Both boys are napping! It feels like a miracle. I used the time to finish laundry, eat lunch and sit down to try to write a little bit. I didn’t get much writing done but I did find this. This was a blog entry that I had written and never published. I wrote it before Cameron was born- I’m guessing I didn’t have time to go back and edit it and forgot about it, had a baby and never gave it a thought until today. Reading through it I remember each of these moment with instantaneous and fleeting clarity, each rushing across my memory like a slideshow of snapshots.
sidenote: i didn’t do much editing here.
the soft skin of his forearm beneath my thumb as I rub it absentmindedly
standing in his doorway watching him sleep, his face turned towards me, lips puckered open, cheeks puffed out as he exhales
the scent of his hair as he struggles to snuggle closer to me as we sit on the couch
“thank you mama” he says when I bring him more pancakes.
“looks nice in here, good job mama,” he says admiring the rearranged back porch.
singing his made up song as he clangs away on the xylophone “hello apple, hello mango, hello arm, hello eyes, hello dresser, hello apple and mango,” and turning his head, laughing, making sure I am watching
watching him peddle his tricycle up the driveway, he turns his head to make sure I’m staying put: “mama stay!”
the sound of his feet as he runs through the hall and into our bedroom in the middle of the night
following him into the kitchen as he cries because he can’t reach the pan he wants to get down because he wanted to “make mama breakfast”
his arm flung over my shoulder when he turns to me in the night as I lay, facing away from him.
so many more….so many unremembered.
Losing my mom, when I was ten, taught me the value of time and memory. How quickly time passes and how precious are the moments that we have with out loved ones! It was easy when I was younger, in grief, to turn away from others and to sever ties rather then take the chance of experiencing loss all over again. It made me uncomfortable to get too close. Except that inside, I yearned for those deeper connections- for loving, supportive arms to encircle me, comfort me when i needed it and keep me safe when I felt vulnerable.
It’s taken me most of my adult life so far to realize that I alone hold the power to return the gesture when others reach out and that embracing others is the only way to protect myself from feeling alone. It took having a child to realize how much we need the community of people in our life.
I hold on tight to the moments I have with Casey. These precious moments that are so beautiful they hurt. It tugs at my heartstrings, watching him, knowing that he will grow up some day and be big and that I might not remember this moment, or the next, or maybe the next one. I wonder if I will remember all these tiny moments when I am old and he is grown?
I am elated that I get to do this all over again- babyhood. Watching another tiny child reach milestones, encounter and conquer his firsts. I know there will be hard moments and moments of frustration but I feel so much more prepared this time around even as I feel overwhelmed with the knowledge that i will have two boys growing up before my eyes, two boys worth of memories to store and cherish and wonder if I will remember in five, ten twenty years. I feel more able to find that balance between holding them close and letting them loose without guilt.
It has definitely been a challenge some days, to keep up with two boys, feeling like I am running on empty and completely overloaded trying to accommodate the growth and needs of each boy. Finding a balance is easier some days than others. Most days it feels like we are walking up one of those balance ladders you find at a fair, trying to ring the bell at the top. Just when I think I’m making some good forward progress, the ladder starts to shake and I loose my footing all over again.
I peeked in on Casey this morning. He slept so soundly last night. Not a peep all night and still serene, on his stomach, his head turned so he faced the doorway as I stood leaning against it watching it, taking my first sip of coffee. I wondered if I would remember this moment in five years, ten, twenty? I wondered if it would matter then as it does now and then I wondered if the fact that he slept so soundly through the night meant that I should do away with daytime naps, and I shuddered at the though. Not ready for that day yet.