My husband is easily the most interesting person I have ever known. He is always trying to better himself: be it through teaching himself Latin, or learning how to bake bread from scratch. I've heard him say several times how frustrating it is to have spent nearly his entire life in school and to have a bachelor's degree from a great liberal arts school, but yet have no idea how to grow his own food or fix anything in his house.
In response, Jason has taken up a serious study of organic farming. There are green beans, sweet corn, radishes, carrots, sugar snap peas, and all kinds of herbs growing in our garden right now, as well as about 30 tomato plants in our kitchen waiting to be transplanted. My freezer is full of all sorts of bread-- rye, wheat, ciabatta--you name it, all baked with love by my husband.
His latest endeavor involves taking an Introduction to Construction class at Ivy Tech this summer. He was crazy cute as he was getting ready to leave for his first class: sporting his "work boots" and grungiest jeans. I am so proud of him for being so eager to learn, to try new things.
And as proud as I am, I was also slightly bothered. His class goes from 5-10:30pm every Tuesday night. His school is out for the summer now, and I have been so excited to have him home for the next three months, especially as I increasingly embrace my walrus-like shape. So, I wasn't looking forward to having Jason gone for nearly six hours once a week (woe is me, I know).
He took off for his class last night, just as Avram was waking up from his nap. As my buddy and I sat down for dinner together, it hit me: these are the last times it will be just the two of us. For two years we've spent the better part of nearly everyday together. Jason is now home for the summer, and by the time school starts back up in the fall we will be a family of four.
The next six Tuesday nights are the last times it will be just me and my buddy.
I worry that Avram will be jealous of all the attention his new little brother gets, that he won't understand why this tiny creature is suddenly living in our house. I worry that all that progress Avram has made will suddenly slow down because he doesn't have 100% of my attention all day. I also worry he won't quite understand how gentle he has to be with a baby, especially when he's already discovered the buttons on the baby swing (I just know I'm going to walk in to the living room one day and find that baby swinging on full blast).
With Avram (heck, life, really), there are always new anxieties, new problems to face, new challenges to overcome. But for now, I am stuffing them back into the recesses of my heart, and turning all the stage lights on to this beautiful boy I have gotten to spend nearly every waking moment with the last two years.
I want this summer to go by slowly, despite how uncomfortable it is to have a big hot beach ball strapped around my middle. I want to soak up these minutes with my boy, to drink in his cheesy smile and sloppy kisses, to bask in his newfound joy of parading around the house. I want to have more memories of this summer than of just feeling hot and huge; I want to remember what it was like as just the two of us.
So for the next few Tuesday nights, I'm not putting in any Thomas the Train videos or dumping out my tupperware to keep Avram entertained. Last night we went for a walk together, just the two of us, just like we used to do every single day in Chicago. We snuggled on the big bed and read his favorite books. I let him stay up a little later, I let him run around naked after his bath for way longer than he needed to (what is it about running around in the nude that makes little boys so absolutely giddy?). Things we do just about every day anyway, but more purposefully, more attentively.
All it took was one tiny realization for me to go from slightly cranky to incredibly grateful for these last few bits of time with my big guy.
I know he is going to be the absolute best big brother, but he is always, always going to be my sweet baby.