Thursday, June 20, 2013

reflections on my babies

I have recently been very aware of the passing of time. I've been struggling with it, or maybe against it, like the proverbial salmon and all of that boastful upriver swimming. I guess sometimes I try to fight time like that in a way - because I see it blipping by around me and I know that in a few short breaths I will find myself on the other side of fifty, looking around my house wondering what on Earth happened. 

My baby girl will be three months old this weekend. And Henry...beautiful, amazing Henry will be going off to pre-school this September. 

It's Henry that really inspired me to write this morning. He is so the perfect embodiment of What Makes a Toddler right now and it has only just occurred to me that I am somewhat taking that and all it means for granted. I am so immersed in my life that it seems like I will always remember these moments, or that I will always be living them. But the Universe has been kind enough to remind me that that isn't so and that even on the days when I am watching the clock and waiting for Ryan to get home, that I will miss this time ever so much in the not so distant future. The time when my sweet little son is two. When the world revolves around trains and trash trucks. When he asks me to build blocks with him. When he hands me a little Elmo figurine and says "talk as him" so I will play with his little Burt or Ernie or Doc McStuffins figurine and they can discuss going to the potty and finding food in the Sesame Street fridge to eat. Soon he won't be carrying around his little doctor's bag and taking my blood pressure or listening to my "heart beep". Soon he will have friends and social activities and he will just be a big KID all of a sudden.

But right now? Right now he is the perfect bouquet of toddlerhood. With his stickers on his arms, his nails painted green, Thomas the Train socks on his feet, some kind of truck on every shirt he wears. Jelly smudges on his face for the entire day. Random bandaids on his arms because he's convinced he has a boo boo and he needs a bandage. Shoes that light up bright orange when he stomps his feet repeatedly. 

Right now he is this precious little creature and I only get to have him this way for the briefest breath of time. But it is a gift. A gift for me, I feel, because no one else gets to know him during this part of his
life as well as I do. No one else gets the warm smiles, the big "I love you, Mommy" proclamations. No one else gets to still be called his "bubby bear". He holds my hand while he watches Sesame Street, he eats into toast and sandwiches and leaves huge crusts that he hands to me and says, "here you go, mommy". He mixes chocolate almond milk as if it is the most exciting thing in the world, squeezing far too much chocolate sauce into his sippy cup and stirring like a mad man. He lays on the floor and his trucks and trains have these elaborate conversations with each other. He makes helicopter sound effects with his mouth and flies his toy helicopters through the house. His favorite thing to do is turn on a flashlight and shine the light on the floor so the cat chases it. Oh how he laughs when she does. 

And he whines! Oh, how he whines! And he screams in furious rage when he can't get something to be exactly how he wants it (lord, do I know that feeling!). He screams when he's reprimanded, he screams when he doesn't want to stop what he's doing, he screams when he can't get what he wants when he wants it. He frustrates me because it's too hard for him, when the emotions take over, to listen to a voice of reason. And I understand that, I do. I try to remember to give him the space to work it all out. This is a big world full of so many complexities. It's hard to sort it out. It's hard to take it in. Even for me.

He is just this little living ball of perfection. He's exactly who he's meant to be right now and I get to have him, all of him. I get to watch him be this little lovely person. And I know it's not forever. I know it will be gone in the blip of an eye. But oh how I love him so much. I am so, SO lucky to experience him. Every day with him. Even all the ones filled with chaos (which is most of them). 

And Cassandra...she's just starting out on her own path. She's already three months old! Already holding her head up, pushing up during tummy time. Already smiling, laughing, blowing raspberries at me. How does it go by so quickly? She's out of that blissful, sleepy, baby-scented newborn phase already. Already!

I want to try and live through all of these phases of my children with the awareness that even though this is a hard job and every day I literally collapse in exhaustion - this is such a temporary job too. My babies are only babies for a few days really. They grow and change so fast that it's astonishing. Baby Henry is a cherished memory and soon Toddler Henry will follow suit, no matter how hard that is for me to realize right now since I am living all drenched in finger paint and bubbles. Baby Cassandra has already grown and changed so quickly and I am trying to swaddle myself in it as much as I can. 

If I had a time machine I know I would probably use it just to sneak back into my first days of motherhood, to pick up my little newborn Henry and rock him. I would whisper into my own ears not to be so stressed out and scared and to truly try to cherish every single moment. 

I can't wait to see what's next. I know big changes are coming. School and friends and sports and instruments. Whatever phase he enters into next, Henry will be beautiful and amazing at it because he will always be himself and as his mother I am uniquely qualified to say that he is exactly who he is meant to be and there has never been anyone like him and there never will be anyone like him ever in this world. And he is wonderful at it. And the same is true of Cassandra, of course. I cannot wait to find out more about her. 

Life is changing and I am trying so hard to stop and stand still on a moving platform. 

Blessed. I am so blessed. And lucky for me, I know it. 

1 comment:

Analilia said...

I'm at work and all I want to do is run home and hug Michael. I miss my time with him and LOVE the time I do have.