My dearest Benjamin,
Little Man, this month has been a doozie.
To start with, you were sick for its majority. Recurrent ear infections (many undetected) kept you out of school and Daddy and I out of the office for almost all of it. With no other options to heal you medically, we had no choice but to cure you surgically. Ear tubes it is!
We had a surgery date scheduled and were preparing for it and, lo and behold, you got a cold. This meant you still couldn’t go to school and I couldn’t go to work and after having a few other medical issues piled on our family here and there it was pretty damned clear that it was time for Daddy and I to stop, stand still for a minute, and make a huge decision. It was time for me to stop working. For real. This perfect storm of consequences and pressure (which, by the way, were completely resolved once you did get your ear tubes – of course) led us to a very new phase in our lives. One where we live like grownups.
Being home with you while you were sick was difficult because I had so much to handle from a work perspective. But seeing how much you loved having me home – whether you felt good or not – was a very clear message.
We were waiting for you to be well to start speech therapy consistently for your speech delay. It’s pretty clear that delay was due to your ears. If you can’t hear, you can’t talk. Since the surgery you are readjusting to your new world of sounds and working very hard on talking. You love going to speech and Miss Lisa thinks you are quite possibly the cutest boy on the planet. She is, of course, correct.
Every day you have a new sound you are willing to try and every day you get better at saying the words you already like. But the other day, in the middle of a crowded grocery store, you came running to me saying “Mommy”. And it just about took my breath away. I’ve heard you practicing these sounds while you play quietly and while you are in your bed, but you had never really used it in context. I know it’s not very badass to tear up in front of the milk section, but I did. And I thought for a moment how you being able to hear clearly now gave you “new ears”. In that moment, hearing “Mommy “ for the first time, it was like I got new ears, too.
Your hearing and speaking issues never slowed you down for one hot minute in terms of your physical prowess. You want to climb up the playground and slide down the big slides, run across the bouncy bridge and chase every duck that comes near our house. You are fearless in your pursuit of fun and play. You are social and will roll with anything the group is doing. You? Are a BOY.
For the first time ever, we tried a little playgroup at the synagogue in our neighborhood. Mommy hasn’t really done that scene before and was praying the whole way over you would like it, behave well and have fun. We got there and it was like you had been there for years. I’m glad you liked it, because these little friends will be your classmates in a little preschool program for the next few years. Try not to run over any of them. Mommy needs friends.
Benjamin, every time I think of you it is an image of your wild, curly blonde hair with the sun bouncing off of it in a burst of light and your blue eyes just radiating. I’ve never seen anyone with a smile like yours – one that comes up from your toes, through your heart, leaps off your face and bodyslams you with glee. You are all at once a mess, a joy, a laugh, a hug, a tackle and a tickle. You wear me out and lift me up all in the course of a day.
Wednesday I say goodbye to what is mostly the last line on my resume. Thursday begins a whole new job. But I like the benefits with this one a whole bunch. And one day soon you and I are gonna spend an entire day in our pajamas.