Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stop! Dada time.

I'm working today at the Tennessee State Museum gift shop. It's my third Saturday here and the third Saturday Bill and Liam have come to see me. The first week they needed to get the car seat out of my car so they could go to Costco to get some frozen chicken and a "church of ice cream" (the peak on a soft serve reminds Liam of a steeple). The next week I forgot my cell phone and my glasses. Today I needed coffee. Secretly, we just really like each other and are slightly co-dependent.

Every time I hear them tromping down the main stairs humming a Miss Courtney duet, or look up from my book the register and see them parading toward the gift shop like a couple of crazy hobos, my heart flutters a little and I can't help but giggle to myself.

They are always wearing the same clothes - Liam in red track pants, a Mexican hoodie and brown deck shoes; Bill in a paint splattered track suit, Clarks that are twice as old as Liam and a hippie beanie that is way too close to the color of his skin. Both have on swim trunks underneath.

They seem completely unfazed at the prospect of seeing me somewhere as strange and exotic as work. I stand there like someone who just got a hair cut and really wants a compliment without having to ask for one. Well? What do you think? I mean, look at me. I'm working! They're like, Oh yeaaaah. Working. Cool. Alright, well, we're taking our track suits and going to the pool now. Peace out.

I love witnessing their Dada and Liam time. And not just because the outfits are hilarious. There is something about them one-on-one that totally brings out their best. Bill is completely at home in his role of Super Dad and Liam seems more like a confident dude and less like my baby. It always catches me off guard making me feel incredibly proud yet strangely distant at the same time.

The best, though, are days like today. Seeing someone you love in an unfamiliar place is like getting to see them with a fresh pair of eyes. When you get used to seeing someone all the time, it's almost like you stop seeing them at all. I mean, it's not like you're going to have to point them out in a crowd or anything; just open your eyes and there they are, just like they were yesterday and the day before that and last week and forever. But when you don't see them for a little while (in me and Liam's case, an hour or so does the trick), the next time you lay eyes on them, especially somewhere unfamiliar, you get to see what everyone else sees. And it's glorious.

I've done this with Bill before, most notably the last time he picked me and Liam up from the airport. As we were walking closer and closer to the security gate, I noticed a really cute guy standing there waiting for someone. I was totally staring at him and probably would have eye flirted a little if I wasn't all ugly from the plane and pushing a stroller. I forced myself to look away before I got too close and would have walked right past him if he didn't step in front of us to hug his son.

When I see my boys together, though, I have to admit it's Liam who stuns me. He is so big and grown up it almost takes my breath away. I approach him cautiously as if he is someone other than the boy who hopped in the tub with me yesterday and snuggled up to me in bed this morning. I go in for the hug; he obliges politely then drifts away, captivated by something other than me. I can't take my eyes off of him. This is my son. This person browsing through a bin of mini erasers and watching his reflection in the jewlery case is Liam. It's almost enough to send me to work every Saturday.

6 comments:

hezza said...

you made me cry. :-)

Courtney said...

tears here...

mockingbird said...

you are amazing, Maggie. I absolutely love reading your writing and i love that I know you guys so well, that I can picture all of this in my head clearly. it also brings tears to my eyes as well. love it, love you guys!

Anonymous said...

This is only one reason I love you Maggie. I love you because you love Bill and you are a precious Mom The blog makes me so happy. Thank you Mom [aka Anne]

Katie said...

Maggie, you also made me cry and think of JT and Cal and you so eloquently describe feelings that I have. Bill--you are a wonderful man/father/husband!

Dana said...

This post is absolutely lovely.