2 08 2006

Everyone knows that being a parent means you give and give and give, never ‘getting’ until your child is grown, becomes rich and famous and buys you a house on your own private island. Or at least helps you out with the rent each month (Ethan has yet to do either of these things; he’s not famous yet, and he still spends his entire paycheck on his Elmo habit, shirking all responsibility. He’s so immature.).

Until that blessed day comes, you have to try to be thankful for the things you do get. Up until he was bout 8 months old, Ethan had never physically given me anything (you know, aside from a few extra pounds and a couple of really attractive stretch marks… oh yeah, and there’s the infinite joy and wonder of being the parent to such an amazing blah blah blah, etc.).

oreo.jpgBut then one day Ethan realized that there were other people in the room with him, other people that just kind of hung around all the time, waking him up, making him eat, holding him close, smothering him with love. And that’s when he started handing me things. Toys. Books. Bobby pins, pennies, remote controls, Oreos, cd’s, EVERYTHING. He picks it up, he examines it with intense curiosity, deems it beneath him and hands it off.

Until now I’d always thought he was only handing that stuff to me because I was convenient. ‘Mom’s right here, and I have something in my hands I don’t want; what else to do with it but give it to her?’ I mean, why not? Jeff does the same thing to me (he is forever handing me candy wrappers- why he thinks I want his garbage, I’ll never know). And I would say that must be where he learned it from, except that I used to do it to my mom, too. You probably did it to your mom, too.  Admit it.

But this morning that changed. This morning Ethan gave me something that I knew, I knew, was just for me, and no one else. He wanted me to know that he appreciates all the poop I wipe, the food I prepare (even knowing it will just be thrown on the floor), all the crap I do, day after day.

While changing his diaper this morning, Ethan pulled his toes up to his mouth, as he often does. But instead of sucking on them, he examined them, extracted a piece of lint/toe jam from deep within his toes’ abyss, looked at it, smiled (“Ah, yes, this piece is perfect!” he thought) and handed it to me. And that said it all. Now I know that in Ethan’s eyes, I am special.



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