Thursday, August 29, 2013

the blessings of babyland


last night i imagined wilder as a toddler, still chubby and buttery-skinned, pajama-clad and sleepy, standing in the doorway to his nursery on his own two feet, asking for something — to be tucked in or for a drink of water, i imagined — small arms and legs so independent and capable and yet, still so childlike —brushing the door frame or clutching the cotton front of his dinosaur pajama top or sleepily grazing the edge of his temple (as he's begun to do in real life) in that unaware, constantly moving way children have. i tried to imagine his little face, a grown up two- or three-year-old, and his little voice. what will he be like? will he really one day be standing and walking on his own? chirping real words in his baby bird voice?

it is one of the most tragic and also most mesmerizing thing as a mom, watching your baby grow. i both can't wait to see that grown up baby and am also desperately wanting him to stay just the way he is.

that is the thing about motherhood. it is a constant and perfect mixture of joy and pang. of days that are so full of wonder and days that are so ordinary you want to chew your socks off. of beauty and boredom. and maybe, i suspect, of tender sighs and holding your temper.

it is the most blessed and also the most un-awarded occupation i know. which is not the same thing as unawarding. you know what i mean, moms, right?

a few nights ago i read this post about motherhood. i found it so encouraging. even though i chose this occupation, and even though i am in love with it, i've suddenly found myself wishing for a job recently. i'm not exactly sure why. (yes i am, money, duh). maybe it would be nice to just pay someone else to vacuum my carpets and do my laundry and dust the darn knick knacks, i thought.

obviously, i don't miss the 8 am and 5 pm commute in traffic. or the sitting at a desk all day. or doing things all day long that i dont want to do (oh wait...). and it's not that i want to leave wilder with someone else (even if i occasionally wouldn't mind having my hands free for longer than an hour-long naptime. or you know, some adult conversation before 7 pm).

but sometimes, motherhood is monotonous. even while your baby is changing before your very eyes and you can't bear to look away for more than a minute, and at the same time, you also want to just look at something other than the very hungry caterpillar for the millionth time in four can be a little lonely. a little boring. a little tedious.

this line: "in this mixed up media world of things to do and places to go and dreams to follow the beauty of simply being a mother is completely lost."

don't i know it? i have dreams! things to do! places to go! stuff to accomplish! when i look around day after day and there is my never-changing to-do list of laundry, dishes, vacuuming filling up my schedule, it can be frustrating.

when my accomplishments of the day are: "laundry folded and folded and folded."

and, "the things that don't get celebrated on Pinterest that much."


but in the end, i am so thankful for what i have right now. it is my blessing to be the one to pick the boogers out of this booger's nose. to be the one to move him from playmat to bumbo to bouncy seat. to be the one whose hairs he grabs, whose shoulders he gnaws on, whose kisses tickle his tummy. i want to stumble to the bathroom in the morning with just time to remove my retainers before getting the baby up. i want to have my shirt yanked and neck scratched while nursing because my baby is the most aggressive eater ever. i want to open all the curtains to let the morning in while we set up camp on the floor —tummy time for him, downward dog for me. i want to gauge the stage of fussiness by the number and urgency of his little left leg kicks. i want to rinse sophie the giraffe off for the umpteenth time after its been thrown on the floor and licked by the dog. i want to hurriedly run from nursery to kitchen to laundry room in the evenings, trying to fit in all the chores i didn't do during the day because i was too busy reading dr. seuss's alphabet book and encouraging someone to roll over again. i want to look sideways at the baby monitor while i write this, and spy on him sleeping in his bassinet, my little swaddled caterpillar.

and sometimes, when we're lucky, like this week, i want to meet a friend at the most awesome little children's store in my most favorite neighborhood and then walk our strollers over to yogli mogli for frozen yogurt and pretend i'm like an urban mom or something. and then i want to spend an afternoon in the pool with another friend and her two babies and reflect on how easy i have it now while my baby is still relatively immobile and not yet talking;). and actually, now that i think about it, i want every week to be like this week.

it may not bring in a pay check or any awards, but this week in babyland there was lots of slobber and lots of laughs and a little bit of sugar. and that is more than enough.

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