wouldn’t get time to know him.
Life gets busier and busier. My daughter fills a room, a world really, with her joy and her tears. I worried for a while that he would get drowned out by her awesomeness.
I was wrong. He is a beacon on the mountain. All things come to him, including his sister. They co-exist in my everything. They hold hands in the car. They lay on each other while they watch movies. They both jump on top of me and scream and laugh and scream and laugh and scream and laugh. Then they do it again.
Last night she was sitting at the kitchen table tracing pictures of Stevie with a pencil while Captain and I rough-housed on the floor. “Come on YeeYee! Come on!”
“I can’t, buddy.” (She calls him buddy too.) “I’m learning to be an artist like mommy.”
“OK. AHHHHHHHHH” And again we rolled backwards. I am a human roller coaster. I am The Colossus.
He loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates. His favorite word is pleeeeeeaase. Not please. Pleeeeeeaase. When he says “I lub you daddy” I try to blink and capture the moment like a picture. I want his tiny voice in my ears and his face permanently attached to the backs of my eyelids. I want the moments on dial up, random access memory for my lonelier moments.
After wrestling we got him in his jammies. He didn’t want pants, because he is a normal human being and who really wants pants. I said OK, because I am a kind and benevolent father also sleeps without pants on. I read Little Blue Truck. Then he read Little Blue Truck. I read Naked, and then he read Naked. His turn is really just him turning the pages and yelling out the words he knows. I like to yell them with him. (By the way, Naked is the title of a book. My wife pointed out that this sounded weird.)
I turned the light off and I sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” When I sang “Skies are blue” he said “No. Green.” I sang “skies are green” and he said “no, red.” We went through all the colors he knows and he giggled every time. This is our thing. This is our language. This is our goodnight.
Foreheads were kissed. Hugs given and taken, and another night with my boy was done. I shut the door and went downstairs.
Later that night when Stevie and I went to bed I opened his door and peeked in on him. He was asleep, Little Blue Truck tucked in the crook of his arm. It was 11:30.
“What are you doing?”
“I don't know. I just wanted to see him one last time as a two-year-old.”
“Let me see.”
Stevie and I ended our night together staring, perhaps a little too long, at our boy. Our perfect little dude. Our last two-year-old. Fast asleep and almost three.
|Happy birthday, buddy. We love you.|
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