Velcro Baby and Love Letters with a 4-year-old

A love letter “posted” in a bike basket full of flowers. All photos in this post by Lindsay Zier-Vogel, the Love Letterer herself!

 

 

I haven’t written specifically about the kids or the mothering in a while. We are truckin’ along and I am riding the ever shifting balance of being home with two energetic, gorgeous boys. Gene is now 9-months-old and he is suddenly Captain Velcro, meaning he’s stuck to me like glue every waking moment. He’s utterly content if he’s on me, but the minute I try to leave — and by leave, I mean to go, say, get the mail or make some lunch, something innocent and necessary like that — he’s panicing, weeping, wailing piercingly, heartrendingly. He falls asleep clutching a handful of my breast in case the food source should try and sneak off whilst he’s at rest! He’s realized in earnest that I can disappear and that he doesn’t know when I’ll be back. And this consciousness has led to paranoia on a grand scale! Of course it’s normal and good and I’m so glad to see him evolve, even if sometimes I find myself trying to go pee with an infant stuck to me, which is no easy feat. I surrender a lot these days and just lie on the floor or in bed and let him satellite around me, maybe fold laundry or read but often just be there (at the cost of cleanliness or order in the house, but this too shall pass!) We have lots of giggles and gazing sessions together and he continues to charm me silly.

Then there’s Rudi, now 4 years old. He’s suddenly so grown up! He’s still got his powerful will Will WILL intact but I am finding that the near constant butting of heads that we’ve been playing at for the past few months is easing up. He is more independent than ever, he makes his own toast now and is so proud to “make breakfast!” He is a little more logical, a little more worldly. He can wait when I ask him too, knowing that it won’t be interminable. And we are starting to have little moments of, for lack of a better way to put it, hanging out. As mom and son rather than mom and toddler. I take him out once in a while without Gene because even though I’m with both boys all day, my attention is divided and Gene usually gets more of me. So I jumped at the opportunity to take Rudi to go Love Lettering last week with my friend, the indomitable artist Lindsay Zier-Vogel.

Choosing his Love Lettering materials carefully.

The Love Lettering Project is a community arts project bringing love letters to strangers. Lindsay’s been at it for eight years now and gained all sorts of local and national attention last year. The project grows by leaps and bounds each year and I “love” it (a-ha-ha). This year, she’s setting up at various community events, inviting people to write a love letter to something they love about their city and then leave it anonymously for someone to find — which will surly brighten the days of all involved! Rudi and I went to The Avro in Toronto’s East end for PAL-SAC‘s (Post A Letter Social Activity Club) night hosting The Love Lettering Project. We chatted, he had water in a pint glass, worked diligently on a love letter to The Secret Park (which is near our house, but I can’t say where exactly, what with it being Secret and all) and chatted up the locals. Then we went for burnt-marshmallow ice cream at Ed’s. It was a good night!

Working oh-so carefully on his Love Letter to The Secret Park in Toronto. I love the white finger tips on his left hand!

I loved being able to chat with Rudi without the divided attention necessary when I’m  solo with the two boys. We are so much calmer together when we’re alone together. I think there’s a lesson in there for me somewhere! I’m sure it has a lot to do with my tension level. I am constantly amazed by what mirrors we are as parents. Rudi so often reflects how I am, and he’s got keen senses, because I can’t be faking calm, he’ll still pick up on the turmoil underneath if it’s there. So cheers to one-on-one dates with 4-year-olds, with sons, and cheers to love letters. And to velcro, can’t forget the velcro …

Love Letter accomplished and sealed. Now time for delivery …
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3 thoughts on “Velcro Baby and Love Letters with a 4-year-old

  1. This was such a lovely write up about your time with Rudi. Kudos to you, mother of two. And always keeping it interesting for that amazing mind that Rudi has.

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