25 Apr 2011

Cat Woman and the Missing Jacket

18 Comments Family, Toddler

We’d made it all the way out to the car in the mall’s parking lot, upstairs outside of the food court, when I realized we didn’t have his jacket.


I was running late to get home to get ready for a thing I had to get to.

“Come on, buddy. We have to go find your jacket.”

“We lost it?”, he asked.

“Well, I’m sure it’s either in the playground or the burger place.”

“Cat Woman?”

“Yes, Robin?”

Lately I’ve been Cat Woman, Russ has been Batman and G has been Robin. I find it fascinating that he chooses to be the sidekick even when Russ isn’t with us. My son is nothing if not consistent.

“Will you pick me up?”

“Of course! Meow.”

G is big. He’s about 40 pounds, but I think every one of his pounds weighs a pound and a half. He’s solid. It’s getting harder to hold him for long.

I speed-walked through the mall, holding him in my arms, smelling his hair. I know it’s cliche’, but I honestly can’t help but do it when I’m holding him. I put him down to get on the escalator.

“Thank you, Cat Woman.”

“You’re welcome, Robin.”

“Cat Woman”?

“Yes, Robin”?

“Are we going to get in the Bat Mobile when we find my dressed?”

Sometimes G refers to clothes as “dressed”.

“Yes, Robin. We will.”

“Am I driving, or are you?”, he asked.

“I’ll drive this time and you can fight the bad guys from the backseat.”

“But all the bad guys are good now!”

“Oh! Then you can just tell me which way to go!”

“That’s a great idea!”

The jacket wasn’t in the playground so we walked to the other end of the mall to get to the burger joint. Again, he wanted me to carry him and I obliged. My arms were hurting pretty badly and I put him down once to rest them. But these moments are fleeting. And, just like breast-feeding and lullabies and baths in the sink… soon carrying my son will be a thing of the past. He’ll keep growing, and I’ll stay the same. Those physics just don’t add up to me being able to lift him for more than another year or three.

We found his jacket at the restaurant, and we ran side by side toward the Bat Mobile. Half way through the mall he asked once again to be picked up. I scooped him into my arms, continued to run, and got us into the car.

It is in these moments of “nothing special” that I find the most joy and melancholy. I am so hyper-aware of my good fortune, getting to spend time with this amazing child. And I am so aware of him speed-walking toward becoming a big kid, a young man, and then a man. I hold him in my arms, and he holds my heart in his. He always will. Even when he’s too big to pick up.

written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

18 Responses to “Cat Woman and the Missing Jacket”

  1. Reply Julie says:

    Awww. It sounds like Catwoman and Robin had a great time at the mall! The smelling – thank you for talking about this; I don’t feel like such a weirdo now. 😉

    We didn’t have babies, but if someone is nice enough to let me hold or play with their baby, I’m sniffing him or her. That baby smell is more intoxicating than any substance on earth…

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Julie, isn’t it though?? But I have to say, a toddler’s smell is much different! It’s that baby smell mixed with food and sweat and dirt and candy and paint and play-doh. And it’s even sweeter than a baby’s smell… IF the toddler is your OWN kid!

  2. Reply Matt Iseman says:

    Ah, jeez, Arch, why do I feel like I just read a scene from Toy Story IV? Making me tear up and I don’t even have kids (but I do have a batman costume)

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Matt, you rule. Seriously. And, OF COURSE you have a batman costume!! I had no idea batman’s alter ego was Mr. Incredible. Awesome.

  3. Reply Karen says:

    It’s great that you are enjoying all of those special moments, knowing that they are coming to an end real soon. My baby just turned 22 and I look at him and wonder where the time went. It was just yesterday that he and I were our own version of Batman and Robin.

    Your experiences are bringing back my own memories. Thanks for sharing them.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Awwwww…. Thanks, Karen. I know G will be 22 in the blink of an eye. That’s why I’m keeping my eyes open with toothpicks!! No blinking!!

  4. Reply Sherry says:

    So sweet! You are right to cherish all those moments. I can’t carry my son anymore, but he gives really good hugs now. Which reminds me of one of our stories that I just have to tell you!
    Ever since he was a baby I would sing the song, ” You are my sunshine my only sunshine.” When he got old enough for school I would wake him up by singing that song and by the time it got to the part where you sing,” please don’t take my sunshine away” I would sing,” please don’t take my sunshine” and then he would sing the Away part to show he was awake. I stop singing to wake him up when he turned 11 or 12 because I figured he wouldn’t like it anymore. Last week, Jason told me that he would like me to sing to wake him up like I used to. I was surprised, but I did and just like before, I sang all but the last part and he sang Away. Priceless!! Best part, I found an Easter stuffed duck that sang that whole song and at the end it says I love you. Had to get him that for Easter!! 🙂

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Sherry, that is SO SWEET!!!!! That just made me smile. And the stuffed duck? Are you kidding? That’s perfect!! Made my night.

  5. Reply Christine says:

    I know exactly what you mean. And you described it beautifully. But I can assure you that you will have many, many moments when you will scoop your “too big to be picked up” child into your arms and you will feel no weight other than that of your love for him in your heart.

    I know this because when Kate was just at the cusp of being “too big to be picked up” I was undergoing chemo and radiation and was just too damn weak to lift her. I cried over the loss of feeling my child in my arms and feared that if and when I regained my health and my strength she’d be past the age and size to ever pick up again.

    But a mothers love is often stronger than her body, and there have been many a moment when I swept my big girl up into my arms, and held her tight and close and didn’t even notice her weight or size. Just last night when a thunderstorm frightened my almost eleven year old, I scooped her up like a baby, carried her to a chair and rocked her in my arms until she calmed. I may not be catwoman, but I like to think I am my daughter’s personal superhero.

    So, you may not always be able to run through a mall while holding him, but you still have a lot of time left to wrap him in your arms, pick him up, hold him close and smell his hair.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Christine, Thank You. That just made me happy in 1,000 different ways. Beautifully said, as usual. And good to know.
      And I am positive, by the way, that you are your daughter’s hero.

  6. Reply Michelle says:

    Beautiful!!! Similar thing happened to me yesterday. We took my baby (who is 4 3/4) to her first movie in a movie theater. About 3/4 of the way through the movie she was getting restless so I asked if she wanted to sit in my lap. She said yes and hopped in. I had been fully reclining and noticed that once she was in my lap, I leaned forward and was smelling her hair and leaning on her head. I knew that this may be the last time for something like this, so I savored every sweet breath. I have only had one biological child (my baby) and I was 41 when I had her so I’ve been trying to burn every single second into my memory.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Totally get it, Michelle. It’s like you wish you had a camera with smell and sound-a-vision in your brain so you could remember every second. That’s lovely.

  7. Reply Milaka says:

    This is a sweet, sweet post. It brought tears to my eyes.

    I’ve always savored every moment. When the kids were infants, I didn’t mind the night feedings – I knew they would be gone before I knew it. They were. When Buddy went through a phase where he would come get in bed with us around 4:00 every morning, I didn’t deter it because I figured it he’d grow out of it. He did. Most of the time I don’t mind when Princess (who just turned eleven – I have no idea how THAT happened) tries to stretch out bed time by asking deep questions or starting a much needed conversation because at some point she’s probably only going to talk to me in one syllable words. It goes so fast, so you are right to savor it.

    I do still smell their heads! It’s different, but still sweet.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      LOL! I love hearing that stuff, Milaka. It’s so good to know we all go through the same stuff. God, it goes way too fast. It’s just silly, isn’t it?

  8. Reply David says:

    Lady, I can’t stop cheesing at this!!! Thanks for sharing that!!! And, please–I have a niece who will be 19 this years. ENJOY Garret’s runt-hood. Before you know it, he’ll be tending you and Russ, and will do so without a drop in the hat. Be well, and hang in there!

  9. Reply Alice says:

    I just love (and am really jealous) that Matt Iseman reads your blog! I love him!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Alice, all you have to do is get on a show with him and he’ll read your stuff too!! 😉
      I’ll pass your love on to him!

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