Parents do things for posterity all the time. That shopping bag full of "artwork" tucked away in a closet is for posterity. The photographs of toothless smiles, the pencil marked door frames, the stain on the rug that only you know is from baby poop: these are things we hesitate to dismiss, lest we forget the moments.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with my tiny son that I would like to cherish - for posterity. The dialogue went by too quickly and is now, of course, gone. I am aware that it was special and unlikely to ever happen again. It went unrecorded. His perfect little boy voice remains un-captured. How, I've been wondering, do I stick that conversation in my "old lady box?"
Turns out, I have a blog. I'd nearly forgotten about it, actually. I could blame my recent blog negligence on the hurricane, no school for the boys, and all-consuming turkey preparation, but what difference would that make? The point is, I've remembered it! And, lo and behold, it solves my posterity issue! Below is an accurate* account of:
The Best Conversation of My Life
Lights up on a cross over vehicle** driving through a light snowy blizzard in suburban New Jersey. A mom, wearing clothes one step up from pajamas, but not quite cute exercise garb, drives, happily enjoying the heat of the tush warmer in her Ford. In the back, a chatty three year old, is uncharacteristically quiet.
MOM: Hey, back there. You ok?
MOM: What are you thinking about?
KID: How do babies get in Mommy's tummies?
Beat. Mom smiles to herself. Here's "that" moment. She's ready.
MOM: (clears throat) Well, inside every daddy there are seeds, and inside every mommy there are eggs. So when the mommy and daddy decide they want a baby to love, they mix up their egg and seed and put it in the mommy's belly so that she can grow a baby. And then it grows and grows until it is ready, and then a baby is born!
Mom silently wonders at her own 1950s description of conception, but decides now might not be the best time to discuss gay marriage, fertility issues, and the incredibly lucrative field of surrogacy.
KID: Well, when I'm a daddy, what will happen to my Daddy?
MOM: Well, when you're daddy, Daddy will be a grandpa.
Mom realizes this means she will be a grandma. Potentially, kind of soon actually. In her mind's eye she sees herself as a grandma and begins to get a little sweaty. She glances up in the rear view mirror at herself. She decides she does not yet look like a grandma, and relaxes.
KID: No, but I mean, if I'm the daddy and you're the mommy, then whose daddy will Daddy be?
MOM: Oh! Well, honey, Daddy will always be your daddy! But, when you are a daddy, I will not be the mommy.
KID: (alarmed!) Why?!
MOM: Well, I'll always be your mommy, but when you have children of your own, I'll be their grandma.
KID: But who will be the mommy?
MOM: We don't know yet! One day you might meet someone and decide you love her so much and you might get married and then you might decide to have a baby.
KID: That is so sad.
MOM: Sad?! Why is that sad?
KID: Because I only ever want to snuggle with you. I don't want to snuggle with another lady!
Let's Hear it For The Boy plays loudly in Mom's head. God, Freud would be so psyched.
While Mom's brain automatically dives to her knowledge that this is developmentally appropriate rationale for a three year old, her heart beats wildly for this little child whose love is palpable all the way from his station in the second row car seat.
She scrambles. Is there a way to stop time? Keep this moment forever. How long will it be until the sweet face in the back seat is juggling three girlfriends (all of whom he is quite happy to "snuggle") and all the time he has for Mom is a quick txt that says, "Can I have $100?"
A red light has stopped Mom literally in her tracks. She turns around to face her son.
MOM: You can always snuggle me. Always. Even when you're the daddy and I'm the grandma, you'll still be my little boy. And I will always hug you. Always. Ok?
KID: (thumb in mouth, nods slowly) Uh-huh.
There is a long silence. Mom wipes her eyes as the lights turn green. As they pull into the preschool parking lot, that small voice pipes up again.
KID: But, Mom?
KID: You can't always snuggle me.
MOM: Why not?
KID: Cause when you're old you'll be dead.
The car has stopped. The Preschool teacher appears.
PRESCHOOL TEACHER: (Chipper as a preschool teacher) Good Morning!
MOM: Well, I'm not dead yet.
PRESCHOOL TEACHER: (Suddenly less chipper) What?
KID: Bye, Mommy.
MOM: Bye, Honey. I love you.
No response as he walks away. Mom drives to Target to buy some light bulbs and vitamins. The moment has passed.
*FULL DISCLOSURE: I am prone to hyperbole.
** A cross-over vehicle is NOT a mini-van.
There. Posterity. So, this is what a blog is for.