Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Disbelief, Still

It happens every night, when Rob and I go into Westley's room to tuck him in. If it's been a good night, a few hours have passed between my saying, "Night-night, Westley. See you in the morning. Mommy loves you," and now. Just enough time, in fact, for me to all but forget that I have a child.

I marvel for a moment at his sleeping sweetness, then pull any non-stuffed toys out of his crib and snug the blankets in around him. Sometimes he shifts and heaves a big sigh. Sometimes not.

It's not until after I leave Westley's bedroom and close the door behind me that it hits. There is a small, sleeping person in my house. Because he lives here, with me. And I made him.

I used to have the same thought process happen with the kitties (except for the "making" part). I'd watch them sashay down the hall or hunt an invisible bug, and it would occur to me that there were animals living in my house. And that I brought them here on purpose. They don't really do much, except make messes, and yet, I continue to feed, clean up after, and otherwise care for them.

Five years later, I'm more or less used to the idea that I have animals living with me. (And I say "more or less" because writing that just now, I thought, "Yeah, it's totally weird that I can see a cat from where I'm sitting.") But two-and-a-quarter years later, having a child--a new-to-this-planet person--in the house still seems as bizarre and unbelievable as it did months ago.

"When am I going to get used to the idea that he's here now?" I ask Rob (who does not suffer from nightly bouts of incredulity with regard to our son).

Rob shrugs. "Probably right around the time he moves out."

I try very hard to imagine college-age Westley and fail, which is probably for the best. If I were to succeed in wrapping my mind around the idea that my still-unreal-seeming toddler son will one day be a grown man, I might graduate from disbelief to full-blown existential crisis.