After Rob grabs his work bag off the table and kisses Westley and me goodbye, he says, "Have a good day. Be excellent to each other."
It always makes me smile, though I'm ashamed to admit that being excellent to anyone, even my little dude, has been a challenge lately. Westley seems to have a highly specific ESP that enables him to pinpoint the precise moments during the day when Braxton Hicks contractions invade my entire body and I decide I absolutely must rest. He seems to choose these exact moments to make his requests for snacks, help with a project, or just plain attention.
I realize a split-second too late that I sound completely exasperated. Shit. I'm forever apologizing for snapping, sounding grouchy when I'm not grouchy with you, Westley. I just didn't sleep super-well last night...
He always seems to forgive me. It's one of the things I love most about him. He gives me a hundred-thousand second chances.
(I wish I didn't need quite so many.)
Every day I recommit myself to having as much fun with Westley as possible. Especially now that our mother-son days are numbered. He will never be four years old and an only child again. And some day he's going to be 25 and I'm going to wish we were standing in the spring rain, admiring a chicken coop.
My wish is that Westley remember the time before his sister's birth as joy-filled. I can already feel the upheaval washing over us as more and more appointments are scheduled, belongings rearranged, plans made. I remind him, "Things will change when the baby's born." I don't say, We won't be able to come here—to the Children's Museum, to EMP, to the Aquarium—as easily. And perhaps not as often.
We'll still do the fun things we've always done, of course. But it won't be just us.
I wish I could save some of this for later. Our time as a family of three. Westley's and my days together, having adventures in and around our city. I try to memorize how it feels to have just this little boy, the same way I tried to memorize how it felt to hold him when he was a baby.