The lollipop bank

I am a writer; a blogger. I write on this site, I am writing a book, I write notes in my kids’ lunch boxes each day.

Sometimes, my posts are long with lessons; sometimes they are my way of chronicling life in the moment; sometimes my posts are photos and other times they are haikus.

Today my post is a story. A little story that meant ever so much. It is nothing more, and certainly nothing less. But it is a story, and I would love to share it. Much of what I share on here is deeply personal and, to be more candid, hard.

Today, I am going to tell you about the lollipop bank.

On Tuesday, I picked up my son from school. He now goes to school 5 days a week, 9am to 3pm, like a big boy.

Because, as hard as it is to admit, he is becoming a big boy. Next month he will turn three.

My baby will be three.

And in recent months–even weeks–I have seen so much growth in him. His language has had another explosion so that I can converse with him like a person. I attribute this to both his schooling and, most of all, his sister, whom he adores

(as their relationship is well chronicled on here).

He speaks in ways that are not only articulate, but eloquent at times. He amazes me.

And so when I picked him up from his classroom on Tuesday he spotted me, ran to me, shouted, “Mommy!” and dove into my arms.

That, my friends, is what it is all about.

He had me carry him all the way down the stairs and out the door and across the lawn and into the parking lot to our car. He is not a small child (always hovering around the 100th percentile, particularly in height) and I am a small adult, making it a difficult combination. But when he asks me to hold him, I do. Part of this is because I savor the snuggles. But part of it is because I feel as though I owe it to him. But more on that later.

I had to run an errand between his pick up and meeting my daughter at the bus stop and so I asked him if he wanted to come with me to the bank.

His blue eyes lit up. “Are we going to the lollipop bank?” he asked, excitedly.

“Yes, we are.”

And before I could even speak, he took the words out of my mouth.

“I won’t cry this time, mama. I will be a biiiiiig boy.”

Because last time we went to the bank together–during the stressful period when we were closing on the new house–he was a disaster. He cried and ran around and fought me. And I could not get through to him. He wanted to press buttons and turn knobs and, of course, down as many lollipops as one 35 pound person can possibly consume.

I told him how happy that made me to hear as I buckled him into his car seat.

“It is very, very hot in your car, mama. But I thiiink it will cool down, he said as he settled in to my back seat.

(note: his inflections are the cutest!)

And so, we went to the bank. The lollipop bank.

And he was true to his word. He briefly went over to a small computer and typed away on the keyboard, but it was not bothersome, no tears were shed and there was no running around. And he only ate 4 lollipops.

“Can we get one for Boppy, please?” he asked. “I thiiiink she will liiiiike…pink.”

When we left the bank (within five minutes which is a minor miracle) I kissed his cheek and put him back in his carseat.

“I am so proud of you,” I told him. And he looked up at me, his eyes big Pacific Ocean looking pools, and so I was forced to kiss him again.

I leaned into him, placing my head on his heart, and I felt tears stinging my own eyes.

“I love you so much. And I want to tell you something,” I tried to keep it together.

“Yes, mama?”

“I am so sorry that I wasn’t there for you the way that I should have been when you were a baby. But I love you so much. You can’t imagine how much I love you.”

The guilt that I have been wrestling with for three years was bubbling up inside of me like a pressure cooker, but I did not let it boil over. I just sat with my head on his chest, listening to his heart beating and the sound of him crunching on his candy.

As much as he has grown up, I knew that my apology to him would (thankfully) go over his head. If I am being honest, it was more for me than it was for him, but what I was able to give him was a spontaneous expression of love and that is always a good thing.

“Can we go get Boppy now?” he asked sincerely, and so I broke our embrace, kissed him one more time, and drove away in Luna, the name he has for my new, white car.

I felt so many feelings on Tuesday afternoon, some good and some hard, but I got to hold my son and tell him how much he means to me.

All in the parking lot of the lollipop bank.

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