This year has been different in so many ways. One of those ways is that I was not able to be an active mother for the 23 weeks I was on bed rest. This was so hard on many levels. I think that my 14yr old adjusted better to this as he had a better understanding of the situation but I worried about our 3yr old and how this would affect our relationship. I tried to maintain my mommy-ness through reading in bed to my 3yr old, watching movies with him, doing arts and crafts, and playing catch with balloons but he needed so much more. So with a heavy heart I watched as my 3yr old grew closer and closer to his father. Now, he has always been a daddy's boy but he and I still had our special relationship. So as he became increasingly aware that my parental role was far less active than daddy's, he naturally gravitated to dad for anything he needed. And who was I to argue since I literally could not care for my kids. I could only care for the one growing inside of me.
So since we've had the baby, I have been able to step back into the role of full fledged mommy to all of my children! To my teenager I am sure his opinion about my reemergence changes depending on the day and how much trouble he is in. I think overall he is glad I'm back to normal and able to be mom again. But much to my delight, our 3yr old has become a bona-fied mommy's boy! It's like he's rediscovering me all over again! What's great is that even though my time is more divided with a new baby, compared to the months preceding the baby's birth our 3yr old feels like he has more mommy time than ever! He wants mommy to read to him at night. He wants mommy to buckle him in the car seat. He wants to sit next to me and cuddle with me. His favorite thing is that when he gets done with his bath mommy can pick him up an wrap him in a towel to make a "baby burrito". He waited so patiently when I was on bed rest for these moments. And I eat them up! Each one is special and makes my heart happy!
Last Friday our 3yr old's daycare class had a trip to the pumpkin patch. I really wanted to go with them but due to my car accident I was scheduled for physical therapy that day. I was pretty upset about this. So my husband and I waited at the daycare until they were ready to load onto the bus and I gave our son extra kisses and told him to have a fun time on his adventure (even if it was without me). When we went to pick him up from daycare later that day he was so excited to see us and told me to cover my eyes because he had a surprise for me. I promptly obeyed. Once he was ready he instructed me to open my eyes. When I did, my little boy was standing proudly before me with his arms stretched out and in his hands was a small green pumpkin. He was beaming and told me it was a surprise for me and that he picked it himself. He also said he picked the green once because green is my favorite. Heart. Melting. Now.
In a patch of pretty and traditionally orange pumpkins he saw this little green pumpkin and chose it just for me. His mommy. While all of his friends undoubtedly picked pretty orange pumpkins, he chose that green one. He didn't pick a pumpkin for him. He picked it for me. His mommy. And I wish you could see how proud he was of this little green pumpkin. He knew how special what he did was. And still, days later, if you come to our house he will pull that pumpkin down from its prime spot on display in the living room and show you the pumpkin he picked for mommy.
This is what I missed. While I sat in bed for 23 weeks wondering if I was a good enough mommy to my family, this little boy never gave up on me. He just waited patiently until I made my come back. I have always appreciated my children and the gift they are to me. But this year has emphasized that for me. I appreciate them 100% more! I love each and every one of them and I love that I get to be their mommy every day!