Besides the fact that I could happily spend the rest of my life going from one fancy hotel to the next, the thing I took away from my little jaunt to Chicago was that I need a break more often. Erik still has three furlough days every month, although now he gets to take them whenever he wants, and in my best world I’d head out to a hotel by myself somewhere in Sacramento and read books and order room service for a day. The reality is that I don’t have an extra hundred or so dollars every month, but there’s no reason I can’t go sit in the library for a few hours, or go to a movie or…would it be weird to sit in a hotel lobby by myself with a book? It seems peaceful.
I feel bad saying this, but the truth is that when I left, I didn’t even LIKE Eli. Of course I LOVED him as I will always love him even when he burns down the neighbors utility trailer with fireworks or pours root beer all over the table and plays in it or poops in front of a mirror in a kids clothing store, but I was having a really hard time LIKING him, and I spent a lot of time telling myself that it was just three, it was just the age. And uh, I think it might have been just ME.
Because I got home and I realized all over again how adorable he is, how smart, how funny, how wonderful. How small and innocent, how mostly incapable of doing too much that is genuinely bad. He started to seem like a privilege to know, again. And I want to make sure I don’t lose that too much, again.
When I came back home, it was late at night, my neighbor had stayed with the kids while Erik came to get me, and I knew I shouldn’t go into his room after I got home, but I just couldn’t stop myself, and there was my BABY, so small and sleepy, with a new haircut and wearing pajamas I didn’t put on him. I should never have been in there, and I woke him up with my snuggling, and so I cuddled up next to him and rubbed his back while he talked to me, when he should have been falling back asleep, and he talked and talked and talked, and I tried not to laugh as I said “Um, yes?” to an endless stream of jabber. I wish I could remember more of it, but I do know at one point he said “Mom, I am going to learn to sleep while I talk.” and that’s when I really knew how lucky I was to be this kids mom, how crazy I am about him. I hope I can do a better job of remembering it, from now on.
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