And then you were two.

Dear Eliot,

Two years ago today I was just getting to hold you in my arms, finally, after waiting four hours after the c-section to get to see you. Still I never want to let you go.

This morning for breakfast you asked for french fries. And that, sir, is exactly what you got. French fries with ketchup for breakfast, because it is your birthday and I love you.

We watched Thomas the Tank Engine and snuggled on the couch. You helped me with the laundry. Daddy finally got out of bed at 10:00 and we got ready to go to town.

Lunch at What's Cookin' where we had chicken noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes, and wheat rolls. You had fallen asleep in the car on the way into town and continued to sleep on my lap in the restaurant until the food came and I woke you up to eat. You mostly wanted the rolls. Daddy ate first while you sat on my lap and then we traded, and you colored pictures of choo-choo trains with Dad while I ate.

In the parking lot, I backed the car into a concrete slab and that was the beginning of the arguments. Well, not really. Really the beginning was when I tried to get Daddy out of bed repeatedly from about 8:00 to 10:00. And then on the way into town he asked if I was ever going to get my oil changed and I said "SHIT!" He said, "What, is your appointment today?"
"No. Yesterday."
"Are you ever going to pull your head out of your ass?"

And then we ate lunch too slow to suit him, and dawdled. And THEN I backed into the concrete thing and he was not impressed.

Walmart stop. Home. A nap for you while Mom and Dad argued in the kitchen. I baked your birthday cake (Funfetti). I sat in the floor and cried. Mom and Dad both sat in the kitchen floor and cried.

You woke up. Dad went to school. You and I went back into town to the library.

You love the library. You played with the Thomas the Tank Engine train set and the puppets, the blocks and the puzzles. We read a book about trucks.

We went home. I iced the cake and you put the sprinkles on top, giggling. You played Mickey Mouse on the computer while I wrapped your birthday presents.

When Daddy got home from school we lit the candles on your cake. You blew them out and I sang "Happy Birthday." You opened your presents, the whole time expecting them all to be cars because they were wrapped in Disney Cars wrapping paper. None of them were cars. You were angry for a few seconds, but then started to color in your new Handy Manny coloring book.

Dad started to put together your kitchen set, which came in approximately 300 million pieces. You fell asleep during your breathing treatment at 7:45, watching Daddy put together the kitchen set. I put you down in my bed and Daddy and I worked on the kitchen set for the next five years. When we finished you were seven years old and still sleeping on my bed in your overalls and polo shirt. I changed you into your pajamas and put you in your crib. When you wake up it will be to a brand new kitchen set in a clean, organized room.

All of this is to say that it was a good day and a bad day. It was your 2nd birthday. You are an incredibly bright little kid, sensitive, and perceptive. You know that Mommy and Daddy are having a hard time. We cannot hide this from you.

No matter what happens between your Dad and I, I want you to know that you are the light of our lives. We both love you.

You need to know that life is sometimes fraught with difficulty. It is not easy. There may be times when you just want to quit.

But don't. Because sometimes there are colored sprinkles. Sometimes there are french fries for breakfast and falling asleep in the arms of the one who loves you most of all.

It is worth the heartache, Eliot.
It is always worth it.

Happy Birthday.



Anonymous said...

Clicked on your name over at Zielske's and landed here. This post is incredible.
I'm so sorry for what you're going through. SO incredibly sorry.
A similar thing happened to me three years ago. We got through it and are going on 19 years married. It's still hard, and I'm still jealous and worried about EVERY interaction he has. It's difficult to feel this way all the time, and some days I'm not sure that the alternative (starting over alone) is better or worse. It's hard to make a decision for yourself when there are kids involved.
Take it slow. Think things through. You'll be OK. Kim in MN

Rachel said...

Thank you so much for commenting, Kim. Those were words I needed to hear this morning.