It was hot. The sun was blazing down and I was about five months pregnant. I stood in my backyard hanging laundry on the clothesline as my four year old ran in and out of the sheets laughing. His laugh was contagious as he would peek out of a sheet and say "I see you mommy."
I could feel the sweat running down my back and I was almost sure the little peanut inside me was moving in reaction to the sound of his brothers laughter. Bend, pick up and hang was the rhythm that I had established though definitely not with anywhere near the speed of my pre-pregnancy laundry skills. The little one had been rousted awake and was on the move or maybe, he just couldn't find a comfortable spot inside my short, no waisted body, as I continued to do the the laundry dance.
As the mid day sun blazed and my laundry basket didn't seem to be emptying itself fast enough, I decided to pull a lawn chair under the red bud tree and give both myself and the little acrobat inside me a bit of a rest. Apparently my now available lap meant that the four year old must occupy it. He crawled up and together we sat there silently watching the world.
Yes, the four year old and I were attached both physically and emotionally. From the moment I had seen his bold blue eyes and stark white hair for the very first time, he had me.....heart and soul. He had his daddy too and magically this little guy lived a very full and almost duel life being both a mommy and a daddy's boy. Right now though, in this moment.....he was all mine.
As the freshly hung laundry did a subtle sway in the summer breeze, he laid his head back on my shoulder and watched as the occasional car passed down the street. His blue eyes shown brightly in the sun as he was lost in whatever thoughts move through a four year olds mind on a hot summer day. He was thinking, questioning and trying to figure out the world from the safety of my lap. Then his thoughts were interrupted by the ever so slight movement in his side. He jumped and looked wide eyed, not sure what had just happened. I smiled. "That is your baby brother," I said. His eyes widened even more. "Where?" he asked. I pointed to my stomach and put his little hand on the spot where the activity was taking place. Again, there was the movement of a foot or elbow or possibly a head trying to position itself or maybe the little one could simply feel his brothers presence and was just trying to say...."Hello!" Suddenly understanding on a very fundamental level that his little brother was with us and making his presence known, the four year old put both hands on my stomach and moved his face in close. "Hi," he whispered, "I am your brother and I am here." He then rested his head against me and waited for a response. He was not disappointed for no sooner had his head touched my belly then his brother moved. It was a gentle movement and maybe he too had put his head close with only my skin standing between the two. Then the little one calmed as if the knowledge of his brothers words and his closeness had relaxed him to sleep.
The four year old lay curled up with his head on my belly for quite some time. I wasn't sure whether he was waiting for more movement or if he too was just feeling the comfort and the closeness of the moments that passed. Again there was silence as the profoundness of it all seemed to gently flow over me. The heat of the afternoon held the air to almost a stillness now. The clothes no longer swayed or even moved. The moisture was being sucked out of them by the heat alone. I looked down at the child in my lap....safe, secure and in that moment.....getting a lesson in life. I could feel the stillness of the little one who lay inside me as my body, his temporary accommodations, was changing just for him. It was at this moment that I suddenly realized that out of the thousands of moments that I would have in my lifetime, this one would stick out. This one would forever be a part of my thoughts and my memories. I took it all in. The heat, the clothes, my children nestled together in my lap and.....my home. I knew that this place and this time were so special and never would I be able to recreate them anywhere else. In that moment.....I had everything and even though we were quickly outgrowing the house, we had almost no money and I was pregnant in the summer time with our collective 5th child......I was experiencing the perfect moment. Little did I know, it would be the last of its kind.