I spent some time today holding my baby and just looking at him. I don't do that nearly enough. He laid in my arms and stopped nursing, let go of the nipple and just stared at me. It was a very sweet moment. The softness of his baby skin against my breast, the strength in his fingers as they grabbed mine, the peace and love and innocence in his eyes, the smell... the smell of baby. That sweet, soft, cuddlesome smell of baby that only lasts a short time. Oh! The love I feel for this baby is so big it makes my heart ache. It wells up in me at the oddest times. He makes my heart sing and fly and float. He makes me happy that I am a mommy first. A mommy foremost. And a mommy of three. I thank whatever deity there is that when we found out we were pregnant again... we made the right choice.
I love my other children. The same weird welling up of love happens when I gaze at them when they don't realize. When they have no idea that I am watching and memorizing every moment of their childhood. It only lasts a heartbeat before it is gone.
My daughter makes me laugh. She makes me cry. She makes me so very proud that I want to show her off to the whole world. She makes me want to cuddle her and comfort her. There is a connection between a mother and a daughter that is strength and independence combined with a little pinky hug. I know that this young woman will be someone very special. She will grow into a woman who I would be proud to call a friend. And I have loved her every second she has been alive. She is the child of my girlhood. The one who has helped me to become the woman I am today. I don't know if she will ever be able to understand the way that I love her. And no other child could ever replace or change the way that I feel for her. It is a different kind of "mother-love" because of having her so young. It has made us closer in some ways and more distant in others. But the love is strong and gentle. It is peaceful and turbulent. It is the love of a mother for the one who MADE HER a mother... and a thankfulness that she came into my life. There are times that I struggle with understanding her. And allowing her to grow but still be supportive. And there are times that I cry for her, because of her and with her. I wish so much that I could change the way the world is and make it easier for her. Make the bullys and the assholes turn into decent human beings. Make the world accepting of differences in people and make my daughter have an easier and happier time in high school. But I can't change the world. I can't change my daughter. I can only change myself. I struggle to show my daughter a good roll model. I don't think that I have done this as well as I could have. I struggle to not be hypocritical or judgmental. I don't always succeed. I struggle to not lose my temper. I usually fail at this one. But I hope that through it all.... she knows I love her.
My son is all boy. He is the one who makes me belly laugh. Who also makes me cry in my bed at night for the pain and the struggles he has to go through. They may be minor when compared to so many children but this is MY SON and it hurts to see him struggle and stumble. He is such a big boy in so many ways but still wants mommy to hold him and hug him. He brings me his books at night and asks for a massage in the only way he can.... by laying down and saying "foot". (Yes, a new word!) He cuddles in his big boy bed and holds his own baby doll and I can see in his eyes that he wants me to lay with him and baby him. And sometimes I do.... because he is still my baby, too. He makes me proud to be the mommy of a strong boy who will grow up to be a strong man. With his father's sense of humor! When he lays his head on my chest and wraps his arms around my neck all I can think is how sweet the moment is... and then he is gone. Running, jumping, screaming, playing, doing everything he can as fast and as furious as he can. What a little man he is.... my incredible, wonderful, manic little man.
And back again to my baby. The last one if things go the way we have discussed them. This is the time I will miss the most when this baby is grown. This time of softness and sweetness and innocence and hope. The smell of baby and the soft baby skin and hair. The pure, unadulterated trust and love in their eyes. It makes me want to fall down on the floor... the power of that trust. The promise of love forever. And I so want to never, ever let my baby be hurt. I never, ever, ever want to have to see this baby hurt and rush him to the ER like his brother. I never want him to come home from school crying like his sister. I want his childhood to be peaceful and joyous. But, I can't wrap him up in bubbles. And I can't live his life for him. All mothers know..... you have to let them go and let them grow. Let them be who they are.
But for now..... he is just my baby......