I’ve been asked to include a Kleenex warning on this post. Consider yourselves warned!
It’s been a rough week ’round these parts between me and the mini me. There have been heads butting, attitudes showing their ugly faces and voices being raised. It’s ain’t been purty, y’all.
I’ve yelled more than I should and I’m not proud of that. Henry has said “I hate you” more than he should. He hasn’t ridden his bike to school all week as punishment. I may or may not have threatened to make him wash all of his clothes, cook his own food and pay his own rent if he didn’t shape up. Maybe.
Jason has had to be the bad guy, the one I threaten to call to “let him handle it” and the one who GETS to handle it when he gets home. Ugh. I don’t like that I’ve had to stoop to that. I hated it when my mom used to threaten to tell my Daddy when he got home.
Tonight I had to make good on a threat and put Henry to bed early — and without supper! Like 6:30 early. It had to be done. I sat with him and we talked about a magazine and school and how he was going to respect me more. We were both mad and frustrated (and tired).
Then he asked me to stay while he tried to go to sleep. He rolled over and placed my hand over his heart — covered by his own small hand, and pressed as hard as he could. His other hand held on to his beloved Muffins like his life depended on it.
I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed with love. I laid there for 45 minutes with his heart beating in perfect rhythm in my hand. I couldn’t get up and lose the moment. It felt like I could just reach in and grab his heart if I wanted to. I watched him doze off into dreamland, eyes twitching and mouth moving slightly — in awe that he belonged to me.
As I held his heart in my hand and he held my hand in his, I also realized how much like his brother he really is.
Yes, I realize that I’m comparing a 6 pound newborn to a 60 pound first grader.
When he sleeps, they have the same skin and eyes and droop on one side of their mouth. Their heads are shaped the same and their DNA is the same.
It’s very rare that I stop and think, “What would life be like if Charlie and Henry were growing up together?” I think I just don’t allow myself to think about it because it hurts so much to imagine it. But moments like these, where I realize how much they look alike and how I’m sure their personalities would be complimentary to each others, make me breathe a really heavy sigh. One that takes my breath away and my whole body feels it.
It’s moments like this when I really remember that I have two sons and not just Henry and “Charlie, our first son who died when he was 24 days old.” They’re Brothers. BROTHERS!!!
But one is here and one isn’t.
One has a beating heart and one doesn’t.
One lives inside my heart and the other can say words that can break my heart.
I watched my beautiful, innocent, sensitive and sassy son sleep for the longest time. I realized that Jason and I MADE him. And I remembered that before we made him, we made another one almost just like him. We created two miracles. How awesome is that?
And tonight, with his little hand moving my hand to his heart, feeling the life flowing through his body, realizing that he is here and beautiful and OURS… I realized I need to step back and cherish every one of the moments I have.
Because whether they’re good moments or bad moments, once a moment is gone you can’t get it back.