Tuesday. It was going to be a rainy day all day so my nearly 18 month morsel and I skipped our morning constitutional, which usually consists of walking around our green courtyard, admiring the sky and trees, looking for small creatures, then my begging him to go back inside. This morning, I did remember to make sure I affirmed him with the mantra from “The Help,” along with my own additions: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important. You is worthy. You is wanted. You is a child of God. You is beloved.”
Micah didn’t give a crap about these affirmations that his silly mama was repeating and instead asked for some tv by handing me the remote with wide, hopeful eyes, imploring, “mah? mah? mah?” (his favorite word of the week – “MORE!”). “No, Micah, maybe later but no tv in the morning. Morning is story time!” I pulled out the Will Smith book, “Just the Two of Us” which M enjoys not because it is written in the form of a rap which is a bit awkward for me and a li’l too fun for my husband, but because he gets to repeat another one of his favorite words throughout the tale. There is an illustration of Will Smith without his shirt on as he cradles his newborn. M likes to point with sheer glee at Mr. Smith’s pecs and scream, “Jjee-jjee!” then at every other characters’ chest area, man or woman, boy or girl, and yell, “Jjee-jjee!” (BOOBS! in Korean). Apparently, he has become a protege of the creator of “Game of Thrones” – jjee jjee, jjee jjee, and more jjee jjee.
Speaking of morning constitutional, mama had a stomachache and had to go sit on her throne while M ran from bedroom to kitchen to living room and back, sometimes stopping by the bathroom to visit, giving me high fives and giggles (he is so encouraging while potty training his mama). All this running in our small place had actually worked him up into a sweat. I was still doing my thang when I heard some silence followed by some whimpers and grunts. Uh-oh. I felt helpless. I couldn’t get to him. Er, not right then. I kept trying to keep the dialogue going just to hear him, “Micah!? Micah!? What’s wrong? Did you get stuck somewhere? Come to mommy. Come visit me again please.” Silence. More whimpers and grunts.
Next thing I know, dude passes by me riding a beat-up, hand-me-down giraffe-head-trike we had been given a few weeks ago. He looked so proud. I was stunned. We had hidden that bigger toy in our bedroom so that we can go for a ride in the courtyard yet here he was just cruising by like The Fonz!
Oh, how I savor these next five-plus months of M being the Only Child Until October (my OCUO). My boy and I chase each other in the courtyard while the squirrels and robins probably watch US. When he wants to take a break by sitting on one of the weathered wooden chairs, I plop him down next to me, pick a small baby fly out of his fine hair while he gleefully thumps by boobs and screams, “Jjee-jjee!” We are our own Forest Hills Zoo exhibit and I hang onto every moment because soon, sooner than we can fully grasp, we will go from Just the Three of Us to a Bonafide Family of Four. Now that is just too grown up for me! My best friends have said, “YOU!? Eh-ghee ummah of TWO? That’s freaking crazy.”
My husband makes fun of me because I tend to get a little too excited for events. When one of my best friends was getting married this past January, I woke up almost throwing up from the sheer anticipation and joy. Even when meeting one of my college friends while she was on business here in NYC, I couldn’t contain myself while waiting for her and her family at the Chinese restaurant. I had to keep going to the bathroom. Special events do this to me ever since I was a little girl. Fieldtrips? Forget about it!
In a very opposite way, I am now relishing the mundane mama moments with my OCUO. The more mundane, the more cherished. No special events needed.
As I stroll him around our usual spots in the neighborhood and I pause to show him a doggie and he mouths a small, shy bark. As he picks dandelions from our courtyard while drooling rivers into his ubiquitous bib. As he carries around his teddy bear a little too much for my liking (the germs!). As a trio of silver-haired senior citizens delight in him when he goes up to them to clap hands, clap hands. His dancing to ONLY John Mayer at least a dozen times a day in his crib/stage. His “helping” me as I wipe down the kitchen floors, him bent over, squashed in a mini-kimchee squat and going over one tile, over and over again with one square of wipes I had entrusted to him. I want to record every moment in my heart. The more mundane, the better. I carry you in my heart. Mama and Micah, Summer of 2012.