Monday, August 10, 2015

Birthday | I will ride on that train; I will be the fisherman, with light in my head, you in my arms

August 9, 2015 - Mama, 31-years-old / Mads, 2-years-old
My boy's second birthday has arrived.  For two years, my life has been focused on this one, tiny being.  He is my everything. Nothing matters but him, and that is a scary thing, that love. I don't even understand that love; if I attempt to quantify that love, I'm sure my heart and mind will just give out from exhaustion. So, instead, we live in dailiness, my love and me--diaper changes, walks, tantrums, meals, giggles, chases, shows, books, fart noises, oh so many fart noises, baths, bedtimes, morningtimes. 

There is already so much about this kid, his personality and the hint of the man he will be that just amazes me, just stuns and slays me. He loves the rain. He loves being in the rain, standing in it. "Water all around," he says.  One morning recently he stood outside with his dad and asked, "Want rain?" We thought he was requesting that of his father, that Wolfman provide the rain (he is a shaman, after all), but when it started storming later in the afternoon I thought, was he predicting the rain? Was he telling us? Did the rain clouds hear him? Is he a rain god? Does the rain love him like he loves it, like I love him?

He loves trains and cars and carts, all the things with wheels. My grandma has a little car he can sit in and maneuver with his feet, Fred Flinstone style, at her house.  He can spend entire hours getting in and out of it, turning it, backing it up, moving it forward, collecting treasures and storing them in the backseat. He touches car wheels sometimes, in parking lots, in our drive way. Does this mean something? Is he just being a boy? Or does he already have that fever of movement, that nomad nature, that desire to be always away, that deep-seeded appreciation for the sound of traffic on a high way like the sound of waves washing on a beach? Did I pass this to him? Will he do what I couldn't and see the world? Will he send me postcards?

I think about the man he'll be constantly. I'm not sure if this is normal, but I think it's healthy.  He won't be little forever. Already, if I ask, "Martigan, are you a baby?" he'll say, "No!" with an inflection that says, "don't be daft, Mommy." I see young men sitting at the counter at Waffle House, stepping up into pickup trucks, holding hands with young women, walking dogs, and I think about the man Martigan will become, and the hand I have in shaping that man. He prefers the company of men to women, warms up to men much more readily. He's studious around older boys and men, he already seems to be looking for clues as to how to behave, talk, walk, be. But, the first two years of his life were spent in my company very nearly exclusively, listening to my talk, watching my movements, nestled close to me awake and asleep, both. Things are changing now. His dad will be home with him, his primary caregiver, and I'll be off to work--in my gypsy duds and out the door, leaving my menfolk to their own devices. But when he's angry, when he's sad, when he's hurt, it's my name he calls, and it will be for quite some time.

That's a big responsibility, and saying so is a big understatement. So, what is it I want for this one-day-man; how do I want to contribute to his life, and thus, this world?

I want him to be happy. First and foremost, always, I want this guy to be happy--it's the best any of us can hope for in this life. I want him to have a sense of purpose. I want him to be kind. I want him to be unafraid.

Mads loves to dance, and I joked once that while some parents want their kids to grow up and be doctors, I want mine to grow up and post videos of himself dancing on Youtube. What I really mean is that: I want him to be comfortable in his body; I want him to be confident; I want him to have a sense of whimsy.

I want him to look at this world as a place full of magic and potential. I want him to be optimistic. I'm optimistic for him. Life gets messy, and events and people can disappoint. Despite that, I can make the best of things, and see the best and most beautiful in life, because I have Mads here with me, seeing the world for the first time. I hope that's the lesson he learns from me, that life can be as beautiful as he makes it. He might not get to have as many adventures as I hope for him. He and his love might live in dailiness, but oh-my-god that love.

August 9, 2014 - Mama, 30-years-old / Mads, 1-year-old
August 10, 2013 - Mama, 29-years-old / Mads, 12-hours-old

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