I think I can be accused of not living fully in the present. In middle school I kept a blog about how excited I was to go to High School, to have a rival school, to heckle the rival basketball team. And yet the second I got to high school, I was always one panic attack away from college stress that I didn’t go to my first basketball game until senior year. And I couldn’t wait for that basketball game to be over, because everyone else knew all the collective heckles and chants, when to stand up, when to stay silent. I spent an hour cheering out of turn.
College was about my career, my first job was about my next job, and so on and so on. Even my honestly somewhat blissful stay in my parents’ basement while we search for a house has been fraught with the taunt of “Next.”
This seeps into my day-to-day. I can’t snooze, I have to shower. I can’t savor breakfast, I have to boot up my computer and get to work. You understand the pattern. It’s painfully hard for me to just be there in the moment, holding on and looking around.
Last night was a miserable one, not a moment you’d want to stay in by any stretch. I have a virus that Jeremy had for a quick shimmy, but that has stretched out across my week like a long, rickety freight train. I just spent a moment describing what the virus was doing to my body all night, but after using the word “leaked,” dear reader, I have decided to spare you that particular imagery. The point is, it’s been miserable.
Hudson’s had it to. He had an equally rough night, and mercifully, Jeremy took the night shift (the perks of being married to a night owl) while I convalesced loudly elsewhere. The whole night, I couldn’t truly rest because I was waiting for the phone call that Hudson was awake for the day, that he needed to be fed, after which would launch the breakfast routine, which of course would start the work day. But Hudson also doesn’t feel good. And after he was fed, and rocked, and given his dosage of sticky Children’s Tylenol, he wouldn’t let me set him down in his swing while I get ready (like we usually do). Food didn’t satisfy, he’d already been medicated, he wasn’t sleepy. After checking off the Tier one parent boxes, I moved to Tier 2: Is he bored? Does he want his binky? A toy? A song?
It turns out, what Hudson wanted was to lay facing each other on the couch, and to clasp my fingers in his two hands. He wanted to move my right pointer finger like a right-left joystick, and my ring finger like and up-down joystick. He wanted to study my chipped nail polish. And when that was done, he just didn’t want me to leave. He wanted my there-ness. Physically and mentally he wanted this moment to be about each other, about connection, about presence.
Turns out that the best thing about this week was him being there with me too.
*The terrible-quality, but incredibly dear header image is me writing this blog with Hudson’s foot on the trackpad. This child has my heart.