Today, we got to the park a good 20 minutes before camp started. It was just him and me, as I had already dropped his brother off at daycare. I decided we’d walk around the park and that I’d let him play for a while before dropping him off, but he showed no interest in playing. He stayed by my side the entire time. Finally, I found a bench and sat down. He sat beside me. We sat in silence. This is our existence, we two, when he’s not talking about cars and boo-boos, which are the only two things he’ll talk about. Silent pondering. I always wonder about his thoughts during this time.
He crawls into my lap. I curl my arms around him, holding him tight against me because I know he likes it when I squeeze him. I think about our silence. I wonder what he’s thinking about. Does he enjoy spending time alone with me? There certainly are a lot fewer tantrums when it’s just him and I. This is part of the reason his brother is in daycare (other than the fact that we lose our spot if we take him our during the summer and we had a hard time getting him in there in the first place).
“What do you see, Mommy?” he asks me. A break in the silence.
“I see cars going down the road. Just over there, through the trees,” I say. “What do you see?”
“I don’t know,” he says.
“Tell me one thing,” I say.
“Nothing,” he insists.
“Well, I see birds on the ground. And I see gray clouds in the sky,” I say. Just then, a white bird flies into the sky. “And I see a bird flying. Do you see a bird flying?”
“Yes,” he says.
“What color is it?” I ask.
“White,” he says.
“What else do you see?” I ask.
“Nothing,” he says.
“Come on. Tell me one thing you see,” I beg him.
He gets up off of my lap and sits next to me on the bench.
“I love you,” I say.
“I love you, too,” he says.
“Do you want to go ahead and go to camp, now?” I ask.
“Yes,” he says.
We walk to camp, hand-in-hand. It’s raining a little. We exchange very few words on the way. This is our normal. When I pick him up, there is very little information shared about his day that isn’t shared from third party persons.
I can see from his smile and his wondering about whether he’s going again tomorrow that he enjoyed the day, but I wish I had more. I wish he could tell me his thoughts.
There is a vacancy there where we could be sharing words and conversation. Even my husband, who is talented at talking to walls, has trouble extracting information out of him.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy those precious moments, like today, where I can hold him and enjoy the peacefulness together. But I would give anything to know his thoughts.