I tapped my husband on the shoulder a few nights ago and said, “Our baby is going to preschool tomorrow.”
I didn’t think much about that tap until lying in bed last night, writing this entire blog in my head and now trying to pump it out of my fingertips as fast as I thought it all out.
There have been lots of little taps or double taps I’ve made on his shoulder or his back or his arm before saying something important and each one has had a huge meaning behind it.
The first tap I remember was the biggest. It was THE tap. I tapped my husband, Justin, on the shoulder at the bar to sling my first of many smart-ass comments his way and our eyes met and just like they say in one of my favorite movies, P.S. I Love You...”that’ll be the end of it. The end of what? Life as we know it.”
I also remember sitting on our old, leather couch back in our first home together, only knowing one another less than a year, about to tie the knot. And I tapped him on the arm and said, “Oh my God, we’re getting married tomorrow.” I remember both of us starting to cry and I’m sure those tears were filled with every possible emotion. We were beyond happy and excited, but also terrified and nervous.
The little taps kept on coming over the years. Some of them were amazing…
“We sold the house!”
“I found a new job.”
“I got the raise.”
“We are going to be aunt and uncle.”
And some of them sad and scary…
“Grandma died.” (that first name could be replaced with many names)
“I think I lost a friend today.”
“I had another panic attack.”
“Something is wrong, we have to go to the hospital.” This tap was the day my water broke 11 weeks early with our oldest son.
“What is gonna happen, the baby is going to be too early?” As I laid in the hospital bed not knowing what was going to happen and fearing the worst. Those taps were more like grasps. Justin and I would hold on to one another and hug and hold hands and cry and pray. It was the hardest time, yet one of the most strengthening in our marriage.
“We have to leave him and go home.” After Vincenzo was born and I was cleared to go home (after 5.5 weeks of being on hospital bed rest) we had to walk away from that NICU and go home without our baby boy. That tap was more just me just burying my head into Justin’s back, holding on for dear life and trying to get through each day.
“Our baby is coming home today.” This was a super excited tap on the back and one of the best and most vivid memories of my life. Putting our tiny little man in his car seat and every so carefully placing him in the car to drive home. We couldn’t even believe they were letting us take him. He was so fragile, so little, so precious.
There were many taps as we watched him sleep and eat and learn and grow.
“Can you believe we made him?”
“I can’t believe we’re parents.”
“He rolled over!”
“He is crawling, walking, laughing, throwing a ball, etc.”
And so many more.
Some of the taps were mean-spirited.
“It’s your turn to feed the baby.”
“You handle it. I need to sleep.”
And some were spoken out of fear.
“What if he never catches up to the other kids?”
A lot of the taps were encouraging
“You are an amazing dad.”
“You are my rock.”
The ones above I still tell him all the time.
Then life started to fly and the taps became…
“I’m quitting my job to take care of the baby.”
“I’m starting a business.”
“Our baby is going to preschool….to kindergarten…” (this tap keeps on coming)
“Can you believe we have two boys?”
“How have we lived in our house for 10 years?”
“The business is booming.”
“Our big man is going to be on stage.” (Dance, piano, who knows what else)
“Our little man is starting soccer.” (And I’m sure many sports to come)
And just the other day…
“Can you believe we will be married 13 years in October?”
Every little tap on my husband’s shoulder or his back or his arm has had deep meaning behind it. It almost takes the moment and freezes it in time. Sometimes only that little tap is needed…I don’t even need to say any words and he knows…
“I love you.”
“I love our life and our boys.”
“It’s going to be okay.”
“I’m proud of you.”
“We can do this.”
Those taps remind me why my heart beats. I have a blessed life that should never be taken for granted. The tap is simply the physical motion of cementing a major memory or idea or dream before I say it out loud.
I’m so lucky I get to tap that man on the shoulder and share my life with him. Here’s to so many more happy moments to come.