Thursday, April 29, 2010

My tug-of-war with young motherhood

I'm not a baby person. Just give 'em to me at 6 months, I've always told people. When they sleep a little better, when they don't need to eat every 2 hours, and when the guessing game is a little more informed--when I can tell a little better just why it is that they're wailing. I try to endure the frustration, the exhaustion, the never-ending giving of babyhood and I look forward to the time when the night-wakings will end, the trying-to-get-them-to burp will end, and so on and so on. I look forward to them getting older.

Yet last night as H fell asleep eating and then out a big sigh and snuggled his little head into the curve of my neck, I held him there for a while. I breathed him in--that smell of baby shampoo, the softness of his cheek, his fine, wispy hair tickling my nose. At nine months old, he doesn't snuggle much anymore. There aren't many moments in a day or a week when he lets me cuddle him close. I wanted to slow time down and delay the endings and the growing older.

It's birthday week at our house--Mister's was 2 days ago (which I will eventually blog about, I'm sure!), and Sweetie's is on Monday. On each of their birthdays, I hold them close and tell them the story of when they were born. And inside my mind, I think back to that day--was it really 7 years ago? Was it really 5 years ago? It seems like just the other day that I was willing the difficulties of their babyhood to end. And now they are well into the journey, marching ahead to the day that they will leave our home and forge out to make homes of their own. So on birthday week, I feel the tug back again, to slow time down and keep them close.

It's a tricky thing, this mothering, a tricky tug of enduring and relishing. I'm still trying to figure out the tug-of-war. But I'm oh so glad I get to play.


Melanie said...

Beautifully put! I feel exactly the same way.

brown paper packages said...

I love love love the way you explained it.

Courtney said...

I love, love the baby stage but otherwise I identify with this post completely (I'd sometimes like to skip a couple of other stages).