Lonely is such a strange word to me and forces me to think about how being lonely and being alone are entirely different things, which bring up very different feelings within me.
It arouses no pangs from within me, but the sight of the little bunny in the picture brought tears to my eyes, so there must be something lingering, likely related to my sons in some way. My youngest had a Peter Rabbit themed nursery, so that is where my thoughts have taken me today.
When cleaning out my sons’ rooms, after they moved away, the sight of their things made my chest hurt and tears sting my eyes, but I didn’t take the time to process the feelings inside me. There was work to do and things to stuff deep, as that is always easiest, right??
I think the only loneliness I feel right now is one for those sweet little boys and those simple days of routine and ruckus all rolled into one.
The days where I couldn’t think straight for lack of sleep, but recall laying in bed or on the couch, with little ones in my arms, their sleeping breaths fanning my cheek. Tickling my face from tendrils of my hair drifting back and forth.
The absolute mess and devastation of my bathroom at all times, but particularly around seven in the evening, following their nightly bath. The time my oldest ran screaming down the hall to tell me his baby brother had decided to try and get the poop off his butt by using his Dad’s toothbrush.
The sight and smell of them together tucked into one bed. Always had their own beds, but the younger always seemed to find his way into the other bed by morning, so they woke up together.
Their chubby little legs running through tall grass to get to the swings or slide. The way the sunshine made their cheeks so pink and hot. The smell of wet puppy that little boys always seem to have lingering on them after a day outside in the sun.
My oldest wanting Willow every single night for almost a year as his bedtime story. Reciting every word by heart. The expression in his voice and the sparkle in his eyes.
My regret that I hid Curious George because it was 40 pages long and I had more important things to do than read a book that long at bedtime. Funny how I can’t remember now what was more important than poor Curious George- likely dishes or laundry. That saddens me.
My baby serenading me with Bryan Adams playing in my old Camaro. 2 1/2 years old, every lyric in his tiny little memory bank; him strapped in his car seat maintaining eye contact with me in the rear view mirror, ” Ebberyything I dooooooo…….I do it for YOU!”
Assorted action figures, some with no heads, some missing arms and legs, buried in yards from the past. Pieces of paper with every colour of crayon utilized- torn, taped, and stuffed into file folders in a chest rarely opened, unless someone needs to know if they ever had chicken pox for their HR department.
The time they found a box of tampons under the bathroom sink and proceeded to soak them in the sink and then tie them around their Batman and Superman action figures ( parachutes – duh) and fling them down the hallway. Unfortunately, during a Tupperware party being hosted by moi. The looks on the faces of the some of the ladies present and the roar of my Mom’s laughter filling the house.
Explaining over and over and OVER again that it is not OK to try to get up on Gramma’s lap, but that it WAS OK to kiss Nanny square on the lips if the feeling over came them.
Hearing their voices raised together ” Brudders stick together!” – my lazy-ass version of a family mission statement.
The sight of them dropping their shorts to pee on the camp fire and try to put it out that one summer at the cabin. Still not sure where they got that idea.
Endless knock knock jokes and magic tricks from my eldest.
What I thought would be endless kisses and strokes of my hair by my youngest.
Their clear gazes- no blinking at all- staring at my face as if they were trying to remember it forever.
Those memories make me lonely now and I would give anything to go back for even one more day.
The Last Time
From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.