Next to me on the wood floor of my kitchen is my sweet almost one year old who is pulling all of the plastic and cardboard out of our recycling pile. Out comes a milk jug...an Odwalla bottle...a Sunshine Wheat holder (my husbands favorite beer, TN just got it)...an empty kleenex box...paper towel role...extra grocery sacks...
He leans his hand on a cupboard and tries to pull himself up but slips. He whines and his little eyebrows wrinkle as he looks up at me to see my reaction.
“You’re okay”, I assure him, still typing. He agrees, and continues his work. Once all of the recycling is unloaded he decides to explore under the wooden shelf against the wall and paws through dust bunnies and dog hair to get to something that has rolled underneath. A ball? A toy truck? Apparently he cannot reach and heads for me feet, pulling at my pants until I pick him up.
“Okay little bug, come here.” nap time.
I change his diaper and he whines until I give him his blankie, and grabbing with one hand, he pops the two middle fingers of the other in his mouth as he does when he’s tired.
We rock for a minute before I put him down. His head lays in the middle of my chest and he strokes my arm and side with the hand that is not in his mouth. I can hear his stuffy nose as he inhales and exhales, his body weight feeling heavier with every breath.
I lean my nose on the top of his head and my memory flashes back to the nursery of the church I grew up in. My friends and I used to sneak in and steal cherrios when no one was in there. James smells just like that nursery to me, some sort of combination of cereal, diapers, baby soap and slobber.
His red hair tickles my lips and I breath in his smell one more time before kissing his forehead and whispering “I love you”. His blue eyes are barely open but he looks up at me and pulls his blankie to his face as I lay him down in his crib. My heart breaks for the first time today. It won’t be the last.
I walk out of James’ room, reheat my coffee, and look out the window of our kitchen. The yellow daffodils are very welcome friends this spring. The pink buds on our cherry tree out front remind me of what was hiding there in the brown branches this whole winter. Any day now they will blossom into little white flowers, just in time for Easter.
I walk out the front door of my warm house and feel the sun on my face for a minute. The grass is greener than it was even yesterday.
I have so much to be thankful for.
Why should I ever think the grass grows greener somewhere else?