I took Abraham to see Inside Out, the movie, today. It is a DARLING flick about the feelings inside of everyone’s heads and how they interact. There was a moment during the movie when Joy and Bing Bong fell into the pit of forgotten memories (which is the weirdest thing I’ve ever written) and Abe got scared. He jumped into my lap and I held him through the “scary” part. In a last-ditch effort to get out of the pit, Bing Bong sacrificed himself so Joy could get back to headquarters and save the day.
Do you hear me? Bing Bong SACRAFICED HIMSELF.
Abe sat in my lap watching intently while I held him, weeping quietly to myself. My tears literally dripped down Abe’s arms. Bing Bong thanked her for letting him be IMPORTANT one last time!!!!
I was a mess for the rest of the movie.
Abe did not stop clinging to me the rest of the day, asking for me to play or asking for a snack or asking for the cup that was already in his hand. By late afternoon, I felt like I was going to lose it. I went into my room and laid down on my bed for a minute before Abe came climbing in with me. Jumping ensued.
“Mo-o-o-om?” he asked as he jumped.
“Let’s go get ice cream!”
“Adding sugar to this seems like a terrible idea.” He continued jumping in silence until I asked him, “Do you want to go to the library?”
“Sure! There’s a playground next to the library!!!”
We arrived at the library and all Abe wanted to do was play with the multi-colored blocks they had in the kids’s area. I decided not to care and, instead, read my own book for a few minutes. He played almost-quietly before he walked to my left ear. “Mom?” he whispered as he climbed into my lap.
“I really want to get a book but I don’t want to read it.”
I was so annoyed. “Why do you want to get a book, then?”
“Maybe to read it later. I want to go to the playground.”
“Ok, can you play a few more minutes so mommy can finish this chapter?”
Argh. “Wait. No?”
“Well, I can’t because I’m done playing with those blocks and now I’m ready to choose a book and go to the playground.”
This is one of those mom-moments that probably should have looked like me telling him I was in charge of the schedule and I would decide when we were done and blah-blah-blah but instead I said, “Ok, fine.”
The playground was no better. He was not satisfied unless I was attempting to go down the slide, swing on the swings, or climb the train climby-aparatus. He asked insistently that I participate in every activity. It’s not that I physically couldn’t. It’s that I just didn’t WANNA. I wanted to sit and read my book and relax for a minute while my son played contentedly by himself.
And then…off in the distance…a train!
The train tracks are directly on the other side of the chain link fence at the playground behind the library. This meant that Abe would be standing at the fence watching the train for 5…maybe even 10 minutes if it was slow-moving!!!
He turned towards the sound and darted for the fence. We were both SO excited!!
The locomotive came rushing down the tracks and…
Abe immediately changed the direction of his legs, put his hands over his ears, and made a b-line straight for my…
You guessed it.
We would now be watching the train together while talking about it for all 10 minutes (it was a slow-moving one).
“Did that horn scare you, bud?”
“Yeeeeah. A little bit, mom. I just wanna watch it with you.”
But suddenly as he said it, I realized that he’d been reaching for me all day. The scary part of the movie. The “done” part of the library. The super-loud train horn. Despite my being tired and moody and annoyed and crying all over him at a movie, he still ran for me. He chose me for comfort every time. He turned to make eye contact with me every time he needed back up, from opening a water bottle to getting out of the car because the car door handle was “too hot”. He requested my attention when he realized how funny the yoga mat in TJ Maxx was and when he saw our dog Bella was trying to chase her non-existent tail. All day, he turned to me.
And that kind of made me want to cry.
Being a mom is NOT for the faint of heart. I think I may have spent a long time pretending like I could handle it all. And really? I can. But not without getting very near the end of a long and frayed rope before suddenly realizing that I am so lucky to have a boy that chooses me everyday.
To all the moms and dads out there watching their kids choose them, take note. You can get aggravated/frustrated/annoyed again in a minute. Just notice for right now.
We are so, so lucky.