A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life.
Anakin: I barely took any photos last week of you, of anything really. This was from the only photos I took that week after we came home from open day at the gym. Your first ever face paint, and oh how you loved it. It was a perfect day of laughter, sunshine, ice cream and games.
We never made it to the airport last Saturday. There was no pappa to pick up. I woke up to the news of him not being able to fly with his passport due to a rip in the ID page on Friday. It was the start of a few very bumpy days. Anakin had been crossing off days on a calendar and we had talked about the airport all week. He woke up to chaos and a very sad and very tired mamma. I’ve never seem him quite like he was that day. He was unsettled and afraid of me leaving him behind at childcare. It took a lot of reassurance, some time, a few books read on the sofa and a special trip to the toy library to be able to leave him there. His disappointment and hurt was written all over his face as he clung to me. Unable to articulate how he felt he was left with acting out. But we made it through. My partner ended up having to go to Norway to get a new passport and we ended up with another week on our own.
We’ve both had colds and I’ve been incredibly tired, but as much as it’s been hard it’s also been a very special time. We have a special groove, Anakin and I. And he really is the sweetest boy. I wake up to him snuggling in next to me at night, pressing his face against my back and hear him whisper “I’ll take care of you, mamma”. He tells me he loves me several times a day. When he calms down after he’s been upset he holds me and says “I’m not mad at you, mamma.” I’ve put in a lot of work towards how we deal with our feelings the past couple of weeks, particularly the not so great ones, and it’s paying off. For us both.
I tear up every time he holds me and says ” I will always love you, mamma”. Or when I say goodnight at bedtime and tell him I love him and he replies that he loves me too before he adds “And I love you (baby’s name).” After we told him her name he has bonded with her quite a bit. (We want to keep the name a secret, but it will be near impossible once family arrive for the wedding as Anakin refuses to call her by anything other than her name. Oh well.)
Often over the past couple of weeks I have been overwhelmed by this feeling of being eternally grateful and incredibly lucky to be Anakin’s mamma. And this time alone has also shown me that out of the few things I may occasionally do wrong (and I do fail sometimes), I have done, and am still doing, so many things right in my journey through motherhood so far. I only have to look at Anakin to know this. I hope some of it stems from the incredible respect I have for my son as a person. I hope it stems for my unconditional love, my patience and continuous efforts to let him be as close as he wants and needs. I hope I never forget the look in his eyes when he sees me naked after a shower and how he comes running to be held close and to feel my skin next to his. When my son looks at me in awe and tells me how beautiful I am I can not help but feel just that. And when I look at him I don’t just see a child I see a person with every right to be heard as I have so I do my best to listen.
Tonight our big wait ends. My partner will be back. Although I’ve been careful to not say much in case something else should happen I sense Anakin knows as he is still not asleep and it is way past the time he usually goes down. I suspect we’re in for a few days of incredible joy, but also a bit of punishment from a little one who does not like to be left. If he does fall asleep I can’t wait to see his face in the morning when he wakes up to find his pappa next to him. I can tell you right now it’ll make me cry. I for one am insanely excited to hear that door open in a bit. I do fine on my own, but there will always be something special about the love of your life and father of your children returning home after being away. As it should. So as tired as I am and as much of an emotional roller coaster as this has been, tonight I just feel lucky. And excited.