I’ve been away from my boys for 12 days now. Tomorrow I’m finally going home. I’ve been finding myself, as the days have passed in Sweden, fantasizing about each of them, as if we each have our own love story. I imagine what our reunion will be like, even though I know it’s always the hours following reunion that deliver the most meaning. I think of the way Keane smiles out of the corners of his mouth while he’s sucking his thumb, or holds his thumb between his gums for a moment to let the smile shine through. And I obsess about the way he smells, so similar to Declan’s scent at that age (has something to do with eating lots of bananas!), and just want to hold him sideways in my arms, bury my face in the crook of his neck to inhale his essence, and kiss him dozens of times. And I think about his typical reaction to me when I arrive to pick him up at daycare—reaching his arms out and grinning from ear to ear, sometimes clapping and sometimes bouncing up and down in excitement. Then I imagine that scene escalating, and us doing something unexpected and glorious, like laugh hysterically for five minutes, or reach out simultaneously for twenty wet mouth kisses in a row.
And for Declan, the sky’s the limit. I’ve done some Skyping with the dink while I’ve been gone, but half the time with no video and the rest of the time with him not sitting still in the right location for the video…and so I’ve spent some time focusing on the dink’s voice alone, which is something that I apparently never do. I think when he talks normally, I’m focusing on his little face and his actions, and not necessarily memorizing and savoring the sound of his precious southern three-year-old voice. It was almost as if I’d never heard him speak before when we talked on skype. I felt like, who is this voice—the words are all familiar but the sound of it, coming across the internet from an unfathomable distance away—that I’ve never heard so clear before. And I can’t wait to hear what that little voice will say when I see him again—probably start with something random like “you wearing black shoes, mommy?” and then move on to asking me a dozen times in the next few hours “you home, mommy?”…and then how many different ways will he ask me to snuggle with him and sleep with him and prompt me to say things like “My two boys!” as we sit together on the couch. He can say anything, honestly. I just want to reconnect those sweet words with those big, bright eyes and be with him.