Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Call

At 1:15 the little cell phone rang--which is unusual mostly because I never have the ringer on. And the good Mama would like to say I had it on intentionally, but that would have been a lie. It was my brother calling to let me know that "We're not going to make it," he said with a little flabbergast around the edges, "Sam is inconsolable. I'm bringing him home." Before I have time to fully wake into what time it is, and what this must have meant for both of them over the last 45 minutes or so, I am saying, "OK OK" and hanging up the phone.

In seconds all of the implications are jumping up and down on the mama brain screaming for attention; Are they taking a cab, or walking home in the 17 degree icy air? Should I call and say leave Sam's suitcase (he has to pack the bright pink camouflage thing for every overnight adventure but don't forget the blankie!!!!!) and carry Sam. Did he try to cuddle him? Rough housing doesn't work at 1:00am... Did Sam want him too, or did he just need to come home. What could I have done to prepare them both better for such a meltdown? Anything? Probably not. Should I not have packed the picture of me, really as a joke, but did it backfire and make him feel farther away then just up the street? How awful for Marc to have to bring him back now--he has a cold and he must feel like he wished he could have come up with the magic phrase to soothe Sam back to sleep. Shame. How do I tend to Sam's shame at not being able to stay and applaud his courage in telling Uncle I just have to go home. Minutes later, Sam in his PJ's and day clothes, boots and spaceship silver winter jacket sits on the little trampoline crumbled up. Marc unzips the suitcase to find his blankie without anyone asking, he loves Sam so much, he wanted this to work more than Sam or even I did I realize instantly.

"Mama can I go in your bed? "Sam asked half asleep, and clearly uncertain of his world for the moment.

"Of course of course. Go. I'll be right there. Quietly baby. Don't wake your brother..." I answer trying not to smother, wanting to smother.

I thank Marc, quickly, words are not in order now. We'll talk about it when we can find a moment without Sam, maybe online, maybe in code while they throw a football in the living room as I do dishes and Marcel pulls books off the shelf.

The baby wakes up the minute I have Sam in my arms whispering; "I love you, Sam." There isn't time for everything else, but I know he needs to hear it, because his eyes are WIDE open as he stares at the space right over my shoulder.

By the time I come back from soothing Marcel back to sleep, Sam is snoring safely snug back in his comfort zone for the moment. I don't have anyone to admit this to, but I'll sleep better now too. Moments before I drift away I have this awful realization that phones call at 1:15 am will not always be so easy.

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