I felt so sad putting away the matchbox cars and wiping up the little handprints off the table. After everything was cleaned up, I went into the kitchen barefoot and landed on what must have been dried jelly on the floor. A little remnant of the happiness I felt while he was here. Between my toes.
I'm struggling with how to describe our time together. I loved it - looooooved it - but I haven't been around a two year old since my almost-30-year-old brother was two. Here are a few notes I jotted down the past few days:
- Living with a two year old all the time has got to be like living with someone with schizophrenia who doesn't always take their meds. He is so sweet, climbing on my lap and listening to a story like every word I say is a clue to the location of the arc of the covenant. Five minutes later I'm cleaning up and he's yelling at me because he thinks I'm stealing his crayons. The whole "mine" thing that kids do is very unattractive. If I touch his matchbox cars he yells, "Mine! Not Mimi's!" (I'm Mimi, btw.) Kid, I don't want your cars. Relax.
- Last night after his bath, he ran into my room to show me his PJ's that have cars on them and he couldn't have been prouder. He was all, "Tada!" with his arms in the air like a little gymnast who sticks a landing.
- I think it would be really fun to have kids and only sometimes I'd want to anesthetize them. Just a little general when you want to watch a ball game on TV or something.
- We took my nephew in the pool today. I'd forgotten what pure childhood joy is like. He plays by slapping at the water. He laughed harder than I've heard anyone laugh when we would disappear underwater and then shoot back up to surprise him. When he couldn't hold it in any longer, he would let out a combination scream/laugh. I loved it! His mom showed him how to hold on to the side of the pool and kick his feet - his tiny arms and soft shoulders working to keep him propped up.
- When I'm walking beside my nephew and we're about to cross a street, he reaches up and grabs a couple of my fingers - as many will fit in his small hand - to steady himself. He does this without even looking up to see if I'm there.
- Tonight as we were leaving the restaurant, my brother and SIL were way ahead and I was carrying my nephew. He was super tired and acting a little drunk and very suddenly he put his hands on either side of my head, came very close to my face while staring intently into my eyes, and kissed me on the lips. He did it over and over, squeezing my temples, each kiss getting longer and longer. It was the sweetest creepy moment, or the creepiest sweet moment I've ever had. Lay off the sauce, kid. I'm your auntie.
- I had a very tender moment with my nephew tonight. My brother and his wife went for a walk and my nephew and I laid on my bed and read books before his bedtime. It was one of the best times of my life. He never likes to cuddle with anyone; it's not his personality. But we had a special time cuddling and going through books, making animal sounds and talking together. As I read he slowly inched his feet under my legs until his toes were safely buried.
This morning when my brother, SIL and nephew started to drive off, my brother said, "Bye, sister!" and then rolled down the back window so my nephew could see me. As soon as the window was cracked, my nephew called out with swagger to spare, "Bye, sister!"
That was hours ago. The house is clean and jelly-free now. The cat is sleeping in a circle on my bed and the laundry is tumbling. I miss him so much it hurts.