Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And Then....

When Little M was born, I was prepared to enjoy him as a newborn. I had worked with infants and toddlers for so long that I knew just how fast they changed and how much it mattered to be present for the ride.

For the last few days I have had the absolute pleasure to enjoy our newest the way I had planned to enjoy Little M. I have let my kisses be larger than her cheeks and sniffed softest parts her head and the measured the width of her shoulder blades with my thumb. My left leg has grown numb as I have sat with her for hours listening to the hum of life all around us as we find our own time in this world. I have smiled at absolutely nothing in particular that she has done in her littlest days. We have been able to find our rhythm, as I have with Thunder Baby and G-Love, that Little M and I stumbled through.

Little M was born so fast there were worries for his health and mine. Then he was misdiagnosed with some rare metabolic disorder, and then the hours and days of painful crying that in retrospect was his gut rebelling against the dairy and egg in my diet. And then the anaphylaxis attacks that we also didn't fully understand. And then. And then. And then. The list continues in his story. Each "and then" seems like a small bump but if I begin to list them here they add quickly and I start to cry (and cry).

And then. The phrase, "and then" ticks like an analog clock I can't find and unhinge in the darkest hours of a sleepless night. And then, and then, and then marks all of the time I have missed enjoying his cheeks and his smell and ever-growing self due to life being just too large for both of our hearts. All that time lost.

Last night, I threw sane parenting to the wind. Baby slept safely in her crib and I tiptoed into his room. And then, I sat on the edge of his bed in the dark and listened to the frogs breaking the night with their croaks. And then, I pulled his slumbering self onto my lap. Elbows and feet and hands twitching with dreams draped off into the dark. And then, I held him and sniffed his head that still smelled of snake hunting in the field across the road. I did not worry about wreaking his sleep patterns. I chuckled at my folly. He is surely a baby no longer.

It is too late. Too late. Too late to ever claim those depths of infant nights with him. But, of this I am sure: He is my son and we have a rhythm of our own that has recovered time and again and again and again.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thai Food Didn't Work

No, we tried it. Just as pakora in Scotland didn't rouse T-bird from the comforts of my womb. Neither did Thai food in the States rouse the Babe Maize. The food thing is a bust as far as busting my kids free from gestating. But, what did work was the most generous surprise visit from a dear friend who ate Thai food with me and my progeny. She scooped us all up and gave us a good cuddle and set us back down right as the Portland rain. In addition to the goodies and time she shared with us, she enlisted a small army of people who hardly know me to cover her own familial duties in Seattle.

I often write to our lovelies in Scotland that they are loved across an ocean and a continent. Now, I myself feel loved across a large distance - the wide and still expanding girth of my tummy. Which, in its own way, is much greater than silly old geographical markers. As Little M said when he caught me rubbing some ineffective balm or another across my stretched stretchmarks, "Whoa. Now that is big."

Finally, my head and heart are in a solid spot to welcome the latest. Thank you, thank you, thank you.