Let It Go

by Jennifer on January 4, 2015

“What book should we read?” I asked as he hopped up into his bed, taking the last step on his step-stool at a flying leap and landing in a messy pile of pillows and twisted blankets.

“This one!” Little Boy S said, handing me a board book, well-worn on the edges and with a page escaping its binding. I smiled thinking of the many nights I’ve spent reading this story to S, almost from day one.

We climbed under the Elf sheets, soon to be tucked away in the closet for next year and he flipped his blonde hair into the crook of my shoulder as I raised the book and began to read.

The chosen book was “I Love You As Much” and I went through the familiar pace and inflections of the words from memory as I turned the pages, the comfort of What Has Always Been wrapping itself around us, the comfort of that which never changes.

We drifted through each animal mother explaining her limitless love for her child in terms most relevant to its experience, the whale loves her baby as much as the ocean is deep, the mouse as much as the grain in the mill, until we reached the final page, the mother and baby page.

“Now sleep child of mine, as the stars shine above; I love you as much as a mother can love,” I read. The picture is of a mother tenderly leaning over her baby, asleep at her side, and this is always the point at which S points at the figures and proudly says, “That’s us, Mommy. There’s Mommy and Baby S.”

But this time, S’s tiny finger points to the baby and his words are different, “That’s Baby E. It’s you and Baby E.” I ran the phrase over in my mind again, listening for any sign of jealousy or bitterness or resentment and could find only affection.

I felt a squeezing in my heart, “We used to say that was Mommy and you.” I kept my voice light, but recognized a familiar tightening in my chest, that pull to hold onto What We Were, still not ready to let it go.

“No, it’s Mommy and Baby E,” he said with finality. I felt a release as he cut that string. One more string among those that were slowly being broken as we transitioned from What We Were to What We Are. A transition that had me dragging my heels in my own little epic fight against Change and The Passage of Time.

Taking a deep breath to steady my voice, I asked, “Do you think Baby E would like this book? Should I read it to her?”

His gray eyes met mine and he put one soft hand on each side of my face, “Yes,” he said, wrapping me in a hug and holding me there.

“But later.”

 

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jacqueline casey January 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm

This is wonderfully well-written. I just love it! I think I will read it again.

Jennifer January 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Jacqueline!

Liz January 7, 2015 at 9:17 am

This is beautiful. My twins are almost one and half and already they are cutting strings. Made me smile and tear up a bit. :)
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Jennifer January 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Liz! I wish he would be a little more gentle with his scissors though!

Michelle Longo January 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

So sweet. You always do such a great job pulling on those heart strings.
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Jennifer January 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Michelle! It’s good to “see” you again. :)

Asha January 8, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Oh bless! What a beautiful glimpse into your loving world. It’s so sweet that he’s the one who is leading the way to the next phase… but maybe not quite yet. Delightfully told.

Jennifer January 9, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Thanks Asha!

Rachel January 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm

what a delight to share in the joys and the sorrows. nicely done.

Prajakta January 9, 2015 at 1:52 am

This was a mixture of delight yet slightly poignant. Your son is going to be a wonderful elder brother I am sure – the maturity he has shown in paving the way. Give him a hug, will you?
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