Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Appreciating the baby-ness
I've been a little melancholy lately, bear with me. It started with Max's birthday; I'm having trouble accepting that he is eight. In some ways, his birth seems like a lifetime ago. And yet, certain aspects of that time in my life are extremely vivid, almost visceral. I can picture what it was like to hold him in the middle of the night in the hours after he was born, the night before we first learned he'd had a stroke and I thought sleep deprivation would be my biggest challenge. I can still smell the hospital smell. I can still see the faces of the doctors. I can still hear the monitors going off in the NICU. The one thing that I can't picture is Max lying in the incubator; I've pretty much blocked that out.
I look at the kids' faces a lot lately, searching for vestiges of baby-ness. Max still has it in him. Some of that has to do with the speech challenges, which can make him seem younger than his years, but it's also in his mushable cheeks and sweet smile. Sabrina has got pudgy cheeks and hands and a little belly. They both have such kissy lips. Is it weird to make out with your kids? I do. I kiss and kiss and kiss them.
I spent a lot of Max's early childhood aching for him to mature. I'd wonder endlessly about what he'd be like when he got older. He's made amazing progress, but now I don't want the little kid in him to disappear; I haven't had my fill. I am making up for lost time, those years when I didn't appreciate his deliciousness as much as I could. And could it be I'm a little uneasy? Yes, I think I am. Are his challenges going to be more evident as he gets older?
If your kids are little, I'm begging you: Savor them. Nibble their hands, nuzzle their cheeks. I know you're worried about what the future holds for them. But try so hard to just appreciate them for what they are: beautiful, yummy kids.
Like any children, they are only young once.
"Is it weird to make out with your kids? I do."ReplyDelete
I know you didnt mean it that way, but it just sounds wrong...
Doesn't sound wrong to me! I kiss on Amelia CONSTANTLY!!!!! I can't stop kissing her face and now that she gives kisses back it's a little love-fest! Anyway, I agree with you so much Ellen. Today I was out to lunch with a girlfriend who is pregnant with her first child. I was talking to her about all of the challenges we went thru at A's birth and said "I wish I had known then what I know now" -- I was so worried (as you talk about) about everything and now I see that Amelia is who she is. And she's AMAZING;) Enjoy each stage and age because it will be gone quickly. Thanks for always writing so candidly and from the heart. Happy holidays, friend!ReplyDelete
I kiss my little buddy as much as I can! He pretty much rolls his eyes and gives me the "mom! you're embarrassing me!" look, but he can deal. ;) I'll make sure to harass my little girl when she arrives too. :)ReplyDelete
It's shocking, really, how fast the time flies by...and how quick they grow out of those clothes you just bought 'em!ReplyDelete
Love the baby lips too and I think it's a Mom's job to kiss them as much as possible.ReplyDelete
What great advice. I, too, missed so much baby time wishing, worrying, wondering and didn't take enough time to appreciate David. At least I learned how to do that eventually.ReplyDelete
It doesn't sound wrong to me, either. Anyone with children will understand what you mean. I tell Monkey that although he isn't a baby, he will always be MY baby.ReplyDelete
I was just commenting on this to the OT yesterday... how people want their kids to stay babies, but how I want Lizzy to progress... I'm sure Moms with kids with 'special powers' can understand?? I want her to eat and crawl and all of that... Lizzy is not yet two and she is on a 6 month level, well just about, and it is hard for me to take sometimes. But I try to take time to enjoy her baby-ness as much as I can, but I find it hard to do... but our kids are not short on the kissing and hugging, that's for sure!ReplyDelete
It's amazing how often you capture just what I have been thinking. I do spend so much time wishing my little guy would progress and too little time enjoying who he is right now. The other thing that really struck me was being concerned that as my little guy gets older his challenges become more evident. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I take advantage of every chance I get to kiss Racer, he doesn't like affection so when he lets me I'm a kissy monster!ReplyDelete
I get your meaning. Ashley is immensely kissable and often gets "snogged" by friends. He loves the attention!ReplyDelete
At 5 he's like a young 2 year old so in a way it has been very wearing to have an increasingly larger pre-toddler to bath/change etc.
It would be nice if he developed faster and became more of a little boy. Of course it would. But, like you, we treasure the blessing that he is and so truly enjoy every little milestone.
Seriously? Ellen wasn't implying something inappropriate. I kiss my kids on the lips every day, mostly because I know there'll come a day when they will be so mortified by my very existence that they'll have no part of it. On that day I will miss smelling their sweet baby breath, something I do every time I zip their coats or hug them tightly.ReplyDelete
My elderly Mom and I are into smoochy kiss-goodbyes right now.ReplyDelete
I think this kind of thing goes in and out with different ages.
I'm would not be surprised by a teen to twenty-something not understanding. Barbara
I think since I just went to funeral for a child (complications from MANY things including CP) I kiss my kids even more. On the lips. OVER AND OVER. Until the giggle and tell me to stop. And even then? I still don't stop!! I love how kissable both of them are!ReplyDelete
I wouldn't use the words "make out". I love kissing my son and the kids I care for they are so wonderful and sweet. But the words "make out" sound inappropriate. I know that you would never mean it like that thoughReplyDelete
Cheryl: I'm sorry. I can't imagine; that would make me go into kissing overdrive, too.ReplyDelete
Yes, sometimes I take poetic license in the way I describe things. You've been warned. Love hearing all of your kissing stories. MMMMMMMMMWAH!
"Are his challenges going to be more evident as he gets older?"ReplyDelete
You nailed it. This is why I want mine to stay "young." There's uncertainty, which is good and bad.
It's foreign to me when people talk about their kids outgrowing clothes. With micropreemie twins, I got tired of my kids' clothes long before they outgrew them. I have slow-growing kids.
Since Sam's decided to cosleep at almost 2-we are complete snugglers. And I admit I used to be a complete kiss a holic--and on the lips for SURE. But recently we had an appointment with a top mito specialist that told us that Sam could be one sickness away from being REALLY sick. Since then, I've toned down MY kisses. I still "kiss" but they are mostly air kisses (on the slim chance I have a germ she doesn't--as a stay at home mom, not likely). But she can kiss me as much as she likes on my cheek, hands, etc. More than kisses lately--we go for the hugs. It is really a hug fest around here. She's only 2 1/2 and I wonder how long it will last. She THRIVES on hugs, snugs and all of the above.ReplyDelete
I worry that she can't sleep without me or my partner (she actually needs human contact--this from a baby who was fine in her crib for a long while). But, tough love is gone now that she has been diagnosed with a progressive neurological illness... and we can't help snugging her. If she wants to cuddle, yes, we'll take it.
You can be sure we appreciate every single moment of "babyness" and hugs and snugs, AND cuddles. And if it wasn't for the danger factor of the kisses and germs, we'd be smothering her with them still.
And as for the "make out" term.... It was never me...but when I used to kiss Sam on the lips--the stinker would always open her mouth to try to slime me!!!
I know exactly what you mean. My daughter is 9 but some days I wish she would stay little so she can be my baby always. She is developmentally delayed. The thought of her in middle and high school frightens me. I want her with me...protected..safe...not ridiculed. I love watching her play--being a Mommy to her dollies, changing their diapers, playing cars. I love her snuggles and her I love sign with her hand as she drives off on the school bus...the kisses and hugs. I want her to stay little....she still has her full little cheeks with huge dimples, giant brown eyes and my goodness..she is getting older...for now I will cherish every moment! CherylReplyDelete
I regularly call Monks my "Snuggle Buggle Baby," and that's exactly the way I want her. I snuggle, kiss, hug and tickle as much as possible. And try to remember she'll grow up just fine, I don't need to wish for her to do it any faster!ReplyDelete
Oh, boy. This post stirred up and brought back a lot of emotional thoughts that I have every so often. My daughter is three, but her "real" age is only half of her chronological one.ReplyDelete
I vacillate between wanting to hold on to her babyness and not let her grow up, and being curious about what the future holds.
Since she is undiagnosed, I spent the last two years willing time to fast forward so I could know for sure if the delay is temporary like most of my friends were assuring me, or if it's a real syndrome/disorder like her geneticist believes.
Well, now I look at her baby photos and wish I could have that little girl back! She is older, her delays are more evident, some kids ask why she screams so much, even her brothers are starting to put two and two together and realize that she isn't like them.
I'm still curious to see what the future will bring. What my baby will be like as a little girl, and then a big girl. But I now want to hold on to her at this stage more than ever.
I'm 13 and everyone says I've gotten taller and thinner. That's progress for me and fear for my parents.ReplyDelete