When Handsome Man was a young toddler, his grandparents gave him a red radio-flyer wagon. The wagon is outfitted with two seats, which fold up and down, and seat-belts, for pulling around precious toddler belongings, or for pulling around precious toddlers themselves. HM absolutely loved his wagon. And I loved pulling him around in it, too. Our trips to the park were just that much more Norman-Rockwellian: my toe-headed boy in his bright red wagon, and me the picture of parenthood towing him along, singing silly songs or making choo-choo sounds. But, as every silver lining seems to have a grey cloud to many an Infertile, I always looked wistfully at that empty second seat. I envied the invisible multitude of parents out there pulling around full wagons, those that had purchased this model to hold not one, but two little kids. It made me sad not just for me, but for Handsome Man, too: I never wanted to raise him as an only child.
Then, last spring, amazingly, Grace came into our family. As the spring turned into summer, I thought about that wagon, but I felt she was still too little and fragile for wagon rides. And, Handsome Man was moving on to bigger things now, like a big boy bike and cool helmet. I figured that by the time Grace was robust enough to ride in the wagon and go over bumps without sliding down or falling over, that Big Brother would deem the wagon 'baby stuff' and want no part of it.
Then yesterday, the sun came out long enough to warrant a trip to the park down the street. Grace was sleeping, so HM and I went together while Mister stayed home. At the park there were 3 other little kids--all riding their bikes. Handsome Man then wanted to ride his bike too--so we trudged back home to get it. When HM gets something in his head, it is very, very hard to dissuade or redirect him; this is part of being a three-year-old, and part of it is his ADHD. So, when we got back home, got his bike, put air in the tires, and then realized we'd left his helmet behind at grandma and grandpa's house the previous weekend, the melt-down began. Which of course woke baby sister up from her nap. The pleasant afternoon was about to turn into another one of our marathon melt-downs that can go on for hours. I could feel my muscles tightening and my mood plummeting. Then, as a Hail-Mary and said, "would you like to take a ride in your wagon?" Amazingly, he looked at me, stopped crying, and smiled: Yes! It worked! "Can baby sister come with us?" I ventured. Sometimes he is less than enthusiastic about sharing his things, or more importantly, his time with Mommy, with his baby sister. To my great surprise his answer this time was "Yeah!"
So there I was, pulling around the little red wagon with two kiddos. Grace loved her first wagon ride. Handsome Man is almost too big, his long lanky legs taking up a lot of space, but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy being pulled around, and kept saying, "Faster Mommy!" Our trip to the park eventually turned into a long walk around the neighborhood, met with many smiles from the neighbors. I couldn't help but think of how lucky I was, and what a very perfect moment it was. I know by the end of summer (or even sooner) Handsome Man will really be too big for his little wagon and like many of his other old toys it will become Grace's by default. So I was very grateful to have a wish fulfilled. I should have taken a picture, but I was too busy enjoying the moment as it happened. I did however, take a picture the other day of a similar moment while shopping at Cos.tco. The only place I know where the shopping carts are double-wide: fit with two seats for little ones. Again, even though HM is really too big for the seat, he wanted to ride this time. Maybe he was just tired from all the walking, or maybe he just wanted to ride along with his little sis. Either way, precious.