don’t ever grow up

i offered my baby some solids yesterday and, though we celebrated his first meal, it was also fraught for me.

my husband, standing behind me, made the baby nom-nom sounds when i couldn’t. for, though i was smiling and cheering him on too, i was also rushed by tears and, trying to hold them in, the support got caught in my throat.

our preschooler, initially delighted and proud of his brother, began to catch on that i wasn’t quite on page. after looking at us all individually, trying to clarify what emotion we were to be feeling, he, wise on my ways, made his analysis, turned to his brother, and said: “good boy! don’t worry about momma, sometimes her heart breaks when she is happy”.

he was right, and he was wrong: i was also grieving.

i had selfishly debated introducing foods to him because i, emotionally, am not ready for him to be nourished by anything other then me. he is young to start and has no real nutritional need for food. “why rush it?”, i’ve asked myself. “don’t rush him”, i tell myself. but, the truth is, i’m not. he wants it and, despite this hurting my feelings for some irrational reason, i don’t want to get in his way. life is all over him and up in his stuff enough with his brother and my busy both flustering about while we simultaneously try to adjust with some semblance of grace.

in addition, my baby is a gentle and knowing soul and he has few requests of me. those he does have, he makes well known- no drama, just messages in such a way that you hear him. he taught me early who he is and i knew, from lessons raising my first son, that it was my job to hear, respect and honour those cues. i couldn’t deny his interest and, now, i can’t deny his readiness because, in responding to him, he showed me how he could eat it up like a big boy- complete with smiles and squeals of delight to be included in our sunday morning breakfast.

as my dear friend carly has said, we have arrived at the “last of the firsts”. afterall, he is my final baby and this will be the last time i bear witness to what life looks like, one day at a time.

these moments are fleeting.

already, he no longer squeaks- you know, those amazing and surprising newborn noises- and as the days go by i am forgetting what that precious wheeze sounds like. he no longer reaches above his head, closed eyes and fists, in a milky, satisfied, shaky stretch and i had no way to know the last time was upon me, so i was unable to photograph or video or tatoo it to my eyelids before he matured past that simple act of abandon that babies who are aware of the world around them no longer do. he no longer only responds to my voice, he no longer reserves his lovey eyes just for me, and he now delights in his brother and father’s company as much as he delights in mine.

he is becoming himself more and more, really showing up, and, though his unfolding personality is delightful, i wince knowing that this is equally matched by him growing in body and that he will soon be too large to rest comfortably in the crook of my arms, moon face on my breast. his length will soon prevent his cheek from being able to lie against my chest when we are tummy to tummy. his face will soon outgrow the space in between my collarbone and chin, where he nuzzles in at me before sleepy time.

i know he is born to grow and i want him to. i just want to learn him and know him so well as he does this that i can be of service later, and help him find his way back when he gets lost, back to where he came from, and it’s all going by so fast.

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4 Comments to “don’t ever grow up”

  1. I’m doing all that I can to keep in my tears. Tears of understanding those fleeting infant moments. My heart hurts.

  2. I love your insight. My eyes are brimming with tears as I try my best to hold them back. I find it’s so hard to savoir those precious moments with baby #2 but I am grateful for the reminder 🙂

  3. this must have been hard to put to word. In the wise words of the Teletubbies “big hug” xxx

  4. I had a special smile when I read this part “i wince knowing that this is equally matched by him growing in body and that he will soon be too large to rest comfortably in the crook of my arms, moon face on my breast. his length will soon prevent his cheek from being able to lie against my chest when we are tummy to tummy. his face will soon outgrow the space in between my collarbone and chin, where he nuzzles in at me before sleepy time.” because my 6’2″ 270 lb almost 15 yr old baby does almost all these things still, he is so affectionate and “schmoo-y” we call it, sometimes it embarrasses me when we’re in public, but I quickly remember that it is the most precious of gifts and that I will soon long for those touches and snuggles while he is far away having a spectacular life….. it’s so hard to let go, but so important to do… and it starts so soon… ok now I’m crying too! as always beautifully written Heather, our sons are lucky to have us. xoxo

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