I am grateful for Linden.
“Kermit” told us it wasn’t easy being green, but it’s even more not easy being two, if you’ll pardon my grammar. Perhaps that is why we have little memory of being two when we reach my age, though I must confess a lot of things fall into the category of “forgotten” these days.
I spent Easter with Linden. He and his mother and me went on a happy adventure. There were moments when Linden made it perfectly clear I was encroaching on his mommy-time and he wasn’t exactly on board for that, but said circumstance gave me the chance to be witness to the miracle that is Linden and to watch in awe as my daughter gently and skillfully maneuvered through the minefield that is motherhood.
Our adventure began in Victoria. The first morning in the hotel Linden’s mom went out in the urban wilderness to forage for a coffee to get her engine running and Linden and I spent the time getting re-acquainted. “Grandma, I’m hungry,” was one of the first revelations he shared with me so I offered him a lovely shiny red apple. Linden looked at the apple, then looked at me, then the apple before sharing his thoughts. “I can’t eat this,” he said, with more than a hint of “duh” in his tone. My grandmother-ing abilities were definitely under harsh scrutiny and I am sorry to say I came up short. In all fairness, it has been twenty-two years since I have been a two-year-old’s mother. I should have done a refresher course beforehand, reviewing the intricacies and challenges of being two.
Grandma and Linden on a stroll – note the joy on Linden’s face
Linden speaks in full sentences, knows precisely what information he wants to convey and his mother is his greatest possession. He is a keen fan of trains and putting coins in and out of his bank while encouraging others to contribute to his bounty, but his mother is the cat’s meow and everyone and everything else pales in comparison, comes up short in a grand kind of way in his estimation and no one has the required skills of caring for his needs than his mother. I recently saw a cartoon that summed up Linden’s sentiment with honed in clarity.
Linden has no interest in sharing his mother with another soul on this planet. My advice is unless you’ve got an amazing magic trick up your sleeve, best to give up now.
I’ve spouted to Linden my great reading ability. I have listed my credentials as a hugger and a tuck-er-in-er, I’ve volunteered for outdoor play and pushing on the swing. I am a really good swing pusher having had years of training and I come with a substantial list of references, but Linden is not buying whatever it is that I’m selling. I can sneak his lunch from his plate into his mouth when he’s busy, but it requires some covert movements, a bit of cat-burglar-ing. And I can wrestle him into his clothes without too much harm to either of us.
Linden’s mommy has moments of weary exhaustion after a day of negotiating with the determined mind of a two-year-old. When he is lying face down in the sand sobbing about some shortfall in his day, it is hard to remember the positives. It is my great fortune to witness the highs, the swoosh moments that are “nothing but net”, the three-pointers that demonstrate Linden is clearly on his way to becoming an astronaut. I love the bias of being a mom. Let others judge our children and point out their weaknesses; moms are meant to be the unstoppable cheerleaders, the celebrator of eating all your breakfast, of sleeping in a big-boy bed, of counting to fifteen and knowing the difference between an eagle and a heron, of being able to sing all the lyrics of a vast repertoire of songs. The list is a long one, all requiring a standing ovation.
When Linden does let me cuddle him, when he has had a fall or doesn’t really want to go to bed, the love that bubbles in me swells my heart ten sizes. When he tucks his little face into my neck and lets his little two-year-old self collapse into me, all that is lacking in my life vanishes, all the wants and hurts that life has flung about turn to vapour and float away and I am his. That is the perfect beauty of a two-year-old.