He was lying on the changing table and looking directly at me and I thought to myself: Who is that beautiful little boy? With shining blue eyes and a fragile look?
I understood that I hadn’t really seen him for a while, like really SEEN him. I had changed diapers and bathed him, picked him up from kindergarten, been next to him on the couch watching films, dressed him, served him endless cups of oat milk (his favorite drink), asked him to sit at the table, played with trains, tried to get him to taste the dinner we made, brushed his hair and teeth and read stories. But I had forgotten to take a minute to just stop every other thought or device or chore or (not the least) – a hungry/needy baby, and just embrace the whole of him, my little big boy. My first born. My first experience of endless love, who all of a sudden is becoming more and more his own person. A 2.5 year old who in the last few weeks all of a sudden could speak in long phrases and say almost everything he wants, put on some of his clothes himself and climb everywhere with big ease.
Lying there on the changing mat and looking straight into my eyes with a fragile look in his beautiful eyes, I got an epiphany. A moment of awakening. Like waking up from hibernation. And all I wanted to was just to hold around him for really long. Being an independent 2.5 year old, that isn’t on his top three things to do, but I managed to sneak in lots of kisses and cuddles while putting on his PJs and reading a book. Then I thought about what I used to love as a child and decided to make a castle of pillows and blankets and secret gates, and a door just for Mikael to enter. And we crept in and out of that castle, while I gave my husband the responsibility of babies and dinner, thinking: this is something I must do more often. To give myself fully to him – if only just for 15 minutes at a time – and just try to think like a child again. Leave everything else outside the door of his room. To connect again on a deeper level, and create magic moments only the two of us will know about and that we can share the memories of afterwards.
Kids remember the strangest things. If you just put some energy into telling stories or sharing facts, they will be amazed. I once told him how an eagle catches fish, and several days later he told it back to me in almost the exact words. And he keeps coming back to that story, which he always tells in a dramatic way. Little did I know, telling him those lines of information, that it would stick like that with him.
It’s so easy thinking everything is fine, that I spend enough time with him because I’m talking with him or hanging out in the same room – while I’m breastfeeding, hanging up clothes, carrying a baby, making dinner, tidying, and all the things you do during a day. But it’s not the same as committing 100% on his level. And I will strive to put in some extra energy on this, even though I’m dead tired, because I don’t want to look back with a feeling that I missed out on something big.
(Written in January 2019)