It has been two weeks since we got settled into our new apartment in Red Deer and Richard left for university in Edmonton. For 336 hours I have basically been a single mom with a four-year old and no car in a new city. My universe is a 2.5 kilometre radius from this apartment. My life has changed.
I know all of the words to “Let it go” and “Do you want to build a snowman?” from Frozen.
I can build just about anything with Lego.
In the morning I now pour my coffee into an insulated travel mug instead of a regular mug so it doesn’t get cold before I have a chance to drink it, thanks to a tip from another mom at the playground.
Nary a minute goes by without a request of some kind, usually along the lines of watch me, entertain me, get me something or feed me, sometimes followed by me repeating the request with a suggestive silence to which Oscar repeats the question and amends it with a pleeeeeaaaase.
In my darker moments I reminisce about how easy I had it when I was working crazy hours as a flight attendant yet still had more time to myself than I do now.
I’ve felt the swell of pride as my son learns to do things for the first time like ride his bike down a hill or learn to write the alphabet.
Privacy is... well... I can't actually remember what privacy is.
I wake up bright and early every morning to my son, bright and cheery, yelling, “Good morning!!!” (pronounced "mornling") usually followed by a running, jumping hug.
Every morning on our walk I give the construction workers a giggle when my son goes one direction and my dog pulls the leash in the other as I stand there, hair askew, yelling at both in my pyjamas, plastic bag in hand, steaming pile of poo at my feet.
I am the recipient of frequent random hugs.
I have heard the question “Why?” far more than any human should ever have to.
I worry when it’s quiet.
I don’t worry about “Big Brother” anymore because I have a three foot tall person following me around and questioning everything I do.
I get as nervous about playdates as I used to get about actual dates. When a mom at the park gave me her phone number to call for a playdate I spent the few days wondering if it was too early to call and I'd seem desperate, the next few days after that too scared to call and the next few days after that worried it was too late to call.
I have fruitlessly tried to reinstate nap time.
The moment I pick up the phone, my son has something urgent he desperately needs to tell me right that moment, loudly and repetitiously.
I'm ridiculously pleased when my son paints something that vaguely resembles a butterfly and praise it like it’s the mona lisa.
It’s taken me three days to write this post.
So there you have it, it’s been good, it’s been bad, it’s been ugly and it’s been beautiful. I feel blessed that I’ve had this time. Next year he will be in school, hugs will become less frequent, he’ll go on-line instead of asking me “why?” and his “firsts” will be out in the world, un-witnessed by me. I’ll be just as proud, but a big part of me will miss this time together, warts and all.