Missing it

There is  hard stuff. The conversations that sneak in between the giggling in bed at night.

He rose up on his forearm and said “I’d have one more if you wanted.” He was watching her sleep, her teeny body taking up half of our king size bed.

My throat got itchy and my nose started tingling. I needed to not cry. I’ve thought this through not just with my heart and my hormones but with my head.

I don’t want to struggle. We are making it now. MQD and me and the girls. And I’m home. Where I know I belong. I don’t want to push Lucy to grow up faster. I want her to have what Emily had, her mom all to herself for years to come.

“I know.” And he kept watching her. “She’s just growing so fast.”

I took his hand in mine. “Another baby would grow up, too. And we can’t just keep having more.”

And he smiled. Looked at me. Took his eyes off of her for a moment. “Sure we could.”

This morning as he left for work I walked to the door and kissed him. Like I did when he would leave my apartment years ago. “Thank you for talking to me. Just because I don’t want more babies doesn’t mean I don’t cry several times a day over how fast this one is growing. There is absolutely nothing like loving a baby. I just want to be present for the one that we have.”

He kissed me back.

She is sleeping in my lap and I have my hand curled around the back of her head. Her bald little head. And I let the tears roll down my face. She has five long hairs right now. In just a couple of years she will get a hair cut and those sweet wispy baby hairs will be gone. Those hairs I soaked in tears, the hair she smeared with avocado.

I let myself cry for a few and then I stopped and took a breath. Emily always says “I wish Lucy could talk to us” or “I wish Lucy could walk” and I tell her “I don’t! I’m not wishing away our baby!! We won’t get it back!”

I think and talk a lot about how much it means to me to be present. To be here so I don’t miss it. But it’s not just wishing it away I need to be wary of. I can’t let myself get consumed with how fast they’re growing up. While I am weeping over the haircut my six month old will have in two years? I’m missing right now.

It’s so hard. To feel every second. In order to be fully present I like to hold on. But if I hold on too tight before I realize it I’m holding on to the past. And these damn kids, their present turns in to ancient history in seconds.

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18 responses to “Missing it

  1. I have four and it was my desperate attempt to have a baby forever. FAIL! My youngest is 7 now and I remember having the same feelings you so beautifully describe here. But… I don’t really remember. I have baby amnesia. I remember the feelings, but I don’t remember how they feel. I once read that this amnesia is a gift to mothers because if we *really* remembered, we wouldn’t be able to live with the grief. I think that is true. I’m glad I don’t really remember.

  2. Oh my goodness, I just posted about the same thing! My little one is growing up way too fast! ugggg! It is killing me!

  3. that is the cutest sweetest EVER — don’t blink because it’s over in a second

  4. Oh yes, the time flying by. When EB was zero to 3.5 months and had crazy colic, I kept hearing that it would pass before I knew it and she would be a normal baby and I would be a normal mom. (I was more of a crazy-I’ll-murder-you-if-you-look-at-me-wrong mom while that exhausted.) And it passed. I was sad. The whole time I thought at least I’ll have another one to really get a good dose of baby-dom. And I already know it’s going to go so fast! Help invent a pause button real quick! I’m sad I’m almost not-pregnant.

    Wait, what did I tell you about getting me weepy? You know I’m hormonal!

  5. Oh man, Kelly. I get this big time. Sniff sniff…

  6. Seeking Joyful Simplicity

    Beautiful Kelly, just beautiful.

  7. Ann, you are so wise. Kelly, thank you. I am finally to the point where I agree with my husband. For now, we are done having kids. But as soon as Sammie was 2 and walking and talking and out of diapers and not curled in my lap or nursing, I had Max. and now Max is three. THREE! And he’s as tall as a four year old. And he’s talking and observing and seeing things that I don’t see. And I wanted another baby, another little tiny one, covered in fine downy hair. Hubs did not agree. He said, “I’m happy with what we have.” And I wanted more. More cuddles, more giggles. But really, what I wanted was for my babies to stay babies forever.

    I used to think if we had more money, we’d have another baby. But now I’m not sure. I love my monkeys. But Sammie is already growing up too fast. And I’m desperately holding on to Max’s cackle of laughter. (Seriously, I have to get a recording of it and keep it on me at all times. It is my prozac.) He’s almost not a toddler. He’s almost just a kid. And what will I do then?

    Hmm, maybe I’ll sleep.

  8. Such a beautiful post Kelly. That sense of grabbing each sweet moment and squeezing every bit of yumminess out it is familiar to me too. That’s what motivated my journal-keeping, one for each child, from conception to teens.
    You know how to cherish your kids in the now and that is a lovely gift. You are doing it right. Your kids will know they were loved well.

    • I love the idea of making a journal for each kid. I was thinking recently I need to make a plan to print out my kid specific blog posts and print shutterfly books or something for each year.

  9. There were days when I was a new empty nester that I’d be in the grocery store, or standing in line somewhere, and there’d be an exasperated mom in line in front of me, arguing with her toddler or her grade-school kid about something stupid like candy before lunch or standing still. I’d watch for a couple minutes, and eventually she’d turn to me and say something like “they’re driving me crazy today.” And I always said the same thing back: “In ten minutes they are going to want the keys to your car.” Some of them got it, and some of them didn’t, but I knew without doubt that I had done it right.

    When I watch a clip from that TV show about the family who has 19 kids, I think to myself that that mom didn’t know what you know, and what I knew before you — they grow up fast, and you can’t fix it by replacing one baby with another ad infinitum. You just enjoy your present, as you are, and as I did, and when it’s over, you find another present — yourself. And then you get yet another shot at loving a baby, only it’s not yours, it’s your child’s.

    And you don’t have to stay up all night to love that baby. And it’s all the sweeter.

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