Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This one's for you, Mr. Happy

Dear Mr. Happy,

Sometimes a mother needs a moment to reflect. And be sappy. So I'll start with you. Besides your brother still needs attitude adjustments.

You were my first baby. Even though it wasn't a "planned" pregnancy, looking back I realize you were just what I needed. You came into my world and simultaneously reorganized my priorities. I like me more now that I am a mother. You'd have liked this me over the pre-mother me, too.

Honestly, I have loved every stage of your life. When you didn't sleep, your grandmother smiled with satisfaction at the payback I was getting. But as for me, I learned to hide the clocks (even putting electric tape over the one on the VCR) so I wouldn't know what time it was when you got me up (over and over again, on many nights). All you seemed to want was to be rocked and held. And after 9 months of being right under my breasts, it felt good to have you so close again. I can still hear the squeak of the rocking chair, feel the warmth of the blankets, and smell that sweet baby-clean scent that makes people swoon. With mixed emotions, I have to admit I miss those long, long nights.

When your brother came along two years later, you instantly seemed so much bigger. So much older. And I'm afraid in return, I lost a lot of patience. I remember thinking "if I could have just one day where no one cries, I'd be happy." And that day came and went and I didn't notice. What I would give to have one more poop-filled, snotty nosed, I neeeeeeed my mommy kind of day again.

You, however, waited it out with seemingly adult-like patience. You always were my sensitive one. When I was sad or upset, there was no fooling you. Once, you even followed me around with a box of tissues. And I felt guilty for you knowing I was upset. I wonder if one day a wife will appreciate this sensitivity in you? I hope so.

You were only four when your father and I decided our marriage couldn't be fixed. We worked hard to keep things the same through these drastic, life-altering changes. And, overall, you seemed to be okay. Sadly, you did lose some of your openness by shutting out some people who wanted to be in your circle. But those who were in got the benefit of really knowing you. To the others, you seemed sullen, moody and unreachable. They just didn't know.

The years seemed to race by giving no hesitation to my thoughts on stopping the merry-go-round to take a moment to reflect. The pictures in my mind all flash in sync like the ultimate photo story. School, sleepovers, riding a bike, baseball, soccer, trips to the beach, braces, a trip to New York, band, driving, going to school dances, going to Europe.

Once, after Mr. Strong and I had been dating for a couple of years, he told me you acted like the man of the house. And I knew it was true. I didn't ask you to take on that role. You just did it by default and I worry it was too heavy a load to carry.

And while it hasn't all been peachy-keen, it has been our story. Still, your wisdom and patience amaze me. You are wise beyond your years. Thanks for being someone who will talk to his mother. Someone who never quit saying "I love you" even when his friends were around. Someone who was kind to all people. Someone who wasn't so into what was popular. Basically, thank you for being my son.

Love,
Mom

25 comments:

only a movie said...

Beth that is beautiful. I miss those long nights too. I never minded them so much. Just happy to be able to respond to crying baby...

And my mother with the *payback* comments? I never understood that. It always makes me feel like she resented having all of us... (I'm sure there's a blog post there somewhere - sorry to start that in your comment section).

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

Beautiful... really lovely! Stopping over from Jay's.Have a great Tuesday!

Gaston Studio said...

I can so relate, they grow up so fast and unless we were full time moms (which I wasn't after my oldest turned 5) we miss so much. My married daugher is realizing this already, especially in her just turned 11 year old, but she's always been a full time mom and a great one at that!
A beautiful post; thanks for sharing.

Halftime Lessons said...

What a great tribute...awesome one, Beth.

I have had unplanned pregnancies all over the county...hope they all turn out as well, and that my wife understands.

I'm kidding, Beth. I just never seem to mature.

;-)

Chapati said...

Wow! This was an amazing post.

"I wonder if one day a wife will appreciate this sensitivity in you? I hope so." For some reason that brought tears to my eyes :)

Deb said...

Lucky son, lucky mom - but not really. It isn't luck - it takes hard work, devotion, and total selflessness to be a parent and you obviously understand all that - and more! I am going to have my daughter, who just gave birth to the twins, read this - especially about taping the face of the clocks. And maybe I have smiled just a tiny little smile...ah, payback! ;)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Beth, that was beautiful. "And that day came and went and I never noticed" really got me. Mine son is 16 and I've only a moment with him left in teh scheme of a lifetime. Thank-you for reminding me to notice it all.

I also loved the "while it hasn't been all peachy-keen, it has been our story." What a wonderful tribute letter to your son.

Momma@Live. Laugh. Pull your hair out said...

Beautifully said! I say print it and save that for him. He will treasure it forever.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

That was just lovely. I miss those baby nights too sometimes

Deb said...

this is just so sweet, beth. so heartfelt. and SO true about wishing the time away, only to want it back.

Jan said...

I like this, very, very much. I could have written it Oldest Son, who sounds a great deal like Mr. Happy.

Kristina P. said...

What a sweet, sweet letter! I'm sure he is a great kid.

Anonymous said...

Hello darling, Mr Strong here , the boys and I have a question. How come Miss Poopy received a tribute before we did.

mommaof4wife2r said...

super duper precious.

Jane said...

What an amazing letter, Beth! If my mother had ever written anything like this for me, I would have bawled for days. And then I would have framed it. Just beautiful.

texasholly said...

Very cool. I loved the part about wishing for a cry-free day and then not noticing when it happened...I think we all have been there.

rachete said...

Cool blog!

http://globalartblog.com/

Comedy Goddess said...

What a wonderful letter! It makes me "happy cry" as we say around my house.

Shangrila said...

What an amazing post! Your son sounds like a great kid. I hope that my boys grow up as well as yours, and that I can express myself so eloquently when the time comes!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

What a lovely post. The bond between a mother and a son are something very special. And as a mother of two girls, a complete mystery to me. But I witnessed it with my mother and brother and MHS and his mom. Very special indeed.

Sunny said...

it is so touching.

dizzblnd said...

What a beautiful letter. It is amazing what kids do to uhhhh for us isn't it

HeatherPride said...

Beautiful, Beth. I always feel guilty too when Logan knows I'm upset and tries in his preschool way to fix me. Give your son a hug from me.

Kulio said...

ohhhh...thank you for reflecting aloud...took me back - I have a Mr. Happy too, age 16, and it is going by way too fast - I need more moments to stop and take it in.

amy said...

i loved this, beth. LOVED this. it made me appreciate my own little one's (thank god, now occasional) sleepless nights more. it also made me teary-eyed. it's just how i am.

your son is too dang lucky.