Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed when I think about writing about the dink—of how to capture so many moments and feelings and experiences in enough words. It usually feels like such a tall task…which is why I avoid it as much as I run to it. But then sometimes, like yesterday, just one little moment in my life as the dink’s mommy can say it all.
Last week was Christmas, and even though I had planned to take vacation days Mon-Wed before the two-day work holiday so that I could finish shopping and work on one of my home improvement projects, I ended up staying home with a sick baby. The dink had his sixth or seventh ear infection—I lose count—raging in both ears. They developed less than a week after finishing ten days of antibiotics from the previous one. So he was in crisis mode, dealing with a wet cough, runny nose, and pressing his big hands against his painful ears. We watched Baby Einstein more times than I’m proud of, made furious, brief trips to choice stores for last-minute gifts, and spent a lot of time in each other’s arms.
The week got better as Christmas Eve arrived, and J was finally home to share the load and add his own excitement for the holidays to the mix. We went to my parents in the country, stayed the night and most of the day on Christmas there, and then to J’s parents in the country to finish off the weekend. The dink was feeling pretty lousy the whole time, but slept well and showed enough excitement for his duplicate gifts—three riding toys and three sets of Mega Bloks—to make everyone say what a sweet, joyful baby he is.
My favorite part of the holiday was our homecoming. Like the dink, I get homesick even when we’re visiting family, and arriving at the house at noon on Sunday just in time for the crappy Saints game was the highlight of our trip. Coming off of a two-hour car nap, the dink was wildly calling the cats as soon as we pulled up in the driveway. He exclaimed when he saw #2, bouncing up and down on his knees and waving his hands high above his head. He crawled madly through the kitchen, greeting his fridge toys, his musical train, and his beloved, beloved pots and pans. And he panted at J’s legs in the living for about half an hour, watching daddy operate the remote so skillfully, quickly changing channels and taking the batteries in and out for the dink’s enjoyment.
Then Monday came quickly, and J dropped off the dink at daycare for the first time in ten days. I wasn’t surprised when I picked him up to see him in his teacher’s arms. She said that he had been kind of sad that day, and she didn’t know. I said it was because he had just spent ten days with me, and she laughed. But then the dink proved my point better than I could have ever explained. He came into my arms, put his head on my shoulder a minute, then looked up at me, smiled, put each of his hands on my cheeks, leaned in for a kiss. I might feel better about leaving the dink every day if I had that kind of reunion to look forward to.