Ryan’s face molds and changes constantly. Just when I get used to it being a certain way something vanishes or something is added. Suddenly it’s a new face. What used to be an ocean of cheeks has parted and cleared a spotlight for the eyes. The hair was yellow and now it darkens to gold. The eyes that have always twinkled with happiness now have a dash of confidence in them. They have more than a dash actually. His eyes are now like an avalanche of happy confident autumn colored leaves.
Yesterday I placed Ryan’s cranky sleepy body into his mothers’ arms. It was a move that I had done a million times when he was just a baby. Suddenly my back creaked from the weight of him. I lost my balance and had to recover with an awkward stumble. My beautiful Bride braced for impact just as I finally recovered my suave composure. On the release of his body, as I started to unbend my upper half, his spindly legs caught hold of my shoulder and decided to drag me back down. It was like wrestling a long spidery water balloon. BB almost took some elbows to the head as I started to get desperate for release. Once again I recovered my James Bond like composure and thought “WOW! He really isn’t a baby anymore.”
My mother and I have an old routine that plays out with the memories of our old routines. Memories like her driving me to High School every morning and dropping me off three long blocks from the school. When we discus these memories we try to remember the last time. I write this now and realize I don’t remember the last time I placed my baby boy in to his mothers’ arms. I don’t remember the last time Ryan needed help up the stairs or his booster seat at dinner. I don’t remember the last time I rocked him to sleep or the last time he held himself up between my legs for balance.
I wish I remembered the last night of my childhood. I'm sure Grandma was asleep in front of the TV and I was sneaking Benny Hill and praying she wouldn't wake up. Sister was either crouching on the basement stairs for privacy while talking on the phone or shaking the walls of the house with her singing. Mommy would be ironing in the dining room with her tongue sticking out. Daddy was most likely upstairs preparing a speech by speaking dramatically in to a tape recorder.
What will Ryan remember?