Destroyâ€™s teacher sent me that photo. â€œSharing the love,â€ she wrote.
With the blood running true blue through my veins, I replied in kind. â€œThere is absolutely nothing ok with that photo. Oh waitâ€¦â€
â€œI have no nice words,â€ was all she responded. (Because preschool teachers practice what they preach. And if you donâ€™t have anything nice to say, donâ€™t say anything at all. Also, GO DODGERS.)
Because secretly (or I guess not so much right now), I love that photo of my gregarious trouble-makerâ€™s chubby little hand.
How far weâ€™ve come.
This photo was taken on Day 3 of life.
Reaching through the porthole of an isolette, cradling an entire being fighting for life, careful not to disturb the wires â€“ so many wires.
The tiny childâ€™s entire hand not even big enough to grasp a single finger of his fatherâ€™s.
A fatherâ€™s hand completely blocking the view of his sonâ€™s sleeping body. But for one hand rising up. Declaring himself. A fighter.
Several weeks after the boys were born, I met a friend and her toddling daughter for coffee. (The mom and I were having coffee. Her little girl was eating/throwing dried peas. And in a twist, my newborns were also being medicated with caffeine.) They were coming by the hospital for a blood draw so I met them in the lab.
I watched the technician struggle with the 14 month old â€“ can you blame the kid? Who likes needles (no one). But I found myself fascinated by her chubby little hands.
It was such a stark contrast to the tiny translucent hands trying to rip out wires four floors above us.
Yesterday I picked up my superheroes from preschool. As we walked toward the car, Destroy looked up at me.
â€œThatâ€™s the office, Mommy,â€ he pointed. â€œThatâ€™s where I go.â€
He was of course referring to the preschool principal’s office, where little boys who have forgotten their listening ears are sent for a heart-to-heart behavioral discussion. (As much as one can have with another who has not yet mastered bowel control.) It is preschool purgatory. After timeouts from teachers have been exhausted and just before mommy receives a phone call requesting some at-home reflection on the part of the child (aka suspension/we can no longer deal with the mischief of the day.)
Then he grabbed my hand and happily began marching through the parking lot â€“ one foot in front of the other as the trouble-maker balanced on the curb. His brother holding my other hand.
They’ve been a team since birth. Hand in hand. To Search and Destroy.