Saturday, June 16, 2007

Light at the end of the Tunnel

Today is Saturday, our typical shopping/errand running day. For a long time when Jake was little, shopping was difficult. He would become overstimulated by the stores and end up hyperactive or tantruming, while I'd be pulling my hair out just trying to get him through the store and retain my sanity.

What I didn't really know back then is how things would change. Not just the knowledge and experience that I now have from weathering the days of pulling him screaming from a store, but how he (and our relationship) would change. I had faith that it would, that this too was a stage that we would get through. Somehow at the time I didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was drowning. It was too hard. This had to end eventually, but when?

Today we ticked various errands off our list as we went from store to store.

Look for a bathing suit...check
Pick up supplies for a school project...check
Stop at the library.... check

At one point we stopped at a new coffee shop for lunch. Over the din of the fellow customers, the espresso machine and coffee grinders, Jake and I munched on panini sandwiches over sodas and chatted like old friends. We shared bites of each other's treats and planned our Father's Day assault on Hubs for tomorrow. No hyperactivity, no pulling my hair out, nothing. We were truly enjoying each other's company.

An aquaintance and his pregnant wife stopped by to say hello and marvel at how much Jake and I look alike. Jake politely made small talk and recommended the panini before they left to find a table of their own for lunch. He offered me sugar for my coffee and garnered napkins when he saw we needed some.

Suddenly, I realized that I had reached the end of the tunnel awhile ago, I just hadn't noticed. I quietly reached beside me and gave Jake a quick hug, kissing the top of his head and grabbing a rare whiff of his sweet smelling hair. As I looked up across the room there sat our friend, on the cusp of new parenthood, watching our exchange. We smiled at each other warmly. I could see the look of expectation in his eyes, the joy of becoming a Dad and being able to share a moment just like Jake and I were right there in the coffee shop.

He has no idea what he's in for. No idea of the extreme highs and lows, of how your heart feels like it will break one minute or burst from love the next.

That's okay. He'll figure it out.

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