Drunk

Dear Lena,

We went on a walk to the park this evening. On our way you stopped every few feet to look up at the trees. You tried so hard to keep your eyes skyward as you walked but it was too dizzying, you’d sway and inevitably lose your balance and you would be forced to look at your path. You stumbled quite a few times, but never fell. After reorienting yourself you would refocus on the green canopy speckling the air above our heads, drinking it all in.

The way you look at the trees Lena is the way I look at you. Sometimes I have to take a step back and reorient myself. At times I can’t take my eyes off of you, I feel the urge to memorize every thing about you, about that moment, the one we will never get back. I have to memorize this Toddler version of the baby I birthed over a year ago. Sometimes I feel like I have to drink you in so fast, chug chug chug, or I’ll forget, so I swallow rapid fire and catch my breath later.

When Mutti was little I used to have terrifying dreams that I was on a playground turning on a a bar. (You put one knee over and grip on either side of that knee, hurl your body weight backwards over and over until your eyeballs nearly pop out of your head). I would wake myself up in a cold sweat because I couldn’t stop spinning. It took me a while to learn how to get going, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to bar spin again if I stopped. I couldn’t enjoy turning (it really is fun!) because I couldn’t disengage, I didn’t know how to slow myself down to make a peaceful dismount and I was worried that this was my only chance.

We made it to the park in a decent amount of time, you climbed up the stairs and went down the slide more times than I can count. Slide? Slide? Tweet Tweet Tweet! [V]ogel? {[B]ird? Slide? weeeeeeeeeee! I was able to sit on a bench as you ran around the structure with some children a few years older than you. You laughed and yelled and ate some wood chips.

Eventually the other children trickled away to dinner and bathtime was drawing near so we headed home. You asked to be carried, a rare occurence these days, so I hoisted you onto my shoulders and we carefully made our way back down Park Ave.

I used to feel like I couldn’t take my eyes off of you, because I might lose you if I did.I’m proud to say that although most of the time I find myself mesmerized by you and your view of the world, I can now look away. I can be drunk but walk in a straight line. I can gulp this stage of your life down like water, like air, but I can enjoy the scenery while doing so.

I can look away and know you will still be there when I look back.

I can stop spinning, if I want to.

Love,

Mutti

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