Are You Sentimental?

May 23, 2011

Or, better yet, a big fat crybaby?

Man oh man. I’m sorry to write about this again, but a few days ago it hit me all over again. My boy is getting big.

I know, I know. I’m stating the obvious. I need to get over it. All mothers go through it, all children grow up, yadda yadda yadda.

But when it hits me, it hits me HARD. And, when it hit me late last week, it hit me harder than it ever has before. I was SOBBING. My poor husband had to try to console me while I talked about wanting to hold on tight, how sad I was at the thought of moving him into his own room, and don’t even get me started on the fact that he won’t be nursing some day. And remember how it was only yesterday when I was pregnant, and we’d lie in bed and feel him kick?

Good lord, I’m already feeling sorry for this poor child’s kindergarten teacher. I’ll probably just spend his first day driving in circles around the school (crying, of course) waiting for him to come home. And then a concerned citizen will call the police and my son will have to tell me about his first day of school over my one phone call.

Please tell me I’m not alone in this? This isn’t hormones. Right? I mean, I remember feeling out of whack and a bit hormonal after Grant was born, but this is deep in my gut emotion. Is this just motherhood? I’ve always been a sentimental person, and I’ve always been one to dwell on change and nostalgia and trying to hold on to memories… but this is a whole new level of sentimentality and emotion.

Don’t get me wrong, of course… I absolutely love the person my son is becoming. Today, for example, was one of those days where you look at them and they just look older. His hair looked longer, his face looked more mature. He looked less babyish (*sniff*). He was stronger and braver and did more. And it’s so damn exciting! He has such a great personality, and there were several times throughout the day where we looked at each other and both just started cracking up. He’s awesome. I’m genuinely excited to watch him grow. I have so much to look forward to, and I’m excited for so many things we get to do together as he gets older.

But, if you have any advice on letting go, and accepting that they get bigger, I would certainly love to hear it. I am hoping this just means that I am a good mother. I look at my baby and know that he deserves all of the love I have in my heart. He’ll just have to get used to the fact that, sometimes, I show it by crying buckets of tears or kissing him too much (is there such a thing?).

In other news… Saturday was the opening weekend of our local farmer’s market. The pickings were a bit slim, of course (it’s May and we live pretty far north) but it was still so nice to go there. The weather was beautiful, too.

Thank goodness for that Ergo carrier. I sure cherish that extra snuggle time, especially as he grows.

Happy Mother’s Day

May 7, 2011

My first official Mother’s Day. And what an honor it is.

“Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” [Elizabeth Stone]

Thank you, son. We both gave each other life that day.

“I saw pure love when my son looked at me, and I knew that I had to make a good life for the two of us.” [Suzanne Somers]

It’s such an unexpected kind of love. I remember my own mother, telling me I’d understand someday, when she was overwhelmed with love for her daughters, or struggling because we were growing up too quickly. You really don’t understand until you become one for yourself.

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” [Sophia Loren]

Becoming a mother has softened me. I feel things so much harder. I love harder. I fight harder. I am also more patient. I am more sentimental. I cry more. There are so many emotions involved, so many instincts… and so much at stake.

“I love being a mother…I am more aware. I feel things on a deeper level. I have a kind of understanding about my body, about being a woman.” [Shelley Long]

My mother ingrained in me, at an early age, the importance of telling the people you love that you love them. I never let my husband leave the house (or end a phone conversation) without telling him that I love him. I always always always kiss my son and tell him I love him before he goes to sleep. I always tell my mom and dad and sister that I love them before ending a phone call. You just never know. The last thing my mom ever said to her dad was, “I love you.” He died later that day of a heart attack, and she’s always been comforted in knowing that that’s how their last exchange went. I always keep that in mind… not only as a just in case, but because it is important to be loved, and it is important to know it and hear it often. I always want my son to know that he is loved, even if he can’t comprehend just how much.

“The best advice from my mother was a reminder to tell my children every day: ‘Remember you are loved.'” [Evelyn McCormick]

Being a mother has made me appreciate my own mother more. I definitely see her differently, and fully realize just how much she has done for me in my life. How her love and support over the years has helped me become who I am today. We don’t always see eye to eye, but she is always there for me. She’s one of my best friends and I am so thankful for our relationship.

“There is a point at which you aren’t as much mom and daughter as you are adults and friends.” [Jamie Lee Curtis]

Being a mother has changed my relationship with my husband. I don’t think it’s possible to become parents and keep your marriage the same way it always was. You have to work harder at it. You start to see things differently. New things frustrate you. They look at you differently, once you’re a mother. But you also seem them in a different light. Sometimes good, sometimes bad… but I can honestly say that I’ve never loved my husband more than the moments where I catch him caught up in the moment, making our son laugh, snuggling together on the couch, appreciating a simple thing that he knows has become special.

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” [Unknown]

The love for a child. What can I say? I look at this nine month old baby and sometimes I just stare in wonderment at this person I helped create. The personality he has, the sense of humor, the sweetness. He is amazing and I feel so honored to be his mommy.

“We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forgot that he is someone today.” [Stacia Tauscher]


My heart.

It’s all going way too fast. I try to enjoy it as much as possible, to drink it all in, to savor the moments. Appreciate it all. Laugh when you want to cry. And, while I frequently get sad because I don’t want him to grow up, I also realize that he is growing into an amazing person. It is so much fun to watch him learn new things, see who he is becoming. I couldn’t be prouder.

“It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear.” [Dorothy Evslin]

Okay, now I’m crying so I will end it there. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Happy Mother’s Day! I’m so happy to be a part of this sisterhood.

Kisses

May 5, 2011

My son gave me a kiss for the first time tonight.

I’ve been emphasizing the word “kiss” when I give him one. Tonight he was really watching my mouth when I was saying “Can I have a kiss?” (then kissing him) and then he leaned forward with his mouth open and came at me! It was so cute!

Learning

May 3, 2011

Oh boy, has my son been learning up a storm these past couple of weeks.

In addition to learning how to fake choke (a skill he picked up months ago), he can now fake cough, fake cry, and throw fake temper tantrums.

He has also learned how to throw real temper tantrums.

He has learned how to empty out his toy bins. He has learned how to do an alligator death roll while I try to change his diaper or (heaven forbid) put some pants on him.

He has learned how to wake himself up after just a half an hour during his morning nap.

He has learned where the power cords are.

He has learned how to grind his cute little front teeth together, which he knows makes mommy’s skin crawl. He has learned how to do it on purpose just to get a reaction out of me.

He has learned that, when I am very tired or stressed, all it takes is a silly smile, or for him to pause for a moment while we play on the floor to “pet” me, to make everything okay again. To remind me of the other things he has learned… to giggle, to smile, to play, to amuse. To hug, to head-butt, to reach his arms to me when he wants me to hold him. To make me smile, to make me laugh, to make my heart swell. In turn, I am learning to relax more, to have more patience, to appreciate the little things. The moments I’ll never, ever get back.

We are both learning.

Moment

April 16, 2011

This morning, my son and I were sitting next to each other on the floor in our living room. I was reading him a book.

We were about halfway through when he looked up at me, smiled, and then leaned over and hugged me.

I think it was the single most-sweetest moment I have ever encountered. I almost cried.

I hope he always stays this sweet. This loving. He’s been such a lovebug lately and I could just eat him up.

Forgetting

April 1, 2011

I am terrified of forgetting.

The little things… you know, like the smell of a newborn. I can hardly remember it, less than nine months later.

There’s so much I don’t want to forget. Like the feel of a sleeping baby on my chest. The imprint of an ear left on my skin.

Baby giggles, his belly laughs. How I felt when he smiled at me for the first time.

The relieved, blissful look on his face when he’s hungry and finally latches on. The sound of a nursing baby, the swallowing.

The silly expressions; the way he raises his eyebrows and I can tell exactly what he’s thinking. (I hope that doesn’t go away.)

The weight of him in my arms, increasing every day. How he gets heavier as he gives in to sleep.

The babbling. The nonsense words. How proud he is when he figures out a new sound and has to repeat it over and over (and over) again.

His creamy skin and perfectly pink cheeks. The fatty folds in his thighs, the way his hair curls slightly just behind his ears.

Those quiet moments in the middle of the night, when it’s only the two of us awake. Sleepy, treasured time.

How bittersweet things can be. How proud I am when he figures out something new, but then have to fight back tears because he’s big enough to roll over, or cut a tooth, or eat solid foods. It’s like I have to pack away outgrown clothes and toys faster than I can pull out the new stuff. I can’t keep up.

I’m already forgetting. What was the exact color of his eyes when he was just a week old? What did I do that made him giggle for the first time?

I take pictures and pictures and more pictures, but they aren’t enough. They can’t capture the FEELING or the SMELL or the SOUND of this amazing little boy. How I feel when he shows his love in his own little ways.

But wasn’t it only yesterday when I got that positive pregnancy test? When I felt him move for the first time? When my water broke?

I look forward to the things we will do together in his life. The things we will learn, the things we will teach. Every day he gets more fun, more hilarious, more amazing. But damn it if it isn’t hard to let go of some of what we lose.

“Change is hard; you fight to hold on and you fight to let go.” [The Wonder Years]

So worth it.