Yesterday there was a break in the clouds, and the sun emerged. Even the wind seemed to take a break. Erik and I hurried outside after lunch, shedding layers of the extra clothing I initially put us both in. He asked me to blow bubbles, which I did until I was dizzy from lack of oxygen. The bubbles floated in front of us in batches, gleaming in the sunshine, and then drifted straight up against a patch of bright blue sky. Finally, I got back up on the porch and settled into a chair. I set the bottle of bubbles down on the porch and watched Erik navigate the stairs up to get to where I was resting. Lately he has been crashing into everything, even without his leg braces on. He sometimes reminds me of a baby deer trying to stand. He is growing so quickly that he seems to be adjusting to his own frame yet again. At times, he will even topple over from a standing position.
He clomped over to my chair and kicked over the bottle of bubbles, despite the stand my father made to encase them and keep them upright. After changing dirty diapers all day because of his sensitive gut, I heard my voice take on a harsher tone. I explained to Erik that his bubbles were gone and that he needed to be more careful with his things. He quickly stooped down and tried to dip his bubble wand inside the bottle to assure me there was still some remaining, but there wasn't. I told him that when he accidentally made a mess, he should apologize and help clean up. He looked into my eyes and lifted one of his feet up into the air. He then brought the sole of his shoe down in the center of the slimy puddle, sending out a spray of greasy droplets. I shot up from where I was sitting, angrily hosed off the porch, and ushered him inside, stating that we were through. I couldn't decide which was worse -- not knowing what my child understood or witnessing the deliberate defiance I would have given my right arm for a mere three years ago. Both were beyond frustrating. There are some days when the little things make me completely exhausted.
About ten minutes passed, and Erik seemed to have entirely forgotten about the incident. He was happily sitting in front of the washing machine's plastic porthole, watching our towels tumble in the soapy water. As I made my way by him with a pile of dry laundry in the crook of my arm, I placed my free hand on top of his head and told him that I loved him. He turned his face up to me and smiled.
He said, "Mommy, I'm sorry I spilled."
I kneeled down and wrapped my arms around him, inhaling the familiar, warm scent of his hair. I thanked him and told him that it was okay. And for that moment, everything was really, truly okay.