Thursday, July 09, 2009
my brain unloaded
Today he is two. Two whole years old. I have been reliving those past years in my mind for a couple of weeks now. My body seems to remember that two years ago at this time I was preparing for a grand change, and my mind can't seem to stop churning over the details of him. Of his life. Of who he is. Of what he has done and learned. Of the miracle that he is a perfect combination of his daddy and me. There have been so many times during these reflections where I feel my heart swell, my eyes brim, and a lump of love grow in my throat. Of course there are not words for this love-- you all know it too, if you are lucky. Or you will. But I wanted to try to catch a measure of what this boy means to me in writing. One day when basketball practice, ACT prep, school dances, and first dates fill up our lives I want this little boy to know that there was a time that we were together all day every day and that it was my joy. That taking care of him was never a chore, that we called each other "best friend" and that we meant it. That waking up to his sounds never got old and that his daddy and I lived for him and each other. So today, on his second birthday, I am going to take a little trip in my memories and write down some of the precious things I remember about his first two years.
I couldn't wait to get pregnant and I tried on and bought maternity clothes long before I knew he was coming. When I did get pregnant I was lucky enough to be able to see him in many ultrasounds (my dad is an OB/GYN (not mine though) and you better believe that we spent many a Sunday down at his office taking peeks at the babe). I remember seeing him hiccup and hearing his heartbeat and realizing that the miracle I had been waiting for and preparing for my whole life was finally happening. I remember that each time I would feel him kick I would take a second to rub my belly and tell him I loved him because I knew he was awake and would maybe hear me. I remember going to sleep one night when I was about 25 weeks along. I hadn't felt him move a whole ton that day and I fell asleep with a little worry in my mind. I woke up startled at about 4 AM and panicked that I still hadn't felt him. I said a prayer that everything would be okay and that I would be reassured that my baby was fine. After about 20 minutes of lying still I felt three little pokes come from him. I knew he was okay and I felt grateful that he was already obedient, even in the womb :).
The night before his birth and the day of his birth were so special to me. I have been working on writing the story of my labor and delivery, but I'll save those for another post. Those moments were nothing short of sacred, though, and oh, how I treasured those first few days with him so fresh from heaven. I remember crying the last night we were in the hospital because the next morning he was scheduled to have his circumcision. I couldn't bear the thought of doing that to him and was irrationally telling his daddy that I wouldn't let them take my baby away and do that. Kind of funny to me now, but at the time I was dead serious and absolutely heartbroken by the idea of my new baby being in pain.
I remember him crying for the first two nights we brought him home and desperately wanting to know how to help him. I remember the relief that came when my milk came in and he was suddenly so content, and started sleeping for hours at a time at night.
I remember holding him on my shoulder when he was about 3 or 4 months old and thinking that surely that must be the best stage-- he was still tiny enough to just lay and cuddle with me, but was starting to get interactive, smiley, and so much fun, too.
I remember him starting to get scared of a few select strangers when he was 4 months old. There were only about 3 people that he did that with, but he took one look at them and started screaming hysterically. One of those people was the mother of a girl that my husband liked in high school. I was secretly smiling at my baby's reaction to her.
He hated laying on his tummy for the longest time. When he learned to roll off his tummy he was a happy boy.
He's always been chatty. He babbled constantly when he was little, and if I didn't know better I would have sworn he said "hi" at 6 1/2 months. His first words came at 9 1/2 months when he said, "uh oh."
I remember having dance parties with loud music in his room in the morning when I got him dressed. I remember when he was almost 7 months old and I could see him starting to feel the beat. He was slamming his chubby legs down on the floor to the music and had a huge grin and I remember being overwhelmed by how BIG his spirit was to me in that moment.
I remember his first time fishing, and all the fishing trips since then. I can't believe how content he is to freeze his little feet off in rivers with his daddy. Those two boys must've been made for each other because I get tired and ready to go long before either of them do.
He has been a lounger his whole life. When he first got control of his limbs he would push the sun shade of his car seat down by his feet so he could lift his legs up and rest them on it. He still likes to randomly just come up and lay his head down on my shoulder or lounge back on pillows. I love that about him-- such a little cuddle boy. He has never been a go-go-go baby. He sits back and thinks. He stops playing to lay on his blankie. In large groups of little kids he does a lot of observing. He is very personable and social-- he says "hi" to strangers constantly-- but I think he is like his dad and gets a little overwhelmed by lots of people. He would rather be with the people he is close to and loves.
I remember the many (many, many) hours I have spent nursing him. The joy that that simple act has brought to us is truly immeasurable and I truly feel so blessed that nursing has been such a pleasure. I remember how we used to link hands and I'd kiss all his little fingers while he nursed. I remember when he first started to communicate verbally and he would have to stop nursing every couple of minutes to blurt out a new word he could say. So so many happy nursing memories.
I remember how he used to scoot in circles and get so frustrated that he couldn't get to all the places he could see.
I remember all the books that were read to him early in the morning in our bed by his daddy. Waking up to them reading together was always such a sweet blessing.
His love of all things boy is not a singular memory, but rather an overarching theme of his first two years. Tools, dirt, balls. I honestly am still surprised by how much he loves those things.
I can't believe what a treasure it was (and continues to be) to watch his language and communication expand. His memory is truly incredible (totally gets that from his dad) and he will talk about people (by name) and places that we haven't brought up in weeks. I can't believe that a week after we went out to dinner he randomly brought up our waiter's name (Bob) and remembered that he had brought him ice cream.
I hope I will always remember his tender heart and I hope he will always have it. Yesterday we went on a little walk in the sprinkling rain barefoot. He collected little treasures (rocks in one hand, flowers in another) and stepped in the puddles that were starting to form. He slipped in a puddle and stepped on an ant while trying to regain his balance. As soon as he realized he had done that he got a sad look on his face and said, "Oh, sorry buggy ant. Sorry buggy ant." He has always been soft and sweet and I hope he always will be.
So many precious memories that make up the two years we've shared with our boy. I've just shared a few, but it seems futile to write more because I really can't seem to find a way to write about just how much this little person has added to our lives since his arrival. He is a special little soul. And he's only two. Lucky us. Happy birthday, little boy.