as a drinking glass connected with the back of my skull i immediately felt electric pain as a string of curse words left my mouth. aidric instantly started crying. not his usual whine-cry, but a full on wail, covering his wide mouth with his hands, eyes spilling over, dropping to the ground from the couch where he lay, remorseful. or something of the sort. i continued rubbing the point of contact and cursing as i felt the high-pitched pain creep in, spreading to the rest of my head. my mama heart was twinging with shame and guilt for letting-no, making-him cry. i tried to find it in me to comfort him, but instead sat poised with one hand to my head, the other gripping the culprit glass, glaring down and my 1.5 year old, wondering how my life got this way.
we regained some peace eventually, how i don't remember. still, we were both cranky, and none of my usual tricks were soothing him. i knew he was tired, but it was infinitely too early for me to win a bedtime battle. i decided we needed to get out of the house. something i rarely do with him in tow beyond necessity. the effort and anxiety of having a toddler in public is just too much for me (i'm working on that).
i announced it was time to go, a key phrase he understands from our mornings rushing to the babysitter on time. normally, this is met with excitement as he runs to the door and attempts to open it, usually allowing me to put his shoes, coat, and backpack on him with little protest. today was not so. i chased him around the place with socks, and you would have thought i was trying to cut his feet off the way he struggled and wailed as i pulled him into my lap to put them on. i hurriedly grabbed the essentials-his blanket, a snack, my keys, his diaper bag, an umbrella for the grey skies-and corralled him to the door.
we made it outside, and immediately we both were calmed. he sat quietly, taking everything in with wide eyes. i noticed how good it felt to move my body, drink in the fresh air, feel the chill on my skin. i discovered picturesque community areas and diners i pass by every day, but never notice thru the blur of commuting. i noted their locations for future visits. we stopped to watch a fountain, aidric watching eagerly. next we encountered a pigeon. excitedly he pointed him out, watched as he flew and settled onto a perch just above us, gazing at us with a bobbing head and beady eyes. this was clearly the best part to aidric as he began to chatter to me about what he saw. we continued on to my intended destination, a quiet little neighborhood just blocks from us made up of the dreamiest brick condos, with glistening black gates enclosing the tiniest of yards.
finally away from the noise and bustle of traffic, my mind began to wander and daydream as it so often does. of life and home to come. the glistening grey pavement with the pops of lavender of fallen petals inspired in my heart a reminder of the simple joys i still so long for. i realized how simply i desire to live, how much the thought fills me up. i crave adventure, too, but deep roots and a daily life of the mundane turned beautiful is what my soul has long called for. as we strolled, i envisioned the flowers i would tend in the tiny front lawn, replaced a cat we spied taking in the breeze through an open window with my own, imagined the warmth there will be in a home full with loved ones. i imagined family walks with a dog, summers splashing in the garden hose, the sweet smell of cinnamon and vanilla filling the house as i baked for a family all my own.
i looked down at my sweet boy, unruly curls and bronzed cheeks made slick by his nose, his tiny fingers grasping the sides of the stroller as he eagerly looked on, and wished so much more for him than what i have provided. i scolded myself for the times i lose my temper, or blame my lack of success on his sweet soul. i wanted to scoop him up right then, whisk him away into one of these homes made of dreams and brick, and redevote myself to crafting his childhood and raising him with tender love. our walk was the reminder i needed that i have the makings for everything i want. it was a time-out on my frustrations and short-comings, a reprioritization of my life's ambitions.
we made it home. i placed him straight into the tub, and after a few snuggles with one of his shows, announced it was time for bed. he picked his head up off of the couch to look at me so sweetly, picked up his blanky, and made his way into our room. past his crib he walked, straight to my bed, where he attempted to crawl in. i was stunned at his understanding and obliging obedience. charmed by his actions, i helped him in, where he immediately snuggled down into my pillows. as i rubbed his back and tucked him in, i marveled at his cleverness, his sweetness, and his innocence. slowly i crept out, peering at him through the thinning crack of the door. silently i swore to him tomorrow will be a better day. and each day after, better than the one before.