Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Boy

"Hnnnnnnn." I make a machine-like humming sound. I am a capture-machine, a tickle-machine, and Bub falls into my pincer-like arms, twisting and giggling.

We are on the floor by the kitchen-table. From this vantage point I can see hardened corn kernels and chick peas, the crumbs from breakfast and last night’s supper clustering around chair legs, hiding from the casual sweep of the broom. Pie clambers under the table and shuffles along on her bum, wedging herself under a chair and then out again. It’s a joke, a game, like everything she does when sickness isn’t suppressing her natural mischief. Her upper lip is still shiny with snot, but her eyes twinkle as she announces, "Funny!" and Bub follows her lead. For the time being, she is friend and ally rather than rival and marauder.

As Bub bum-shuffles under the chair and then hurls himself back into the tickle-machine, the love I feel for him is comfortable and comforting. It doesn’t demand anything of me but instead offers a kind of absolution: he is a beautiful boy, not a monster of my own creation. He is loving and innocent, not a figure from a cautionary tale against the dangers of lax and undisciplined parenting ("The Story of Bub, Who Perished in Painful Agonies Because He Wouldn’t Put On His Shoes").

It’s not unconnected to his new outfit, this sudden upsurge of affection. He’s wearing big-boy clothes today, size 4-T, rough-and-tumble clothes of sturdy brown corduroy and dark red trim. They are clothes for the boy he is becoming, one who can do it by himself, who can climb up to the top of the slide without anyone hovering anxiously to prevent him from stepping into thin air. He’s a boy who answers, "No way!" when asked to do something – and then does it anyway. He’s a boy who barks, "Mama to lie down on the bed!" as I tuck him in, and then turns his head toward mine to gaze into my eyes. His expression is searching, thoughtful, and utterly defenseless.

 
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16 comments:

Suz said...

Really beautiful. As my toddlers get older, I keep seeing glimpses of the little boys they will become.

PeanutButtersMum said...

Beautifully said.

And what IS it about size 4? It somehow seems so much bigger than 3, doesn't it?

slouching mom said...

Oh these little boys, how they tug at the heart.

This...

He’s a boy who answers, "No way!" when asked to do something – and then does it anyway.

...reminded me strongly of my own boys.

Kyla said...

Wait until you have to cross the store to the big boy clothing where there are no more T sizes...or until the 5th birthday. I am still recovering. *lol*

These boys are so amazingly sweet.

Omaha Mama said...

Sweet. The visuals you create are wonderful.

And what a GREAT picture!

Momish said...

He is a sweety pie indeed and you are an amazing mom. Someday he is going to read these posts and openly weep at your tender heart out on your sleeve.

flutter said...

oh what a beautiful face

c4cara said...

Thanks B&P. I save comming here for when I have a bit of time, because I always get wrapped up in what you write, and go off on tangents (like I never knew there was such a thing as a Blog Troll!!, and now I know, I'll try to avoid!) and then the afternoon is GONE. Like now, I'm supposed to be clearing out my studio space, because I haven't painted for months and can't find anything and the girls toys are everywhere.
But this is so much more fun.
Perhaps I'll finish up by finding my husband and trying to guilt trip him into something. *grin*.

Bub is looking glorious and just like my 4 yr old - she loves mastering new things, but mostly would prefer I keep doing them anyway, for her general convenience. Except for when she wants to do them herself, when I am just SO in her way.

nomotherearth said...

Your kitchen floor sounds a lot like mine (although mine is minus the casual sweep, of course).

The passage of time is incredible, huh? I was amazed this week by the Boy sitting at a table in an adult-sized chair. No booster seat - nothing - and mangaging just fine. Crazy!

Jenifer said...

Very beautiful, words and photo. I have always said that the year between 3 and 4 is momentous...something about it that changes your baby into a little person.

Rosebud is 3 1/2 and I feel it slipping away every day.

Bub is a sweet and lovely boy. You captured it so well.

Jaelithe said...

Eeek! Ack! How do they get so big?

V-Grrrl said...

Ready for a car and a curfew in that picture!

Lawyer Mama said...

He looks like such a boy in that picture. Still so little, but so big at the same time.

luckyzmom said...

How sweet.

Mimi said...

Bub: rock star.

When I was little, I always loved when my mom tickled me because, more than the laugh, I wanted the physical intimacy. Now that I am a mother, I tickle my baby to make her laugh ... but mostly because touching her just makes my heart lift.

Steph said...

Hmm. Bub sounds a lot like my little guy too.