Saturday morning, after breakfast, I scooped Sean out of the barstool he was sitting in at the breakfast bar and spirited him off to the kitchen counter to wipe blueberry goo from his face and hands and legs before he ran off to spread blueberry goo throughout the kingdom.
As I carried him around the breakfast bar, he clasped his sticky blue hands behind my neck and wrapped his long legs around my waist and tried to plant bluberry kisses on my nose which I pretended to rebuff.
I looked into his blueberry blue eyes and thought about how I used to sit him on the counter in a blue feeding chair and sing silly made-up songs to him to get him to eat. He would laugh a toothless laugh and then open his mouth wide like a hungry baby bird. My spirit would float up to the ceiling as light as a feather to think that I had made him laugh.
Now he feeds himself and my made-up silly songs annoy him more than amuse him.
At that moment I was hit by that invisible chest crushing blow that I sometimes get when I realize that I am no longer a new mom and he is no longer a new boy. That season of our lives is over.
I plopped him down on the counter and began rubbing blue residue off his hands and face and legs with a wet washcloth.
“Oh Sean,” I sighed, “I’d like to put you back in my tummy and do it all over again. Only this time I’d do it better,” I said. “I know what I’m doing now.” I allowed myself to retreat to a quiet place in my mind as I scrubbed and imagine the joy of doing it all again and the mistakes I wouldn’t make.
Just then the air was pierced with a jarring yelp.
“Ow!” he screamed. “Stop rubbin’ Mom! That’s not blueberries! That’s my boo boo!”
I had rubbed a little scab off his ankle and it was bleeding.
Huh. Whadya know. Looked like blueberry goo to me.
Or then again, maybe I still don’t know what I’m doing.