I have my mother's hair and eyes. I have my father's skin. I have my mother's good teeth (no cavities!). I have my father's head for business and financial planning. I have my mother's loud voice. Neither of them are big adventurers. Neither of them like documentaries or independent films. Or being active in church.Or (before my son's birthday) knew what a cake pop was. Neither of them are voracious readers or have any interest in writing. Neither of them are extremely social or desire the large group of connectedness. That stuff is all me. All mine. It's the piece of me that comes from somewhere else. Or maybe nowhere at all.
My son has my husband's eyes. His long arms and short legs. His sense of humor. My bad temper. My stubbornness. My sweet tooth. My desire for attention and affection. My husband's love of Star Wars. My love of books. He is an early riser like my husband. Unfortunately, he's also a bit of a night owl like me. Then there are the other things - that he likes to play outside, that he is athletic (for a toddler), that are all him. Things that didn't come from either of us. He is both of us and still a part that is neither of us. A part that is just him. All his own.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
The room is dim with the sunlight of mid-morning seeping through the cracks of the window shade. The only sounds are her soft breathing and the creak of the chair rocking back and forth. I snuggle her close to me, watching her eyelids flutter and then finally close. I relish the weight of her on my chest, in my arm, marveling at her size - how much she's grown in just a few short months. I know that I am supposed to put her in the crib "drowsy but awake" but I can't always bring myself to do it. The period of time that she will allow me to hold her close and rock her to sleep is so small and gets shorter by the day. This is our time together. Just her and I. No phone ringing, no email, no brother needing attention, no conversations needing to be had. Just us.
Later that evening, in another room, in another chair, he curls his legs up in to my lap and rests his head on my shoulder as best he can. Again I marvel at how much he's grown. How he used to fit into my arms and on my shoulder with no difficulty at all. How he now dangles off the chair and what used to be chubby, baby softness is all arms and legs and energy. We rock and we talk about our day. What was fun, what was new. We say our prayers. We thank God for all of our blessings. We listen to music and exchange "pokono" (Eskimo) kisses and squeezes. Gone are the days of rocking him to sleep. But still I linger just a little longer. Exchanging one more joke, one more story. Enjoying the feel of his head on my shoulder, the smell of his hair. This is our time. Just he and I. No crying sister, no "in a minute"s, no tantrums. Just us.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Leap Day was Wednesday. It didn't really occur to me to have a celebration of any kind as the kids were probably too young to care anyway. But while I was cleaning up breakfast and doing dishes, I started to think about Leap Day. I tried with all of my might to remember where I was on the LAST Leap Day and I couldn't. I imagine I was working, just like any other day but aside from that, nothing about it stands out in my mind. Counting backwards, I know that I wasn't even pregnant with Ben yet. Standing there in the kitchen, it was mind boggling to me that four short years ago, I hadn't any children or any certainty that there ever would be any.
Of course, seeing how drastically my life has changed from one Leap Day to the next made me start to wonder about the NEXT Leap Day.
On the next Leap Day:
- My children will be almost seven and three
- My son will be in first grade
- My daughter will be in preschool
- I may have gone back to work - at least part-time
- I will still be writing this blog, perhaps even regularly
- We will have made at least one trip to Disney (I hope)
- My husband and I will have had at least one "adults only" vacation
- Our house will be reorganized/decorated
- We will have replaced our hideous carpet
- The old jeep will be traded in for something else - something smaller? Larger?
- Both kids will be potty trained (God help me!)
Okay, that last one seems impossible to imagine but biology (and my pediatrician) assure me that it is so. I am struggling to fathom a life with two children who are not in diapers and are (somewhat) able to do things for themselves. Will I be glad of that? Or will I miss the tiny babies that they were? Will I be grateful to be able to go to the store or run other errands without having to pack a gigantic diaper bag? Or will I long for the smallish people who snuggled against my chest in the rocking chair at nap time? Just as four years ago, I could never have looked into the future and envisioned my life today in all it's messy loveliness, it remains to be seen. Until Leap Day anyway.