Sunday, May 11, 2008

You Can't Go Back In Time

I wish I could go back in time and watch my mommy being my mommy. Know what I mean? The day I became a parent I began to truly appreciate what it takes to be a mother. Anyone who doesn't yet have children doesn't yet understand the all-encompasing wealth of emotions that come from mommying.

When I think of my mother I think of laughter. Her giggle is the most adorable sound. And when she laughs, all-out hardily laughs she has this long gasp for air at the start--it's hilarious, and usually causes me to start laughing, too. I sometimes make this gasp as well. It's entirely involuntary, so it must be hereditary. My brother has a soulful, loud, higher-pitched-than-his-voice chortle that he makes... my family and I, we like to laugh togther. And my mom's the reason for it.

The second thing I think of? Youthfulness. My mom is a child still. She whimsical, playful, awe-inspired. She has phone conversations with Benjamin lasting long times talking on his level, and she's swells with delight with how much he enjoys her. She believes in fairies, angels, ghosts. She's always focused on coming up with fun things for the kids to do; she spends much of her time planning her next visit, she structures her work vacation time around her grandkids, and is full of ways to show them the world, even through the phone when she has to. Often she sing Barney songs to Hunter into the phone, or browses the web for places to take them, or sites to show them. My mom's a fun-seeker who doesn't ever want to grow up and I love that about her.

When I was a little rascal my mom called me her "sunshine." She still sings that song to the boys. She's has lots more sunshines in her life now. And she's not just my mom anymore, she truly a best friend, who I talk to several times everyday. She knows everything I do, everything I love. I can only hope my boys "get" me like I "get" my mom. Will I be reading Hunter's blog in 27 years where he recalls how I tell him he's my "happiness" or Ben's as he refers to himself as my "Bubba?" I sure hope so.

My baby bear Happiness turned two yesterday. He got Barney shoes, had a red velvet and cake-batter-ice-cream cake. He snuggled me the night before, and we fell asleep on the sofa burried in each other's baby-and-momness. I nuzzled his ears with my nose until he fell asleep, and unknowingly I followed. Yesterday I rubbed his chubby tummy when he cut his lip, got big wet smushy kisses all day, tickled his toes closely, b/c I know in no-time they'll smell like Ben's. Ick! I told his birth story to him, and to Theo, more times than I should have. I reminisced and also soaked up the day. My littlest baby is not a baby anymore. He's the most adorable little stinker I could ever have asked for.

Two years ago my mom flew in to help me with my last month of pregnancy. I was due in early June. Theo was in Iraq, and she used the family-leave act to take a month off of work to help me. Hunter was pinching my sciatic nerve causing intense back and leg pain, rendering me useless to bathe & clothe a then 19-month old Ben, let alone myself. My mom arrived at 3 in the afternoon on May 9th; we went shopping and I felt the best I'd felt in a month. We got home late, and stayed up after midnight looking at scrapbooks, the garden, and so on.

In the morning we woke up, and went to the grocery store. Around 10 am, on an aisle at Woodman's my back pain reached a point where I had to grab a pole and hang on for dear life. I said to my mom, who was pushing Ben around in the cart grabbing goodies to spoil him with, that we better go. I don't think we were done shopping. We came home, and I laid on the sofa. My mom unloaded the groceries and began putting them away. Within minutes I leapt off the sofa in a puddle. I called out to my mom, "Oh my God, I think my water broke!" She came into the doorway of the kitchen holding an empty grocery bag and said, "What?" in disbelief. I wasn't due for a month.

I tried to tell everyone, this baby wanted OUT!

Less than 8 hours later I held my gorgeous Hunter Joseph for the first time. Almost without intention I vowed to get it perfect the second time around. See, with Ben I was grasping in the dark. I didn't know what to do. I was not one of those 20-somethings who spent any time around babies. I don't think I had ever changed a diaper before him. I was constantly sticking my head in the books looking for answers to parenting him. With Hunter I was presented with special situation. Grandma still had a whole month with us, so she could occupy Ben while I adjusted to having two kids. I could devote as much of my energy to Hunter as I wanted. Even after my mom had to go back to California I had a special opportunity to be alone with my two kids for the next nearly 5 months.

First time mother's spend some time negotiating the transition of becoming selfless. I can remember numerous realizations, 'Oh my goodness, this baby needs so much of me!' With Hunter, I already knew that, and I couldn't wait to give it all to him. I spent 6 months of my pregnancy without Theo here. Hunter's pregnancy was the ultimate hope and distraction from Theo's dangerous deployment. As a first time mother I was told a million times how 'fast they grow' and to 'enjoy him now, he'll grow so fast.' Before I knew it Ben's babyhood was a blur (thank God for scrapbooking so I have it all recorded). On the other hand, Hunter was born and I knew 'how fast he'd grow.' I soaked it all up. I have no regrets what-so-ever. Hunter's first few months were warm, cuddly, satisfying times. Just me and my two boys; sure I was stressed beyond imagination, and I had moments where I wanted to run out the door screaming, but mostly, it was a gift to have 100% of my kids in order to become a better mom.

I came to the conclusion the other night that I was/am able to give Hunter everything. How wonderfully satisying is this notion? He's always had everything he's needed from me. Anytime a day, or night he needs mama, mama's there. I nursed him healthily until 14 months (when he was ready to stop). He gets daily cuddle time still. I feel so blessed that I am able to do this for him. I am so excited to teach Ben to write, and Hunter to talk more. I love knowing all of the words to their songs. I'm rambling... I just love being mom.

I just wish I could go back in time and hold one little tiny newborn Ben or Hunter again. Or really go back in time and watch my mom hold me. Wouldn't it be incredible to watch your grandmother parent your mom? Now, I could launch into an essay about my grandmother and how magical she is. In fact, I will do that, next time. My family's sitting here looking at me like, "Hello, spend some time with us and get off that computer!"

Isn't motherhood amazing?
I simply can't imagine being anything else.
Happy Mother's Day!


Sarah said...

awww how sweet!

i know what you mean exactly!

and no caps b/c i am nursing as i type.

Amy G said...

Very moving blog, Jamie

And congrats on the Peas in a Bucket thing.