Yesterday afternoon, I heard a muffled scuffling banging sound coming from Sean’s room. I somehow knew it was him hanging by one hand like an orangutan from the upper hang rod in his closet with the other hand blindly reaching, swiping and digging for something in the deep dark recesses of the closet. I also knew that he was standing tip toe on one foot on a precariously positioned stool that was about to tip over while he balanced his other foot on the lower hang rod, all but knocking off the fall and winter clothes I had just organized and hung there the week before.
I can’t really describe the sound to you because it’s like a dog whistle – only moms can hear it. And when moms here this sound, their ears perk up and they think, “Rut-roh. Dats not good.”
So I quickly dried my hands and dashed into his room where I found him in his closet hanging by one hand like an orangutan from the upper hang rod and desperately reaching for something buried in the back with the other hand. Just like it sounded.
“Dude, dude, dude,” I said as I pulled him off the home style uneven bars, “What are you doing?”
“I’m looking for my pirate suit,” he said.
I had in fact hung the pirate suit in the very back of the closet thinking he would forget all about it. It barely fit him when I bought it a month or two ago and it has since been washed and accidentally dried in the dryer. Nonetheless, I pulled out the pirate suit and handed it to him.
He quickly stripped down to his skivvies and wiggled into it.
“Velcro me up matey! Will ‘ya?” he ordered, turning his back to me with his hands on his hips.
“Aye aye Captain,” I said and then like a sales clerk in a bridal shop, I did my best to squeeze my too big customer into a too small costume, tucking and tugging, pulling and praying, coaxing the Velcro together with all my might.
When he turned around, he was so blindingly cute that I lost my peripheral vision and the part of the brain that does math and reasoning. I reached out to him and pulled him into my lap so we were nose to nose and was surprised when he willingly obliged. He smelled sweet and of cinnamon, like graham crackers.
“Give your mommy a hug Captain,” I ordered him.
He playfully pushed me to the ground and I pulled him into my chest and quickly hugged him before he tried to squiggle away.
But he didn’t squiggle away. Instead, he wrapped his arms around my neck, nestled into me and stayed there.
So I laid there on the floor on my back with my arms wrapped around my 4-year-old pirate boy and watched the ceiling fan go round and round. He twirled my hair and I ran my finger up and down the miraculous thing that is his spine and listened to him breathe. No words were spoken. I did not want the moment to pass because I never know when it will be the last time before he will be too busy or too big to spontaneously snuggle with his mom on the floor. Four has been sweet and funny and joyful beyond what should be legal.
Five is on the horizon and I know it will bring its own brand of joy, but I would give just about anything for more four. Please.