Flushed pink cheeks. His breathing is coming patterned and deep. The curling Snow White sticker his sister plastered to his freshly washed pajamas rises and falls with his every breath. His snores begin to match the dog’s nearby as if they rehearsed this slumbered lullaby.
Ryder isn’t feeling well. He is slugging along physically after catching whatever 24 hour bug his sister threw across the car last week (gross). Thankfully, he is still as sweet and upbeat as usual – currently thrilled at the prospect of an upcoming vacation and birthday.
Under warm covers we perused Pinterest for puppy cake ideas until we settled on this and a bit of that. He then wrestled with a fleeting Batman cupcake idea and decided that is what I should make for my birthday come August so as not to jeopardize his original red/green puppy cake idea. His ability to schmooze me even at three is beyond skillful. Just the other day:
“Mom, you are so beautiful…”
“Oh? Thank you. Are you just saying that because you are about to pee in my toilet and you know you should go to your bathroom?”
“…I love you so much…” he responds, bypassing my question as he is shimmying his shorts off, “But no. I don’t have to pee. I have to poop.” as one cute little butt cheek hits the toilet seat before I can respond or get upset.
Parenting, I am finding more and more, is difficult. Not the discipline. Not the endless feeding. But the heart. The older these babies get, the more personality they form, the longer their eye lashes curl when they smile at me and the dimples in their cheeks deepen, I find I am so grateful and yet completely vulnerable.
“The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” – Debra Ginsberg
It is true. Nearly four years into this thing called Parenting and I wonder how parents before me have survived it. Not for all the difficulties, but for all the wonders. How does the heart not explode with joy with the tent forts, baby laughs, or waking princesses from slumbering in tutus while crackers are stuck in their hair.
When life seems glum, there is no doubt in me that a child can find the sparkle to revive it again.
“Young boys should never be sent to bed… they always wake up a day older.” – Finding Neverland
Note: Due to a busy week last week this post never Published. Ryder is back to 100%