January 7, 2009

The Way It Was, The Way It Is, The Way It Will Be

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Sam was coughing over the weekend, and starting to have a runny nose, so we knew that he was getting sick. Well, yesterday morning when I went to get him out of his crib he was burning up. I took his temperature (thank goodness for FINALLY being able to do it under the armpit!), and it was 100.8. Of course, to me that seems really high, but I realize in kids they can get a higher fever with less problems than adults.

Basically he spent the day with a bad chest cough and a fever, although we did use Tylenol to bring it down. He's sick enough to be kind of out of commission, but not sick enough to take to the doctor - maybe if the fever lasts a couple of more days.

The funny thing is that I actually REALLY enjoyed the day. See, the thing is that Sam is a VERY active child. He likes to move, run, play, jump on me and break me. But yesterday, he was all cuddles. He wanted to sit on my lap. He was up at 8, but climbed into the bed with his Daddy (I was at the doctor) at 11 and fell asleep for three hours. I came home to a quiet house and read for a while, then dozed off on the couch until I heard him waking up. We cuddled and watched TV. Later, around 5 he brought me into the bedroom again and we laid under the blanket, cuddling and talking. He babbled, I listened, putting in my own words once in a while. Then he fell asleep in my arms again and we slept for a couple of hours.

I hate hearing him cough, and knowing he doesn't feel good (yesterday he learned to say "I sick"), but I also loved every minute of that day. I loved being able to go back to a cuddly little guy, to know that the one thing that COULD make him feel better was being cuddled and loved and being close to me. To know that I was giving him comfort... It bring tears to my eyes now thinking about it. I guess I suddenly just realized that I'm IT for him. Those memories I have of my Mom taking care of me when I was young and sick, the memories that still make me call her when I'm sick to get some comfort... I'm creating those for my own son now. And that is overwhelming.

I've been thinking a lot about this whole adventure that's is motherhood lately. I'm not sure why. Maybe it started when we cut Sam's hair. I look at him now, and he doesn't look like a baby, he barely even looks like a toddler anymore. He looks like a KID. How did this happen? WHEN did this happen?! Today I read this post over at The Bean, and I couldn't help stop the tears that came to my eyes.

This whole thing, it is WEIRD. I never imagined that this thing could be possible. This little person who I somehow managed to bring into this world. It's like every moment is filled with this amazing anticipation of what is to come, but at the same time you are mourning the way they used to be.

Heartache. A longing for a good future, and such a strong desire to see where they will go, what they will do next that it's almost unbearable. And at exactly the same moment, tears for the past, for that little thing he used to do, for the way his cheeks used to pudge up, for the way he used to hold his arms out when he walked. Pride in the things he can do, when he says his first word, first sentence, first numbers, or sings his first song. And a love so strong that you would do anything to defend your baby from anyone who wanted to cause him harm. But at the same time, knowing that you HAVE to let him get hurt, you have to let him learn and be his own person.

It is the biggest, craziest jumble of emotions. And yet, we manage to tame it all and focus on the moment we're in so that we can be a MOTHER.

I've been writing the last parts of this post in my head for days, and I still can't get it right. I feel inept to capture the beauty of my situation, of this funny place I've found in life. I really don't have the words.

9 comments :

Mama Wheaton said...

Rachel you did fine. There are not enough words or even words that exists to tell the story of a mother's love. You will continue to experience these feeling throughout your life because no matter how old they get they will aways be that one part of you and you of them that no one else can be.

Mimi said...

Now I'm all weepy. I remember those days with my boys. Being able to snuggle them so much & just knowing that you actually did make them feel better.

Just looking at my young men can sometimes make my heart hurt for those days gone by.

Megan R. said...

That made me cry! My little guy is still at the stage where he wants to be held and cuddled all the time which I love, but when he has days when he DOESN"T want it, it makes me upset! I'm so glad you guys got to have some quality time together, and I hope he feels better soon!

Two Shews said...

Oh, that moment. That moment when they make a particular facial expression, unaware of your eyes, and they are completely a BOY. And they smell like a BOY. And the chubby hands are fading. And you think to yourself, to quote Talking Heads, "Well, HOW DID I GET HERE?"

Hope everyone is feeling better today.

Kori said...

I don't know a single mother who can truly put into words the feelings and thoughts that come from having children. Heck, I have been a mom for 16+years and I just cna't do it justice. You are so talkented, and so good with words; this was a beautiful post.

bejewell said...

I feel exactly the same way, the Bean doesn't get sick very often but when he does part of me just eats it up, all that affection and snuggles that I don't norally get because he's such an active little fart. And there is definitely an element of "Wow, I'm to him what my mom was to ME," and it's all very symmetrical and surreal.

I'm glad you were able to relate! Some things about this parenthood gig are just universal, I guess!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

This brought tears to my eyes. This really needs to be one of your TOP TEN posts. It is just beautiful. Megawatt is across the table from me, eating lunch and it brought back memories from when my now 18 -- almost 19 year old daughter was little and just a circus of both emotion and activity. *sigh* And now, here she is, in college.

Your post also made me want to go and get Imp out of Montessori and just hold her close...for the next few years. This time in their lives goes by so incredibly quickly! It won't be long before being held and cuddled by her mommy is gone. She is my last and I can't tell you how incredibly sad a day that will be.

Isk8Jewel (~Julie~) said...

Visiting from SITS today. What a wonderful post that describes EXACTLY how I've been feeling lately. My son (18 months) is the same way - he never likes to sit. When he's sick he wants to cuddle and as much as I hate his being sick, I relish the cuddle time. All of a sudden he's not my "baby" anymore and he looks like a little boy. Really, though, he'll always be my baby. Thanks for a wonderful post!

Jamie said...

This is just perfect. I feel the same way, breathless with anticipation over what they'll do next or what they'll be and sad for the things that they did and they were.

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