a new song

“Sing to me, mommy,” he whispers in the dark.

“Sing me a new song.”

The twin mattress makes him seem so small.

“Ok, Eddie.  This one was your Papa’s favorite.”

He nuzzles his head close to me and I smell his hair.

Gone is the sweet baby smell of lotion and Johnson & Johnson.

It has been replaced with the smell of shampoo and toddler.

Sweat and dirt and spaghetti O’s and sweetness.

I was once told when he was only weeks fresh that his smell would be with him forever.

That he would always smell like Eddie.

It’s true.

Under all those boy smells, I could still find that scent he was born with.

I smiled and I began to softly sing,

Cracklin’ Rosie, get on board
We’re gonna ride til there ain’t no more to go
takin’ it slow.

I paused.

I was thinking about the rest of the lyrics–and the man who loved them–when a small hand touched mine.

“Again, mommy.  Sing my Papa’s song again.”

Three lines were enough.

I sang them again.

This time I could hear him whisper some of the words into his memory.

“Again.”

A third time I sang the lines.

“Again, mommy.”

“You sing to me, Eddie.”

“My Papa’s song?”

“Yes.”

Caklin’ Wosie boad
wide aw night
slow.

“I like your singing, Eddie.”

“Thanks, you, mommy.  You lay by me for a little bit longer?”

In the glow of his nightlight I look around his new room.

Everything is Big Boy sized now: the dresser, the chair, the toy box.

I even bought him his first package of toddler underwear this past week.

Then I look over at the little creature pressed into my side.

Hair standing up like chickens sleep in it.

A hint of chocolate by one of the corners of his mouth.

Scrapes and boo boos from tumbling off his bike or rolling down the grassy hill in our yard.

And the longest lashes I have ever seen framing two bottomless dark pools staring at me.

We look at each other for a long time in the quiet darkness.

Under this new Big Boy uniform he is growing into, I start to see hints of my baby.

Chubby cheeks.

Sleepy, long blinks.

And the soft squeaking sound as he sucks his pipey.

I see my baby wrapped in a Big Boy.

I whisper, “I love you Eddie.”

He smiles behind his pipey and rubs Lamby to his nose and sleepy eyes.

“I love you too, Mommy.”

*************

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a high school English teacher, college adjunct instructor, freelance writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Oh how I miss these moments. They grow up entirely too fast today..

  2. Baby wrapped in a little boy…sigh…true.
    Confession: I still use baby lotion on chunky…

  3. This. Is. Too. Sweet.

  4. Omigosh! I think it is hilarious that you sing “Cracklin’ Rosie” to Eddie! That said, my son still loves when I sing “Mr. Sandman” to him — as long as I do the special jazz hands. He’s 12.

    I posted this on my Facebook page as my favorite post of the morning! Because it is.

  5. Beautiful.

  6. You captured every sweet moment with such tenderness. What a beautiful memory, Katie. You are such a great Mama. XO

  7. This is beautiful, Katie. CJ is just starting to try to sing along with me, as I sing to him. It’s really wonderful.

  8. I think I cry at about every other post that you write. This is so beautiful. You truly have a gift with words.
    This speaks to me so much because I am in this same place. My son is two and a half and you are so right; he is my baby wrapped in a big boy. And it’s beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.

  9. Yes, this. *sniff* I want to freeze time sometimes!

  10. Awww. Such a tender, beautiful moment. I’m sure you’ll treasure this one forever. They grow up so fast. My “little” boy is 11 and almost as tall as me… sigh.

  11. Aw… this warmed my heart.

    P.S. I love that song.