Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Love hurts.

Last night was the first night Liam slept in his new big boy room. He had a great night's sleep and woke up feeling happy and proud but let me tell you, we didn't get there without wading through a heap of drama first. And, tears. Oh my goodness, the tears!

The three of us spent all day Monday working on the room transformation. It was like a not fun game of musical chairs. Move the computer out of this room so we can move Liam's drums in. Now find somewhere to put that bed so we can set up the crib. Empty those drawers so we can move Liam's clothes out and make room for the onesies. Anything that didn't have a place to go at the moment ended up in our bedroom. The computer desk, musical equipment, random chairs, three unusable laptops (why?!). It's like we're finally getting the college dorm experience we both missed out on. Except instead of looking forward to the next kegger, we're waiting on a baby. I am really hoping he'll arrive after we find a permanent home for all this stuff. But then again, he is our second born. He'll probably come equipped to roll with the punches.

While we got a lot of the heavy lifting done on Monday, Liam's new room still required quite a bit of fine-tuning before it was ready for an overnight guest. So Liam and I spent yesterday driving back and forth to Target and putting on the finishing touches. By bedtime, we were ready. Not that his new room is by any means finished. Oh god no. Depending on my mood it either feels 99% there or not even close. BUT - the sheets were clean, the stuffed animals were in place and the nightlight was aglow. All that was missing was a big boy named Liam.

To commemorate the momentous occasion, we all piled into his bed to do story time as a family. He eenie-meenie-miney-moed to find out who would read and who would sing. Fortunately, because he's a smart kid and extends the "and you are it" part as long as it takes to land on the one he really wants, I got to read and Bill got to sing. Could you imagine if he had chosen the other way around? I mean, I know you've probably never heard me eek out my bedtime favorites - You Are My Sunshine, The More We Get Together, and Make New Friends (it's a Girl Scout song I sometimes sang to my sister at at night when we shared a room...not because I'm a good singer, just because I couldn't listen to one more night of Thriller and she needed a little music to help her fall asleep) - but it's not exactly the kind of thing I'm dying to do in front of an audience. Especially an audience that includes my husband. He's kind of a rock star when it comes to singing (okay, when it comes to most things).

I finished reading the three stories Liam picked out and then snuggled up next to my sleepy, tan, naked son to hear some songs. Bill opened with Elvis' Ku-u-i-po - the song he sang to me (and the rest of the passengers on board our United flight) on the way to Hawaii for our honeymoon. The flight attendants made all of the newlywed husbands either sing a love song or recite a love poem over the loud speaker at some point before the flight was over. If anyone resisted, they stood next to their seats in grass skirts and coconut bras with a bullhorn taunting them until they gave in. We said yes right away. Not only did we want to spare the people around us from a Ty Pennington experience (Okay people, let's do this!), we had also been bribed with a bottle of wine. Who says no to that?

After Elvis came a Dada original. I thought I had heard it before as he's been singing it for a couple of years now but I had no idea the song had grown and changed just like our boy. It used to go:

I love you and I'll see you soon.
But it's milky time.
Time for some milk.
See I'm growing in so very many ways,
You should hear all the words I can say...
Like, I love you.
And I'll see you soon.
It's milky time...
Time for goodnight.

I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for was the new song. The song that actually lists all the very many ways he's growing. Last night it went something like this:

See I'm growing in so very many ways,
You should hear all the words I can say, read, spell, write, sing...
And I go to school, and it's super cool.
And I eat new foods, like quesadillas and chicken nuggets.
And I swim underwater with my snorkel and mask,
and my flippers that make me go really fast.

(Somehow it rhymed and made sense when Bill did it...)

At some point I got really choked up. As Bill continued to sing to Liam about all of the big boy things he was doing that made us so proud, I laid there blubbering like an idiot and soaking the brand new pillow cases with tears.

And I love to read books, and help Dada cook.
And I know how to spell - I spell really well.
And...what else?

Liam took White Bi out of his mouth and whispered to his Dada, "I changed rooms."

Yes! And I got a new room, and it's not too soon.
It's the perfect time because I'm going to be a big brother.

I lost it. So did Bill. Liam popped White Bi back in his mouth and sucked quietly while listening to his personalized bedtime song while we cried like a couple of babies. (I love Liam for not calling us out on stuff like this.) Bill wrapped up the song and finished with his third choice - a somehow humorous rendition (complete with sign language!) of Red House Painter's Three Legged Cat. By the time we turned off the light (and then turned it back on just a little bit), we were all laughing.

We shut the door to Liam's room - the room across the hall - and went to our dorm room to try to find our bed. But the room next door to us was just...empty. Liam's old room and his old crib and all the toys and clothes he had grown out of. It was all just sitting there in the dark. Too small for our big boy. Our big boy who was ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE HALL. I kept waiting for him to get up. To go to the bathroom or get a drink or say, "I'm too little for this new room that is all the way across the hall from you!" I waited, but nothing happened. So Bill and I stood in his old room, in the dark, pretending not to cry or think about how quickly the last four and a half years have gone or how quickly the next four, eight, ten, twelve will go. "At least he's just across the hall and not at college," Bill offered. Yeah. It's true. For now. But you saw that damn Toy Story 3. You know it's just a matter of time!

It kept me up all night. Okay, maybe the huge baby kicking me in the bladder kept me up all night, but every time I'd get up to go to the bathroom and see through the crack in my door that Liam's room was still softly lit and his door was closed, I'd get a little pang of sadness. How am I supposed to just go back to bed when my heart is all the way across the hall?

Okay, this is ridiculous. I'm crying again! And I really have to stop because it's time to go get Liam from preschool soon where he goes twice a week to like, have his own life that does not involve me or Dada. And after school today I promised him we would go to the craft store to get an exclamation point to hang on the wall after his name because evidently growing up is really fun and exciting and it deserves an exclamation point. LIAM was fine for his old room but now that he's bigger, LIAM! is more appropriate. He's right of course. It is exciting. I am just having trouble embracing the exclamation point right now. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant and hormonal. Or maybe it's because it doesn't matter what side of the hall you sleep on, sometimes growing up is really hard.


Megan said...

Oh Maggie .. I needed a good cry. My heart has been in your place and it's tough!! You're such a good mommy!!

cora white said...

I missed reading your funny take on life.
You are right they do grow up way too fast.

The Listers said...

this post should have had a warning...definitely not safe for reading during the post-partum period! what a bittersweet moment. 4 years in the blink of an eye. how does it happen so fast? :(

Anonymous said...

Maggie Thank YOU for sharing this very special moment {Dada, Mama, and Liam} There is nothing like the first child-----but God gives enough love to share with the next ones. Making each one as sweet and precious as the first. It doesn't seem possible but I am here to tell you it's the truth. I love Liam's dad more than words can say!!! Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap..I am totally sobbing. Boogers running down my face sobbing and chest hurting! Beautiful...