Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not My Baby Anymore

Last week I had a mommy moment. A full blown, tearful, made-more-extreme-by-pregnancy-hormones, motherhood meltdown. The good kind.

I was passing Anderson’s room on my way to bed. It was 10PM. I heard him, wide awake, talking to himself. Harley put him down at 8PM. A little personal unwind time alone in his crib is normal for Anderson. But two hours? I couldn’t believe he was still awake. And I really couldn’t believe he was okay with still being awake. What 22 month old is content to stare at his walls and one book for two hours, patiently waiting for sleep to come? I went in his room expecting to see him jump up and reach for the opportunity to get out and play. Instead I found him sitting quietly, counting animals in his book. He turned to see me and stood up. He tilted his head, pressing his ear to his shoulder, and said in a very small voice, “hi.” It was like he knew he’d been caught and thought he might be in trouble. I wasn’t mad. I was nothing but impressed. I asked him if he wanted to rock and he smiled and ever so quietly said, “yeaaaah.”

So we rocked. I turned on his baby lullaby mix, collected his blanket, Bear Bear and three tats (pacifiers). We snuggled up together in the glider and rocked. As we settled in I realized it had been a long time since we’d done this. He barely fit on my lap. I was overwhelmed by how massive he was. So big. So long. Sooo heavy. His legs wrapped around my waist. His arms wrapped around my chest. His head nestled under my neck. He had to bend at the waist to fit his body along mine. He couldn’t have been comfortable, but he didn’t let me know. We just sat there. Rocking. Me and my baby. That’s when it hit me: Nothing about Anderson is baby. He’s almost two. TWO. He talks. In 3 and 4 word sentences. He understands. He sings. He dances. He runs. He picks up his toys. (Best thing I’ve EVER taught him.) He refuses to sit in his high chair or his stroller. He is 100% big boy. Not a baby. A kid. Where did the last 22 months go?

I longed for his newborn days, his chubby baby days, his early toddler days. I even longed for his challenging 12-18 months “Troubs” days. Why didn’t I hold him more when he was little? Examine every inch of his body more thoroughly when he was new? Have I spent enough time giggling with him? Singing to him? Playing with him? Just watching him? I am blessed to be a stay at home mom. I probably spend 95% of Anderson’s waking moments with him. Why did it suddenly feel like that wasn’t enough? I closed my eyes and tried to remember what he looked like at every stage. I thought about his voice, his face, his cry, his laugh, his body, his personality and how all of it had changed. I thought of how amazing it has been to witness it happen.

I think a lot of mothers have this moment around their child’s first birthday. I didn’t. I think a lot of mothers have this moment after they bring home their second child. I was expecting these emotions in a few months. I got an early, unexpected dose of them that night. The tears came. Happy tears for the love I have for my child and for my husband. Tears of gratitude for our new baby. The thought of doing it all over again filled my heart with joy and peace.

I looked at Anderson’s face. Does he know how much I love him? Does he have any idea how he has completely changed my world? Does he know what I gave up and sacrificed to be his mother? And how I’d do it all again in a heartbeat? Of course, he doesn’t. But I thought I’d try to tell him anyway. I took his little, big face in my hands and told him, “I love you.” He smiled and said back to me, clearer than I’ve ever heard him say, “I wuv you.” That was it. I was a mess. One big, pregnant, emotional mess.

We rocked and snuggled for a long time. We listened to our song over and over. Soaked in tears. Bathed in happiness. I finally put him back in his crib. I tucked him in and before I could say anything he looked up at me and said, “nigh, night Mama.”

Nigh, night, Anderson. Nigh, night.

I left his room. I closed his door. I committed to indulge in nights like that more often. With both of my sons.

DSC_0088

December 2009; Sandy, Utah

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

beautiful. I can't wait to babysit Anderson while you meet URRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Rachel said...

that was from me--shouldn't have been "anonymous"!

Claudia said...

They just grow up way too fast, don't they?

Kaija said...

oh sweet wendy thank you for this amazing post. i reminded me why i long to be a mother. that it is worth sacrificing much for.

Wein said...

What a beautiful post. This blog is such a good way for you to journal your thoughts. Anderson is so blessed to have you and Harley as parents. P.S. amidst the phone transitioning this weekend I somehow lost your number. Call me sometime when you get a sec :)

Crystal said...

It is true and so sad. It goes by to fast. I am always calculating just how much time I have left with them in my house. Sam is down to only 17 times what we've already had.... Kate is already through 1/6 the time she will live in our house. I never want them to grow up.

Ming said...

Love it.

Anonymous said...

Alright Wendy... I was fine, reading your post thinking "thats so sweet, Anderson is do lucky" Then i clicked on the "our song" link, and completly lost it. You have no idea what memories that song brings to me. We used to listen to the muppet movie 8trac coming down the canyon from the canyon. It brings back such amazing childhood memories, as i'm sure it will for Anderson. I'm so excited for you to be adding to your family. It is so amazing to watch siblings interact with one another. You will love it.

-Amy Strong

Anonymous said...

Please excuse the typo's in the above post, as i am literally typing through tears... in a good way :)
-Amy

Emily said...

I need to know, have you already read this book? Because if not, I just need to know.

http://thebossyblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/book-review-waiting-for-birdy.html

Your post reminded me of this, and I love it, and long for it, miss it, and look forward to it. Again and again, I hope.

xoxo

Sarah S said...

Sweet, sweet post. I'm crying as I type this because my baby just turned one and I've had these feelings all month now. I tend to get emotional at each birthday for my kids - and now Eli's 3rd birthday is coming up and I get all ferklempt.

I had a lot of tears the day I went into labor to have Charlie - mostly feeling so conflicted about my excitement for the new baby, and a little sadness that it would never just be me and Eli again. Motherhood is a crazy, wonderful, sweet sweet thing.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

I cried when you told me about this experience and now I'm crying again reading about it. Isn't it amazing how fully and completely you love your baby. Lincoln is only 7 months and I feel like I want it all to slow down. I wish I could have been the one to find Anders that night and snuggle him. I love him.

carter said...

Good grief Wendy, first you give us that book that makes me cry, and now this.

Good post. Too true.

The Knisley's said...

That was beautiful, Wendy...

After trying to have kids for so many years, I am just so excited to spend the time I can with our little girl. I can wait to have moments like the one you talked about. Thanks for sharing- I'll remember this post!

Kara said...

Crying: your post; your song; link from Emily's comment. I'm a mess. Is this being pregnant w/ baby #2 or am I a complete sucker for mommy-baby moments? I think maybe both. Love you girl.

The Knisley's said...

Excuse all of my typos, by the way...LOL

marti said...

You made me teary! They do grow up too fast. Beautiful post

Jessica F. said...

I loved that post. I also love that you are prego again and having another boy. (clearly I have been out of the loop for a while.)

CONGRATS!!!

Mom said...

PRICELESS!

J. Ed King said...

Debby was telling me about this post and that I needed to read it. I asked what it was about and she said it was a solid moment in time that we all have but can't always remember. Soooooo worthwhile to write, to read and to remember - you captured it well my sweet daughter-in-law.

Ed to some Dad to others

Gwendolyn said...

This is a good post to read before I go to sleep only to be woken up for a 3am feeding in a few hours. Love these little ones...so sweet and tender.

jaredandmatisse said...

I am crying! That was so beautiful. I am pregnant, to you know. Have mercy!

jaredandmatisse said...

This is Jared. Matisse just read this entry to me and we both got emotional. It is quite possibly the best blog entry I've ever read. You are lucky to have such a great son, husband, and son-on-the-way. Your entry reminded us how lucky we are to have a little boy coming into our lives too. We hope everything is well with you. Don't forget you have at least two people in CT who miss you.

anna banana said...

You are such a great writer and I loved this post. Thanks for sharing it!

Laura said...

Beautiful. You and your writing. And Anderson.

Jess said...

I remember that feeling well. Enjoy the last bit of time with just you and Anderson.
PS. Anderson will never be as largely massive as he will be the day his brother is born. And you will miss him like crazy when you're in the hospital.

Joo Lin said...

Oh Wendy, words can't describe how I feel right now. Thank you for that post.