He doesn’t want to nap. He’d rather play with Tinker Toys and his train set. In fact, he does play with his Tinker Toys and his train set. And he turns off his fan. And then he tears the back cover of his book, Where the Wild Things Are, and stuffs his other book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, under the door into the hallway. And then he eats the paper he tore off of Where the Wild Things Are. And then he poops, because apparently he didn’t get it all out those three times before. And he just keeps forgetting, despite the constant reminders from Mama and Daddy, that he’s supposed to be staying in his bed. He is offended by our frustration. His trains are fun. His door is shut all the way, so he simply lunges his body against it casually, and appears surprised when he sees his Mama come in, for the fifth time, to correct him (that’s not counting the seven times his Daddy came in). He finally falls asleep. And then he wakes up an hour later in a sweaty, crying mess.
He melts my heart.
He makes me weep.
He always has to kiss both of my cheeks.
He makes my head hurt.
He hates to see me hurt.
He doesn’t always listen to me.
He has a gentle spirit.
He is headstrong.
He loves me like no other.
He makes me crazy.
He puts both arms around my neck, and suddenly, things don’t seem so complicated anymore.
He looks at me with those big, blue eyes and asks, “Mo? Peas?” He follows me into the kitchen and waits patiently as I prepare his snack. I ask him to find his water cup, and he graciously complies. He meets me at his highchair and I lift him up. He sits there, quietly, munching away on his bell peppers, carrots, and celery. He gulps and gulps and gulps his water. He tells me, in gibberish, all about the things he sees outside. He smiles. I relax. I remember that it isn’t always so bad. Sometimes, it’s kind of bad. Occasionally, it’s really bad. But most of the time, it’s really, really, really good.
And I’m blessed to mother him. I’m blessed to shepherd him through this life. I’m honored to have been chosen as the one who guards his heart. These trials are trying, but they produce fruit. Any trial that produces fruit is worth my sweat, my tears, my attention, my commitment.
He is my son.
And Jack Dempsey is his name.