Every now and then I think, 'I wish I could have blogged today.' It's a strange urge, because there's generally nothing in my day I would rather have not done so I could have made, photographed, written, edited, and posted instead-- I just wish I had, say 26 hours that day, while the world paused at 24 hours. I would have spent my two hours of solitude here.
Alas, I don't have a time turner, so along with everyone else I have 24 hours. And right now there is nothing I would rather do than spend those hours with my baby and my husband.
Wait, wait! Before you think I've gone totally domestic, or all Stepford wife, hear me out.
When my son was about four or five weeks old, he generally spent much of the afternoon taking brief naps. We usually napped together, but once an afternoon I would set him in his cradle so he could sleep alone and I could have some time for myself.
One day he didn't want to go down for this nap. The Physicist and I use a yoga ball to bounce him to sleep-- this is a GODSEND, do not enter parenthood without it-- and I bounced and bounced and bounced with my baby bear for what felt like an eternity and he refused to fall asleep. He wanted to wiggle and fuss a little bit. He wanted to hang out with his mama.
I started to get frustrated. Like, really frustrated. I wasn't getting much sleep at the time, we had just learned that he was having difficulty with dairy and soy in my diet so I couldn't eat much of the food I'd frozen in advance, breastfeeding hadn't yet become second nature-- I really needed that me time. And he was having none of it.
I was desperate and getting mad and just when I was just about to lose my mind, I had this vision. I don't know what triggered it, but I saw me and The Physicist, twenty-five or thirty years down the road, with Henry. And I realized … one day my baby will be a man. One day he will love other people in addition to me, and he will need other people more than he needs me. Someday he will sit down with me and tell me interesting things I didn't know, he will do things that remind me of how good and kind and thoughtful he is. He will make me laugh and wonder where he got his sense of humor, or do something generous that will make me see his father's influence. And I saw it, I swear to you, I saw how he would smile at me. And at that moment, at the height of my frustration, I thought, when he is a man and he smiles at me, I will think … You are my baby. You used to sleep in my arms. And I know, I am sure of it, that I will wish I could hold him again as a little baby, just for a little longer, even if he did refuse to fall asleep.
It was an epiphany, one that completely washed away my frustration. In fact, the whole episode ended on a funny note because Henry fell asleep as I was having my realization and instead of putting him in his cradle, I wept and sobbed and was completely overcome. Tears and snot streamed down my face and I swore I would never, ever, put him down, ever. The Physicist came home from work not much later to find his son sleeping peacefully as his nut job of a wife bounced on, nearly hysterical. Yeah … postpartum hormones are no joke.
They're right, even when they're obnoxious about reminding you-- it all does go by so fast. He's only nearly four months old and already I find myself saying, 'When he was a baby …' He has grown and changed and he is amazing. But he is no longer that tiny little baby boy.
So I am relishing every single minute of his babyhood. That's not to say it's easy, because it isn't always. There are days when he wants to hang out with me more than nap, so I have a hard time doing anything and he becomes Major General Grump by 2pm. There are challenging things we must face patiently and lovingly even though they are really trying, like sleeping and teething, and there is no shortage of those kinds of things we'll have to face in the future. Not to mention that sometimes I wish I had a friend in this new town, someone who could give me not just some company but some perspective on motherhood. (And a hug.) Sometimes I miss saying fuck and shit out loud all the damn time and listening to Jay-Z and Outkast in the car with the volume REALLY HIGH. I miss getting pleasantly drunk on red wine over a long evening with my husband and going on long walks with him on a whim.
But those things are nothing, nothing, to what I'm getting in exchange. The joys far outweigh the challenges in every way, and the things I miss are important but they will be back. Henry will need me less and less as time goes by, and that is a good thing because it means I will have done my job, even though it will break my heart at the very same time it makes my heart full. So while I miss this space, and I miss being in the kitchen with the intent of blogging, and I miss being a part of the food blogger conversation, I am not going to sacrifice time with my son right now. But I'll be back, probably sooner than I realize or hope (They grow up so fast!), and I hope he will join me in the kitchen then.