March 20, 2017 by CassieCravings
It was 3 AM, and I was jolted awake. At first I couldn’t place what had awoken me so abruptly. I turned to check on the baby. He was sleeping peacefully. With a shrug, I laid back down to catch a few more moments of sleep before the baby would want to nurse again.
Then I heard it again.
There was no mistaking it now. There was a rustling in the garage. My eyes grew wide. I gasped and then quickly caught my breath. The door to the garage slammed shut. Suddenly I was very still. Frozen. Processing. Deciding. Am I a flight or fight type of person?
While I was still perusing what my adrenal response might be, a short and profoundly naked figure sauntered across the hallway. An over-sized cup that was being hauled with him. Bits of the spoils sprinkled out, which the dog happily lapped up along the way. An avalanche of the dog food crashed into the metal bowl.
I called the boy’s name. He answered.
“What are you doing?”
“I’sth taking cawre of my dog.”
He patted his oldest friend on the head and scratched behind her ear. She panted contentedly and returned to her breakfast.
“It’s a bit early to be up and about,” I yawned.
He crawled into bed with me, gently pushing his baby brother over towards me. The baby sighed happily in the middle of us. Although I couldn’t quite see the seriousness in his face, I could hear it in his voice, “I’ve gwrown up a lot sthincthe you wewre gone.”
My boy, barely 7, who had never spent more than a few nights from me in his entire life has barely seen me in the last couple of months. I have been in and out of the hospital for childbirth and then for a stroke. It’s been a long two months, much longer than any other months I’ve lived.
My son’s once secure and stable and structured life was now a topsy-turvy collaboration from supportive family members. While he loves the parade of family, he has said over and over that he just wants me back. I want him back too.
He has grown up a lot since I’ve been gone. There is no denying it. He feeds the animals without prompting. He makes his own sandwiches. He entertains the baby. While I am a bit saddened by how he grew his independence, there is no denying the pride that I feel at the beauty of his spread wings.