My little Mookie turns two this month and I never really knew how hard that would be.
I look at him with his hands full of cars and two more tucked under his arm and remember his brother, always with a vroom vroom. In the car, at the store, in his bed. And there is something comforting in watching Mookie with his vroom vrooms. In the car. At the store. In his bed.
Except he calls them cars now. And I’m still not ready to give up vroom vroom. Like somehow we’re leaving Mattias behind even though he left us here in this world almost two years ago.
And you never really know what all those little words mean to your heart until they are taken so abruptly.
Like the chickie chickies. Mattias loved the chickie chickies and used to stand by the kitchen window, watching them peck and heralding them with his excited shouts of “Chickie chickie!” every time they came close. It was one of his first words that spring. His last spring. And we all still call them chickie chickies even though he probably would have outgrown that by now.
But Mookie calls them keekees. And I’ve had to bite my tongue to keep from correcting him.
There are things my almost two year old knows that Mattias never had a chance to learn. To Mattias, animals fell into very few simple categories: chickie chickie, Abby (our cat) and puppy (everything else). But Mookie has more experience with these animals, and he knows them all by their sounds. He gets excited over moo moos and nay nays and quack quacks. And I find joy in his joy but I also remember that little boy who listened so thoughtfully to my explanations and returned every animal name with his own: puppy.
And it tears at my soul.
But there’s that smile and that glint in his eye when he pretends to eat me all up and the toy cars I find in my bed. Treasured little gifts of sunshine on the darkest of days. Precious reminders that while these moments are passing, they are each a gift.