While Clark was holding a band rehearsal at the house tonight, my almost-3-yr-old gave quite a performance of his own. In the course of 20 minutes, he had managed to serve up the entire menu of no-nos in the Beasley house including, but not limited to, slamming one door, screaming at a near deafening decible level, pushing his little sister, telling on himself for pushing his little sister, and then the big finish. During the .5 seconds I turned to tend to my second born, Salem was dumping full 10oz cups of bathwater onto the bathroom rug. By the time I got to him, we were both standing in a half-inch puddle of water. The only words I could manage to muster at this point was, “What is WRONG with you?!” As if he was actually might answer back, “Well mom, I thought the bathroom floor could use a good mopping. And while we’re at it, I despise the purple-hull peas you served for dinner, and have I mentioned I might never forgive you for ripping me away from Daddy’s band rehearsal telling me to come scrub my boy parts? As if that is supposed to be some kind of incentive?” Perhaps if he had been able to tell me how he really felt, I might not have been so prison warden with him at bed time. My vocabulary consisted of “you”… “bed”… “no”… “goodnight”. Any more wordage and I may have very well scarred him for life. As soon as I shut his bedroom door behind me and retreated into my bedroom falling facedown into a throw pillow, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps he was, in his own way, trying to tell me something by doing all of the things he knows will land him a one way ticket to Mommy’s bad side. So I conducted an impromptu experiment and crept back into his dark room where laid beside him in his new Big Boy Bed as he reviewed the jumbled sentiments of his day. First he asked me to scratch his back, so I did, while he proceeded to recite his most loved scenes from both Curious George and the Prisoner of Azkaban followed by the lyrics to his favorite Circa Survive song at the top of his lungs. And for dessert.. the plan of Salvation.
“Mommy, who can be saved? Say sawee for a sins. Twust in Chwist for sah-va-shun.”
I KID you not….. out of the mouth of babes, right?
And then I felt like a big jerk-Mommy. I laid there in the dark crying as he moved on to singing, “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Feet”, because I realized that even though Harry Potter and Eternal Life are both swimming around up there in the same head space, somehow in the course of Salem’s day I had hurried him from one activity to the next without so much as pausing for a moment to consider what was actually sinking in. And at the end of the day, all of this was rising up in his little spirit, and I nearly missed it because I was so worked up about him emptying half his bathwater onto the tile floor. Was all of that acting up his way of saying, “For crying out loud, will you just listen to me for 5 minutes?!”
Twenty minutes later, Clark had finished his rehearsal and found us both lying in the dark on Salem’s Big Boy Bed holding hands and singing David Gray tunes. We both kissed Salem goodnight, and within moments, he was asleep. That’s all it took. God, never let me be so absorbed in my adult world that I can’t listen to my son’s pitchy folk singing and faith sermonettes. His new thing lately is to watch himself on home videos. We have old footage running constantly on our living room TV and every time I walk his pre-school face looking at his baby face on the TV, I want to cry thinking of just how fast it actually goes. Everyone said so, and I just didn’t believe it was true.
Ugh…… I’ve had the Holiday DVD menu playing on repeat in the background while I’ve been writing this post, and now that the theme music has finally gotten to me, I’m sitting here crying all over my keyboard. CRY.ing! For the love of all…… maybe if I dance it out to the Killers like Cameron Diaz did in the cottage scene, I’ll get over myself.
Kids are asleep… husband is at Wing Night with the boys… Heart is full…Play Movie… and now to unwind…