January 29, 2012
It’s been a rough winter Sunday.
Zach, who is in theory recovering from a quick round of stomach flu, has been bouncing off the walls within which he was supposedly resting. Justin has been trailing me around the house, often with sneakers in hand and that hopeful grin on his face that says “Mommy, take me somewhere”. Unfortunately, our choices are limited. There are no 2-D movies out (3-D is greatly despised, trust me). I’ve called a temporary moratorium on bowling after our last visit, in which a plate of French fries nearly did me in. Unfortunately, the Magic Kingdom has not listened to my desperate pleas and constructed an indoor Disney in central Jersey.
And I’ve asked nicely.
We will eventually make it to the local arcade, our only real outing option. I will drop $10 on games he won’t really be all that interested in playing, after which I will purchase him an extravagantly priced pretzel, at least a quarter of which I will sneakily steal from my eldest. We will, in fact, get out of the house.
Our entire adventure will last approximately forty-seven minutes.
We’ll survive the remaining six hours of our weekend, Zach whining that he’s bored and wants to leave the house (me too). Justin will be tailed by one parent at all times, because when his OCD is ramped up, so is his penchant for throwing expensive electronic equipment down the stairs. It’s just another winter Sunday in the McCafferty household, and the four of us will make it through.
We always do.
Since I now consider myself a behaviorist first, and a Democrat second, after successfully reaching the bedtime hour without a full-fledged tantrum from either myself or my husband, I’d like a reward. Generally, it’s a piece of dark chocolate topped off with an inch or two of equally good pinot, but today, I’m hungry for more. Today, Mommy is craving a bit of appreciation.
And somehow, Justin gets it, as he “gets” so many other things that he can’t express in words. This time as he climbs into bed, after which I give him my standard offer of a story (the offer he always rejects with what I like to call “the hand”), he doesn’t just burrow under his pillow and tune out the world. Instead, he reaches up for my own hand, pulls me down at an angle my back will deeply regret later, and kisses me. Five, six, seven times, all with intense eye contact, all with a grin that envelops his entire face. He usually reserves this move for our “most excellent adventure days”, so I am surprised.
But eventually I realize, he’s saying thanks. Thanks for trying, Mom.
Appreciation received. And if possible, in return, felt even deeper for this unique child than ever before.