Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Days

Some days, the rough days, I miss my children as babies.  I adore my kids at the ages they are now do not ever get me wrong on that point.

What I do miss is the part that flies past, the part where a little of me as a parent wished would go a little faster because of the perceived negative things about it. 

The sleepless nights, the non stop nursing, the sore chest, the back pain, the part where you feel like minutes are like hours but not always in a good way... there is more.  All of those things that we as modern parents do not publicly complain about in general especially when it comes to a newborn baby.  Even though I think it is okay to say 'man I know I wanted this wee tot but it is hard too'.  I think there are parents who delude themselves into believing that is they say something that is not positive it makes them bad or uncaring or whatever.  I do not miss all of this stuff.  The new baby stuff.  The sensitive stuff.  The stuff that hurts but it is tempered by this beautiful shimmery time, this amazing being that you bore forth into this world, that you want to hold and protect and love with all of your (tired, aching) heart!

I miss those tiny babies.  Those babies whom I wondered in the wee hours of morning what they would  grow up to be like.  Who they would become.  How they cope with life.  What colors would they love.  Would they like to learn or will they be more practical, more interested in faith or science or mathematics.  Would they be an artist or a sports star or just an average Joe/Jane. All of the questions and thoughts that float through your head in those early unsure days.

I miss holding those tiny babies in my arms quietly and listening to them breath in and out, the clock ticking away the time, but no awareness of what the actual time was.  The soft small weight on my chest or across my tummy.  Staring down in the faces that bore bits of both K and I.  Drinking in my babies and trying to commit all to permanent memory.

I miss the smell of my babies.  I miss the funny soft tiny outfits.  I miss having a tiny clenched hand wrapped around my pinkie finger tightly gripping the blood out of it.  I miss the blue of my babies eyes, the softness of their skin, the beauty of this new life in my arms.

Sometimes late at night I think back to those early sweet moments that often did not feel as sweet as my memory allows but now I know they are.  This parenting gig does not get easier, it gets harder.  Kids are humans.  They have thoughts, opinions, feelings.  Not that I doubted this and coming from my family where my mother still thinks I am some form of a possession versus a real live human who cannot be guilted and/or manipulated into doing or saying what she wants any more, I am very aware of who my kids are to me.  I do not want for my children what my mother thinks she deserves from us. 

M Bug seems to be back at this frustrating stage perhaps it has to do with school but mostly it has to do with friends and finding his place in this often difficult and confusing world.  I am not sure what is going on and I cannot get him to talk about it and I guess I just need to wait but it is hard.  It is hard to see him struggle with something that perhaps I could help with.  I have to remember that I cannot teach him everything, that life will teach him much more and he will listen better to life than me more often than not.

Missy tells me she doesn't like this girl or that girl. She has good reasons why she doesn't like something about a given person and often this dislike show up in my presence.  She gets along fine with them when I am not there.  She says one is mean to her sister.  I remind her 'like you can be mean to your brother sometimes?'  She looks at me quizzically and repeats that she does not like this person and that.

So I sit quietly in my room  late at night remembering those first weeks holding him in my arms.  His soft strawberry blond hair, his bright blue eyes, already even as tiny baby he was charming me with a twinkle in his eye.

She was calmness personified.  A quiet calm little baby storm.  I would just sit and smile and I felt such a calmness holding her.  Same red hair, same blue eyes as her brother but such a different baby.  She loved to just look at my face, she was never as busy as he, she just liked to stare into my eyes and hold my hand.

I will always have those early memories of both kids that they do not necessarily remember, those memories which are mostly only mine, and, on the rough days, those are the moments, the memories I seek to remember to help me know that everything will be all right.  My babies. 
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