The Last Day of My Life
Today is the last day of my life that I’ll have a newborn and a 4 year old, and a 5 year old, and 6 year old.
I want to remember.
Tomorrow Isaac turns 7, and Monday he went with me to the dentist and rocked Titus in his car seat while explaining to me and the hygienist that amphibians can breathe through their skin. He rattled on, rocking, wearing two left flip-flops of two different colors. He’s the little boy version of a nutty professor, and he loves the nut in me.
Yesterday I took all 4 to Walmart, and I lost Ian and started hollering at everybody in the store to find my baby before I realized Isaac was laughing at me and pointing to the cart. Yeah. Ian was just sitting right there, admiring how I might freak out if he went missing. An old man laughed right in my face, and I snarled at the poor feller.
Ian wants to be heard. His voice is beautiful. He loves story, and he has the gift of storytelling. One day he’ll memorize poetry and wait for the perfect moment to quote it. He’ll get a great kick out of seeing lumps grow in people’s throats. He’ll add details to make the story better, but he’ll care for his fiction. He’ll tell great truths with it. (And other than that, I do believe he’ll become a great cake maker.)
Jude thinks he knows the entire plan for his life, says he’s going to marry Anna Mason and have nine babies, though this morning he confessed it might not happen because last night he asked her to move out from in front of the television, and she didn’t. Love will become unfickle for him as he gets older and learns to believe that we love him no matter what. His learning is genuine. Jude is no fake.
He still likes to wear his underwear up under his armpits, but he laughs about it. He’s so sensory, but has finally been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This isn’t surprising because when I was 7, I was diagnosed with the same thing. We are achingly similar. So young to think of such ancient things, we hold it all up for examination, prone to distrust, learning as we can to hold all to the light.
I’m getting to know them. Even now I’m watching Titus love abandon.
He nurses, drinks the milk like it’s neverending, like bottles and sippy cups are no such things. He relaxes all the way into me. If he fusses, I take out into the wind that tunnels by our door. He’ll have a motorcycle as soon as he gets out from under my roof. And he’ll never wreck it, but for moments at a time, he might close his eyes while driving.
Today is the last day of my life that I’ll have lesson 38 of 1st grade math to teach to Isaac or that I’ll call and ask for a 4 year wellness appointment for Ian. Today I should get out the 3-6 month clothes for Titus, and I should get Jude to draw the Incredible Hulk one more time as he’s transitioning on to greater heroes.
Is today the last day of your life that you’ll ever get to do something, a little, great thing?