Beau and I fell asleep together last night with tear stained, salty cheeks.
Earlier in the evening, Justin and I had made a nice meal together. He roasted a tenderloin on the BBQ and I made fingerling potatoes and steamed green beans that had been trimmed by my middles, Zoe and Beau. The Giants are in the World Series again, so the game was on in the living room. It’s exciting rooting on Justin’s longtime favorite baseball team, the vibe in our home was energetic while the hum of the the announcers played on in the background.
Sports bring such a welcome sense of levity to the atmosphere, and I have been relishing it lately.
By all accounts it was a really nice evening up until dinner time, both of us were even about to remark on it when we sat down. Evvie was exhausted and hungry, wavering between fits of crying and nursing while I tried to snag bites of my food. Beau launched into his normal dinner routine which consists of yelling, pounding the tables and jumping on the couch. He’s well aware of our rules, and he knows how to test us consistently and forcefully. And, lately, routinely.
We took turns addressing his behavior and in the end we both failed. Beau is incredibly strong willed; his tempers are hot and his emotions are always flared. He’s pushed me to my limit more than once and in different ways than either Jack or Zoe ever did. Beau is teaching me things about my own character that I never thought I needed to learn.
We lost our tempers and Beau and I both ended up in bed without dinner. We made a truce in the end, that he would try to listen when we asked and that I would try not to yell when he didn’t. We said we were sorry. We said we loved each other. He whispered “best buddies” to me before his long lashes closed for a long, deep sleep. I vowed to try harder for him, for all of us.
I woke up in time to feed Evvie and tuck the big kids into bed, and stayed up late enough to make sure that the tooth fairy visited Jack. I dug out the porcelain box from it’s hiding place in my dresser that holds his four other teeth and a lock of blonde hair from Beau’s first hair cut. A testament to my motherhood, perhaps.
The sun rose this morning and brought a fresh new day, smiles from everyone and a bounty for Jack. Evangeline is getting big enough for her own bed, so Justin put together her new crib while I sorted out the clothes that no longer fit her nearly two month old body. Fresh tears came when I started stacking the tiny onesies and gowns, realizing it was time to pass them along as we wouldn’t have any more new babies in our home.
Four children means there isn’t one season playing in our lives, there’s four different ones at once hovering around making space in our lives under one medium sized rooftop. I’m not Horae, though. I want to live and breathe each one of their seasons right along with them so that they never feel alone, but I can’t. Or at least, I haven’t been able to just yet.
They have each other though, and there is something about riding these waves through storms and sunshine with a companion and life is that much richer.
First photo by Ana Photography NYC