I’m Not Letting Go
Kids are creatures of habit. You may not think that is the case, particularly when you are trying to bring them down off the hyperactive wave of a sugar high. When they’ve talked incessantly for 30 straight minutes with seemingly no need for oxygen because they have yet to take a breath, you wonder.
I notice the similarities from their early lives, though. I see them a lot.
When my sons were little, I mean just learning to talk little, they argued almost like they do now. “Sim” is how my son called his brother, Sam. “Sim…Siiim….” it was kind of endearing.
Just today I heard him do it all over again. When they argue over playing a videogame the old vernacular comes out of his mouth. Angry words have a way of cutting down to your soul, it seems.
There are more endearing, lovely ways that this happens too, though.
Friday I got home from work at a really reasonable time. I’d worked a number of extra hours and got to go home early as a result. When I walked in the door my normal meeting at the door arrived. My son, the twin to the boy up there, was waiting to give me his dissertation of the day. His sister waited impatiently in line and began her diatribe. I listened intently . . . then looked and asked the obvious question neither was asking: “Where’s your brother?”
They looked at me confused as to my curiosity and then my son got a look of cognition. “He’s upstairs in bed.”
I stopped dead, looked at them, and asked “did he have a headache?”
My son has pre-adolescent migraines so when he gets a headache it’s a bit of a killer for him. His sister, the babysitter for the hour or so, looked crestfallen. She hadn’t realized.
I had brought home pizza for Friday night and knew Sam would want it. I walked up and found him, arm over his eyes, blocking the light, head on the pillow.
I sat slowly by him and rubbed his head.
“You okay little man?”
He slowly opened his eyes.
“Yeah. It was a bad one.”
It is a hard thing to do as a parent, sit there knowing there’s little you can do but give them medicine and comfort them. I rubbed his temples and was saddened that it hurt so bad.
I leaned over and hugged Sam and he reached up and grabbed my neck in his arms. I noticed as he did so he smiled, a big, twinkling in the eyes, smile. I heard him mumble something. I tried to lift up to hear him better and couldn’t. His arms were wrapped tight around my neck.
“Did you say something?”
“I’m not letting go,” he said, smiling big.
It’s not often I wish a moment could stay, suspended in animated time, warmth and emotion floating there among the dirty clothes and the messed up sheets on the bed.
This was certainly one of the moments, those tiny little miracles of your day that would be easy to pass by. Instead I lie there with my son, his head blistering and his stomach sour from the stabbing pain in his head and it was one of the happier moments of my day.
I leaned back in and whispered in his ear.
“You don’t have to. I’m not letting go, either.”