This Is Where We Are

I’m linking up with Rachel at make a long story short today in her Mothers’ Day write-a-letter-to-your-baby(ies) idea–to take stock, and maybe remember how it used to be, when these long baby-full days are in the past, and my little Theo is suddenly difficult to give  a haircut to because he’s just so tall.

Dear Future Theo,

Today, as I sit in the living room, and you sleep peacefully in your crib, I feel like I could wax poetic about being your mother–the one your (already-sticky) fingers cling to for safety, whose cheek you slobber lovingly on, and whose distorted belly-button, it seems, you will never be done exploring. And though life’s not all sunny days and hot coffee right now, there’s a good deal of both of those, and I’m grateful to be your mom.

At the moment, only Mama will do.  You even squirm in Papa’s arms, and reach out towards me.  I love this, as I’ve always, always looked forward to being The One, but I don’t think I ever realized how overwhelming it is to be The Only One that a tiny person wants.

(Three Days Later) Goodness knows I’ve been trying to finish this letter for days, but I’ll give it one last push, as you’re still asleep, and I wearily hope that you’ll stay asleep for another hour or so.  I’m sitting down to an afternoon cup of coffee, which is decaf, but really shouldn’t be, as my eyes are drooping, just like yours do, when your nap is a bit late, and the pinky veins in your eyelids get pinker.

I thought I’d already learned patience.  I thought I’d learned patience as I spent three years waiting to marry your Papa.  I thought I’d learned patience as I spent the next year waiting for a visa to Denmark.  Again, I thought I was a master of patience after waiting the full 42 weeks for your arrival.  But I had no idea how many oceans of patience I would need to survive you.  The good news is that I am getting more patient. Patient enough to calmly remove your dagger-fingernails from my skin without yelping.  Patient enough to look you in the eye in the middle of a fuss-pot, melt-down day and just say “Theo, I love you, but goodness knows I don’t now what you want.” instead of yelling “For goodness’ sake what do you want?!”  Patient enough to play pick-me-up-put-me-down-again until you’re tired of it (which, trust me, is asking a lot).

You are my biggest challenge, but especially now that the days are bringing more light, I am really feeling the joy.  Your new hobby is peeking.  Peeking around anything to see what might be behind it.  Peeking around Papa to see Mama, peeking around Mama to see the wall, peeking around the corner to see whatever else there is to see.  The world is big, but you open your eyes even wider, and make sure you see all of it.

Today, as I was wrangling you, trying to keep you away from wires, switches, hot cups of coffee, and my knitting needles, I thought “this is so hard!!!!!” And then I had to laugh, because I can only imagine myself thinking back on these days and being nostalgic about how easy it was to just pick you up and take you away from wires and needles, and how much harder the next phase is going to be, and the one after that, and the one after that.

So for today, and this week, I will be patient.  I will babyproof, because we really, really need to.  And I will enjoy this phase.  The one where everything but your toys is interesting, and you can almost scootch/crawl, but end up sort of swimming in place, and you are not happy unless I’m within reach.  Because this phase is hard and easy and won’t ever come again.