Being a parent is weird. Right now I am sitting in a dark, quiet, peaceful living room while my husband sleeps down the hall and my children sleep across town at my mom’s house. When they are here I find myself sometimes wishing they weren’t. Wanting one minute, one hour, one day of no one asking me for anything, or crying because they want me to hold them, or asking me to play in the dirt with them.
Now, here I am, in the middle of exactly that thing that I wish for so often, and I am completely lost in thoughts of them. Everett’s sweet voice saying, “Ok mama,” which is how he says yes to any question I ask him, even if “Ok” doesn’t quite work. Or his little, chubby arms connected to his little, chubby hands reaching up and up and up to me, his fingers moving back and forth as if he is trying to pull me closer to him by sheer will. To say that I love that boy is such a cheapening of my emotions that it is almost not worth saying. He makes every day of my life better. He is joyful and funny and silly and brilliant and has been pretty much every day of his two years on this earth.
Oh he is a little tester of my patience, too, don't get me wrong. He has recently discovered his bottom lip, which he can stick out farther than should be possible. He knows exactly what he wants and will make you go through every option until you arrive at what that thing is. But even in those moments when he is crying and running through the house screaming and shaking his arms and hands at me in anger, I am struck, practically floored at how much I love him, how visceral love is sometimes...that you can actually feel it in the pit of your stomach.
And then there is my charming little Graham. The past 4 months of his life have been such a challenge. We recently discovered that my breast milk was just not working for him and that he didn’t grow from four months to six months old. The guilt was overwhelming. Pretty much the one thing I was really in charge of by myself, keeping him nourished, I was failing at. He was such a fussy baby for that time, and we now realize it was simple hunger. Now that he is eating bottles and fattening up, he has become an entirely different baby. Once fussy and clingy, now mild and flirty and so loving and joyful. He still clings to me, but it isn’t the desperate, suffocating kind of cling. Now it feels like “hey mama, I just like to be close to you if that’s OK.” And trust me, it is more than OK. He is trying to crawl and you should just see him try to reach for his big brother, with so much pride in his eyes already. He is downright proud to be Everett’s little brother and I know that sounds crazy but it really seems true. And when he looks into your eyes and then smiles and looks away with his little tongue poking out from between his gums I swear your can hear the drippings of your melted heart on the floor.
I think I’m writing this because I need to get it all out, to say the things about my boys that are constantly swirling around in my head. And maybe a little bit to give me things to remember when I’m having a moment where the frustrations of the day overshadow all of this love. Also, I know that this time, this precious, exhausting, intense time when my children are young and each day is filled with hugs and tears and kisses and chubby cheeks are going to be over so quickly, already I feel them slipping away, and I want to be able to remember. To not just have pictures of this time, but words that explain how I was feeling and remind me of all the blessing my life has held, and I’m sure I will realize then that none were more blessed than these days I’m living right now.