On Friday mornings, Audrey participates in swim lessons with William and Alex at their pre-school. Her husband, Matt, watches from the stands with Henry. This is my special time with Benjamin.
Benjamin is almost 22 months old. He is the 3rd of 4 boys… all born within 3 years and 9 months of each other. There is a lot of activity, a lot of noise, and lot of running, a lot of “mine, mine” mixed in with the most joy imaginable. Quiet is different.
Friday mornings at my home are quiet. Benjamin knows exactly where the crayons are. He knows that all he has to do is point to one of the computers and Grandma magically finds NickJr. He has a shelf for his special and favorite books. And he now knows where each preferred snack is stored… you know, his own bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, his box of Cheerios and his vanilla ice cream ( yes, I do let Benjamin eat vanilla ice cream at 10:00 am on Friday mornings!). And Benjamin and I have our own little rituals… like this dialogue as we sit at my counter and share his snacks:
Me: How many Goldfish do you have?
There are always 4… even if there are 6, 10, 20 or 24.
Me: Do you love Janie’s puppies?
Benjamin: (jumping) YES!
Me: Do you want me to draw puppies for you?
Benjamin: (excitedly) YES!
Me: Do you want me to sing?
Benjamin: (each and every time) No.
I laugh so hard at this consistent answer of his. I have no idea where his distaste for my singing comes from, but he will not let me sing. It’s not that I’m good… but it’s not that I’m horrible. And now he even gets annoyed if I sing to Henry (who likes my singing, by the way). Benjamin will now say to me, “Don’t sing. I don’t like it.”
I think Benjamin knows it’s his way to get a laugh out of me… and laugh, I do! And then tickle and kiss and hug and stack cans from my cabinets and build railroads all around my home and read and color some more until Mommy and Daddy come to pick him up.
I adore this time I have my beautiful little darling Benjamin. His eyes make me melt. His smile takes my breath away. His curiosity astounds me. His being simply mesmerizes me.
And I know he feels this way about me, too… as long as I don’t sing to him.
(By the way… I do sing to Henry to my heart’s content. I just whisper to Benjamin, “Don’t listen!” He’s fine with that!)