My dearest sweetheart, my jellybean, my coffeebean, my Cameron.
Yes, coffeebean. A new nickname you earned today while watching the guys at JJs roast coffee. I’m surprised it took me so long.
Today was a hard day. Saturdays tend to be. The trip to get a new pump and new fish for our aquarium was a disaster.
When we had just gotten to the Skytrain, gone up the steps to the station, you found something that interested you in the ticket validator stand. I hate that station with a passion. Today it was more than just general dirtiness and grossness; there was a guy there trying to sell used transfers and half-smoked cigarettes. I don’t know if he was drunk, high, mentally ill, or perhaps even just unfortunately challenged physically. But I saw an unclean, lurching, wild-eyed man heading your way and I called you to come with me. You resisted. I insisted – hurry, NOW. You started to howl, and this man leaned over you, waving a transfer in your face. I’m sorry I didn’t get you away faster. I’m sorry I seemed mad at you. I grabbed you and carried you, howling, to the other end of the station. I was scared.
I’m awfully sorry that I didn’t clue in to just how tired you were later. I was wearing a watch, and I knew it was late, but not that late. So while you were sobbing to be picked up, I didn’t think it was because you were literally exhausted. I had two heavy shopping bags and was tired myself, but that’s no excuse for half-dragging you, sobbing, howling, and screaming from one skytrain to the next. What was supposed to be a fun adventure was instead misery for you. I only realized how tired you and I both were when a stranger lightly bumped into you, and you crumpled to the ground, with a very different cry than usual for such an occurrence. You were too exhausted and over-wraught from crying to get up or even howl with indignation at finding yourself on the ground – instead, you just sagged down into a teary little miserable heap.
In a heartbeat I had you in my arms, who cares about the groceries and fish in the bags? I carried you onto the train. I carried you to the bus, where you fell asleep, face buried in my neck. I carried you home and into my bed, where we slept for over an hour.
There were other rough parts to the day, too. But I want to also share with you the joyful moments. You are such a sweet, warm-hearted little boy.
You took one end of my housecoat tie, which you’d pulled off, and held it against your rear end, proclaiming “I have tail!”
On our way out, you noticed that the two potted evergreen trees aren’t looking so green anymore. In fact, they’ve turned red, and one has lost all its needles. The summer wasn’t very good to them. I commented that they’re not feeling well. Your response was to ever-so-gently put your arms around one of them, murmuring such things as “feel better,” and “It’s okay.” Not to play favourites, you then gave the other one similar attention. “I snuggle the trees, make them feel better,” you announced.
The walk to JJs (we left the stroller at home, a move I think was a little premature) was mostly at a little boy run pace. You gleefully shrieked most of the way that we were being chased by spider webs. They’re gonna get us!
The evening was rough for me. I hate it when Saturdays are so awful, I hate putting you in time outs – and most of all, I hate crying infront of you. While I know it’s a normal reaction, and I know you have to learn that Mommy cries too … I don’t want you thinking that you made me cry, blaming yourself. Fine line to walk. But tonight I couldn’t help it, and you saw me crying. I assured you that you weren’t making me sad, that you make me happy. And you wrapped your arms around me in a big hug. Throughout the evening you did this, sometimes I asked you for a hug too. And I think your emotions were a little on the raw side too. The slightest thing would bring frustrated tears, little stomps, and you’d come to me, catch my hand, and ask, “Mommy, snuggle me?”
You went to bed tonight with no fuss at all. Perhaps you were as happy to end this day as I will be. But a while after you’d dozed off, and I’d already started to write this letter, I heard a wavery, “Mommy?” It came on its own – no tossing or turning, no fussing, no prelude whatsoever. I have to assume it was one of those almost-asleep blurts. A moment later, a bit of fussing, and you called, “Hug! Need a hug!” After a night like tonight, I jumped up and ran into your room to oblige you.
You fell asleep in my arms.
I love you. Tomorrow is a new day, and I love you.