I went to my psychiatric nurse practitioner the other day for my Zoloft refill. I'm still dutifully taking 50mg a day since returning to work from maternity leave. She asked me how things were and if I had any issues to bring up. I hesitated to mention it but all the same, "I can't remember the last time I cried. I'm not sure it's really a problem, but after all the tears being pregnant and postpartum, it just seems unusual. I mean, I got pretty misty reading a blog post last week, but actual tears haven't happened." She looked at me thoughtfully. "Have you watched the Blind Side?"
"Um, no. Some co-workers mentioned it, but I haven't gotten around to it. Is it good?"
"It's out on HBO now. Go rent it. If you watch the whole movie and don't cry, call me. But if you cry watching that movie, then you're fine."
It seemed like a fair enough assignment.
Saturday night, Rich had taken Ian upstairs for bed while I started sorting through photos and songs for his one year slide show. I was deep in the throws of exactly how that tiny little peanut turned into our huge son. He used to be in my belly and then he was nine pounds of squish I never put down. Now I've got this carpal tunnel thing going on and that peanut is closer to 25 pounds and super long and wants to walk (run, really) versus be held. That little baby that stayed up all night with me during maternity leave and was so hard to leave for work is now this busy little boy who's on the Toddler Schedule and looks up from his activity table nonchalantly when I pick him up from day care.
I heard footsteps on the stairs but when Rich showed up in the doorway he still had a baby in his arms. Ian was obviously tired but just couldn't fall asleep. And in my tinkering around on the computer to pick songs, Sarah McLachlan's the Rainbow Connection started playing. So I turned the lights down low, clicked the repeat button and my little boy and I slow danced over and over while he buried his head in my chest and sucked his thumb. He was in a little onesie like he used to wear back in the day. It was the weekend so we had no Toddler Schedule. It was just like old times. We swayed back and forth and then rocked in the chair.
He's much bigger now. His long legs get tangled up in my own and it strains my back to hold him for very long. But slumped in the chair with him sighing under my chin, it was 11 months ago and I was holding my little boy with no other cares in the world. And the tears came. Just a few at first, but they came all the same. Real tears. Good tears. Tears to mourn what we can't go back and relive but also to celebrate what an incredibly lucky year we've had full of joy and achievements. I made a person. And he came out perfect and he has been well loved and he knows who his mama is and that's who he wanted to hold him while he drifted off to sleep.
I may not rent that movie any time soon, but I think we'll be just fine.