i count to ten slowly. my head begins to calm down. i realize that my hands are shaking. i let the oxygen take it's time moving into my lungs, and immediately feel more grounded. why don't i always breathe like this? my focus deepens on teddy.
15 seconds in i notice tiny changes in his features. his cheeks have more definition. his eyes seem darker. his hair is becoming more thick. my mind goes back to the wispy locks that he was born with, and the bald spot in the back of his head that is almost completely covered. how did we get here? how did he morph from a tiny sleepy ball into this fearless pre-toddler who wants to explore the world?
30 seconds in i'm gently rubbing his back, and running my fingers through his hair. is it me, or has he calmed down too? i forget how perceptive he is to my mood; my emotions. he's no longer wriggling out of my lap, he's gently resting his head on my chest, mirroring my deep breaths with his own. i think he's listening to my heart beat.
teddy is gently tapping a small birthmark near my collarbone. he inspects it carefully, tries to rub it off, and finally gives up as he sits up and looks into my eyes.
50 seconds in he's decided to stand up in my lap, facing me, and tugging on my ears. he's looking for the earrings that i wear sometimes, but haven't put on today. i smile at him, and pretend to chomp on his shoulders, as a delighted giggle comes out from his round body. he's been experimenting with standing on his own which makes me proud and frightens me. he's so tall. i can't believe how tall he is. i look at him and see his father with hints of myself reflecting back. there are tiny glimpses of what he's going to look like as a small child. i miss him already.
he slides down my lap, and gives me a smile before he dashes away in a determined crawl. as i watch him playing, i'm grateful for his independence, and also miss the early weeks when he would just sleep on my lap, or lay content on my shoulder. he's fine playing on his own, as long as i'm in sight.
i look at the clock. my sixty seconds has taken 10 minutes in real time.
i feel calm, but not so calm that i couldn't slip right back into an uncomfortable panic in a minute or two.
i pour myself a glass of water, and notice that dark clouds are covering the strong beams from the sun that normally fill our living room with light. i lift the blinds, push the windows open, and let the cool air flow through our space as teddy tries to choose which car will be his favorite today. he can't decide between the blue one and the yellow taxi.
it's wednesday. which means tomorrow is thursday.
thursday is my favorite day. it's the day that means the week is thinking about ending.
we can do this.