Today was a crazy day. It was the kind of non-stop day that left me yearning for a bubble bath and a good book. Instead it ended with Drew’s regular request, “Will you sleep with me a little?” I usually indulge this petition, but tonight I was so exhausted that I didn’t know if I had it in me. I told him to go lay down and I would come check on him in a few minutes, secretly hoping that he would fall asleep before I would have to perform any more motherly tasks. I continued my work on the computer of editing photos from an earlier session and made a mental note of everything I had packed into the last thirteen hours.
The Back To School “Meet & Greet” was among the list, an event that occurs a few days prior to school where the kids have an opportunity to go see their new class assignment and meet their new teacher. We had a twenty-minute window with which to accomplish this task and I began with Samantha and Drew in tow, weaving through the enormous crowds of parents and children rushing to the wall to find out whose tutorial death grip they might be under for the next 9 months. Samantha has a male teacher for the first time, which means I will likely be conducting my first Back To School background check. And Drew? Drew will be in afternoon Kindergarten.
In consideration of this fact I let my mind wander a few years back to when Cory and I decided to try and have another baby. As such, I was led to believe that I had many years before I would send my “last” kid to school. Well, things don’t always happen the way you think they will, and now I find myself entertaining the possibility that I might already be doing that. Then my brain took a road trip back even further to a time when the new millenium had officially been ushered in. Gladiators were making a comeback, the Y2K panic was settled, Michael Jackson’s integrity was still in question, and for reasons I can’t explain several women across America still insisted on wearing leggings.
But most importantly, Drew was being born. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that this experience was unbelievable for me the second time around. (Not with Drew, just with childbirth. You understand…?) I haven’t figured out whether it was the ultimate success after two sequential miscarriages, the sheer delight of not being pregnant anymore, the outburst of singing from friends who didn’t have to deal with me being pregnant anymore, or divine intervention, but it was (and is to this day) the single most happiest day of my life. I think the best word available in the English language might be JOY. It’s the only word that fits, and yet it still doesn’t seem to encompass how I felt. Nevertheless, I felt it and my friend still comments how I sounded when I called her from the delivery room that day.
Then I started remembering all of my kid’s “firsts”. Their first words, first steps, first filet mignon, and then I thought, “Who am I kidding? I don’t remember all that.” And then it occurred to me that even more than not remembering all of their “firsts” (without the help of their baby books anyway), I also couldn’t tell you about any of their “lasts”. When was the last time I rocked Samantha to sleep? When was the last time Drew called an elephant a “nophant”? When was the last time Samantha crawled into bed with me to sleep under my arm for another hour? When was the last time Drew fell while learning to walk? When was the last time Samantha actually ran to me after school because she was so excited to see me? When was the last time Drew ate sweet potatoes from a baby food jar?
And when would be the last time Drew would ask me to “Sleep with (him) a little?”
With that thought I got up and went to Drew’s room, and though his extra long “blinks” illustrated the degree of his fatigue, he was (thankfully) still awake. When I laid down next to him he picked up my arm to wrap around his tummy, secured it with his little hand, and without saying a word drifted into dreams that most certainly involved Power Rangers. The only thing I know for sure is that this would be the last time on a Thursday night before starting Kindergarten that Drew would ask me to put my arms around him while he slept, and I didn’t want to miss it.