Sunday, April 6, 2008

A little boy's ears

I often forget that my boys were once babies. It's easy to do. They don't look like babies, or act like them except for those temper tantrums and the occasional snuggle. We get so caught up as parents in the next developmental stage, we forget how far we've really come.
Most days, Bug is a little boy in my eyes. I can remember the feel and weight of his infant self, but it is buried within a tall, leggy preschooler with a brilliant mind and smart mouth.
But I occasionally get the parental reminder of who he used to be.
We went to the zoo today. and, like many parents, left halfway through because of our oldest's behavior. Arriving home, we were frazzled and irritable, wondering if the light at the end of that seemingly endless tunnel really was a train and would it please just kill us now.
Bug curled up on my lap to watch a movie. Half asleep, I curled around his familiar form, tucking size ten feet in between my legs to keep them warm, his head heavy upon my breast, one hand under his chin, the other on my face.
And I caught a glimpse of his ears.
Now, i know every mark and scar upon my son's body. I can spot a new injury at one hundred paces and be demanding an explanation from my husband before I even get a good look.
But I can't remember the last time I looked at his ears.
When he was born, they were nearly translucent. The light would shine through them glowing red and ethereal.
They had bright red blood vessels coursing through them delivering oxygen and nutrients to those small, fragile appendages.
I used to sniff behind them for the last remnants of his baby smell, which faded shortly after his second birthday.
Today, looking at them, I noticed the fragile red veins a the tops, the light still just making it through the shells.
And it made me smile, remembering those ears on an impossibly small body, held snug in my arms. At one time, his legs didn't hang over, his body didn't weigh enough to make me grunt when picking him up, and he fit perfectly in my lap.
Now, my arms and back ache when I carry him. His legs fit snugly around my waist, his arms firm around my neck. And he still fits perfectly in my lap, because its changed to make room for Bug an his siblings.
Being a mom is hard, and some days I forget how far we've come. And exactly where we came from.
All it took was a little boy's ears to remind me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awww.Such a nice read.