Isaac is fascinated with the wet dish towel and cleaning motion. It’s a simple – and fairly odd – fascination. Each time he eats I get a dish towel, wipe him, and then he proceeds to take the towel from my hand in order to wipe whatever is nearest to him. Today, after his lunch, he found the wet towel I had used and picked it up. As he is just starting to take his first steps, I quietly watched him from the background. He very carefully stood up, bobbling back and forth, dish towel tightly griped. He began wiping his high chair … okay, makes sense. After he was satisfied, he turned to the love seat chair in the living room … not quite right, but the effort was adorable. The entertainment center was next, followed by the sliding glass door, and finally he sits down. Looking around, finding nothing else, he lifts up his shirt and starts wiping his belly.
I immediately started laughing, trying to hold back as to not draw his attention. Then, I sighed. “Oh, how I wish you could see him.” In that playful moment, I imagined how in love Matt would have been with his son, how proud he would of been of him, and how much they were both missing out on. I felt sad, but not plowed over with grief. I recognized the pain in his absence, but the pain was stripped of hopelessness. It felt almost like a memory, as strange as that sounds. Or maybe it felt as though he was right there with me, enjoying Isaac’s self administered sponge bath with me. I’m not positive, but it felt like a little step in healing.