Cheating? Kind of...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I just came across something I wrote for a newspaper when E was just a wee little one. Since things have been so crazy around here, and since I keep getting requests/complaints for my lack of posts, I figured I'd post it here. Yes, it's kind of cheating since I wrote it almost two yrs ago (can you believe it?!?) but if you need something sappy, then here it is. And it was bittersweet to read but makes me even more anxious for B's arrival. Down and out, baby. Down and out.

p.s. My mom gets here on Thursday, so hopefully I'll have a little extra time to type something up for you guys. Can't promise anything since I am once again gainfully employed but I'll try...


I am a mother! This is a feeling, a revelation, that I sometimes find myself wanting to shout at the top of my lungs, and at other times, it is an almost tangible entity that I want to hold in my cupped hands and stare at in disbelief. Never does a moment pass where I am not aware of my new role. The fact that I am now, and will forever be, a mother bounces around in the head, sometimes near the front, sometimes towards the back, but ever-present. And if my mind was for a moment to forget, my body would quickly remind it. From the heaviness in my breasts, to the stubborn little pooch that holds on to my formerly flat abs with its kung-fu ninja grip, to the dull ache in my back from carrying 16 pounds of lean, mean, crazy baby machine. Even if I wanted to forget for a moment that I am a mother (which I don't) I couldn't.

I find myself wanting to scream, "Don't you understand? I have a baby at home! He's six and half months and he's not getting any younger!" when I'm standing behind someone at the grocery store who is writing a check in slow motion. I think, "Really? Who writes checks anymore? My son is doing something amazing right now, and I'm missing it because of you," as I try to distract and reassure myself that my son has not learned to crawl in the last 35 minutes, and that while I'm out of the house, my dear husband and our beautiful son are bonding. Dad's building a castle out of blocks, and our son is delightedly knocking it over, ready for the next one. They need their father and son time, but seriously, why is this woman still writing that infernal check? It's 2008, for crying out loud!

I find myself wanting to walk up to other mothers and say, "I understand! I have a baby, too. He's six and a half months old and someday he'll go to ski school, just like your little dare-devil," as I watch mothers collect what I now think might be one of the most beautiful sights in the world...tiny little children with tiny little helmets and tiny little gloves on their tiny little skis, tearing up the mountain like tiny little maniacs. They inspire me with their fearlessness and their tenacity. I caught my husband riding in file behind a half a dozen nine or ten year old skiers, hitting the same jumps they did (but getting air twice as big as they were tall) and I almost fell off my board. I had a brief glimpse of my husband and our son riding together on the mountain, and the emotion overwhelmed me, hitting me in the chest like a wave breaks on a surfer and I almost lost control.

I find myself wanting to cup all this love, all these new emotions, these fleeting moments, in my hands...and hide them somewhere. Dig a hole in our backyard and bury it, in case some day I forget what this feels like. In case some day, my heart feels a little empty and I need to replenish it. My heart swells with gratitude that our son, who at one point might not have been, is this perfect, stubborn, funny little man. I am grateful for our family, our friends, for the fact that I can stay home and raise our son. I am so grateful for our wonderful dog, who lived the first four years of his life as our first-born and surprised us all by becoming the epitome of watchful guardian. We are fortunate enough to be able to provide so much for our son, from the books that fill his room to the little baby piano I just had to buy him and for this, too, I am grateful.

So, if you are ever in line somewhere and there is a woman behind you, with a glint of impatience in her eyes, she wants you to hurry up because what she really wants is for her own world to slow down. Please understand. She has a baby at home. He's probably about six and half months old...and he's not getting any younger.


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