Mike was attractive and interesting. He was a bit older than me. There was something intriguing about him, about his stories, about his demeanor, about his life, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I wanted to figure it out.
The problem was that Mike was smitten with me, much more than was appropriate after a couple of dates.
I’m not exaggerating when I say he called me all. the. time. Four or five times a day, most days.
He called me so much that I assigned him a special ringtone on my phone. That way, I wouldn’t have to actually look at the phone to know that it was him (and thus, not necessary to answer). The ringtone was a line from an Alan Jackson song,
I’m in love with you, baby
and I don’t even know your name.
It made me chuckle every time he called. Those giggles kept me from going crazy from suffocation.
I didn’t want to hurt him; he was a nice man. Unfortunately, his feelings were overpowering and unrequited.
After I called him to leave a voice mail explaining (like a true coward) that I’d met someone else (who turned out to be Joe), I felt lighter, unencumbered, free to stretch my lungs in the summer breeze.
I was thinking about Mike last night because I was feeling smothered by my older child.
Last night (and most nights recently), poor Gracie woke several times through the night. At four and a half, she is sleeping through the night less frequently than my almost-one-year-old baby.
Last night, Grace had been up twice before Joe and I were ready for bed. The first time, he put her back into her bed and stayed with her until she was asleep. The second time, she made it the whole way to the living room and crawled up into my lap before falling back to sleep.
I got ready for bed, and Grace and I went to sleep in my bed. She was curled up next to me, head against my shoulder, arm over top of my chest, legs draped over my body.
Sometimes, her overwhelming love for me leaves me feeling smothered, withered, crushed.
As I lay in bed, wishing I had room to roll over, I thought back to that ringtone, to that man whose attention left me feeling the same way.
A lot of the time, Grace is like velcro. She is stuck to me, attached to my side, clinging to me where ever I’m going no matter where it is or why. She wants to sleep in my bed, eat at my right, read when I’m reading, and breathe the air that I’m breathing.
Sometimes, I fear I’ve done something (or many things) to encourage her behavior, but mostly, I think it’s a phase, something she’ll grow out of like the way she says wuh istead of rrr.
I hope it’s sooner than later.
© 2011, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.