Thursday, September 03, 2009

I just love him


Every night, we walk into our bedroom in the dark using our cell phones as a flashlights. We peek at our sleeping little boy. Sometimes he is smashed against the rails with a leg or two dangling out, sometimes he just lay there in perfect repose. I can't help but stare at this miraculous little creation, and I also can't help but get a little emotional every time. Cameron and I look at each other and mouth the words, "I just love him." It's a nightly ritual before we move him to his other bed in the living room where he will sleep out the rest of the night. Cameron usually carries him, and he lay motionless and peaceful in his arms, only the rise and fall of his chest indicating he's still very healthy and alive. I follow with blanket in hand. Before Cameron lays him in his bed, I kiss my son's forehead, lay my cheek gently on his and whisper, "I love you sweet boy." Cameron does the same and lowers him into his bed. I cover him with his blanket, take one last look and walk toward my room. Every night I am reminded of what a special gift he is, and every night I love him a little more.

Last night I moved him myself since Cameron was gone. It wasn't the first time nor will it be the last, but many more thoughts came to mind as I picked up my slumbering child. He's gotten so big in his year of life. I remember once when we first brought him home and he slept in the laundry basket. He's much too big for that now. When I see him in his crib sprawled out and unaware of my lurking presence, he reminds me of a little boy more than the baby he used to be. I held him in my arms for a moment and as I slowly walked toward the living room, and pang of reality swept in. He won't always be your baby boy, it says. It won't be long before you can't carry him in your arms and he stops looking for your hand when he runs down the hall. He won't worship you the way he does now. I ask reality to stop with the madness. Say it isn't so. But it continues. One day he will not tell you everything and perhaps when he is a teenager, you will just be his mom instead of the center of his ever enlarging universe. And then someday he will grow up and move away. My heart is in my throat. The tears begin to well up in my eyes, and again I ask reality to stop telling me things I already know. I continue with my whisperings and kisses, lay him in his bed and linger a little longer. As I walk back into my room, my heart is full, and I wonder if every mother feels this way or if it's just the mother of little boys or if it's just me. I just love him.

He's walking now, which means independence. He takes off on his own sometimes, but he still turns to look for me. Sometimes he still wants my finger, and I happily give it to him. Sometimes I take his hand even if he doesn't ask me to. It starts. I'm already grasping for his attention. I know there are supposed to be more children in our family. They will come, but I have often thought about my first son and this time we have had together. We are both lucky. I have been able to shower him with unlimited love, time and affection, and he has had my undivided attention. No other child who comes into this family will ever have that. I like to think that means he and I will have a special bond. That's not to say that I won't love my subsequent children or shower them with love and affection, but from here on out the attention must be divided. John is my first. I love him without end. Sometimes he's cranky and it annoys me, but then he smiles and crinkles his nose and his bright blue eyes twinkle. And then he reaches for me and I can't be annoyed or angry. Instead, I just love him.

As more children weigh on my mind, my first thoughts aren't usually about space or money or even being pregnant again although those do come. My first thoughts are about John. How will it affect the time I get to spend with him? How will I manage taking care of another baby and playing with my little boy, which I love doing so much? In reality, I know that he will not remember any of this time. He won't remember how we spent every single day together playing in the park, going to the pool, visiting with friends, visiting museums, exploring the city, learning and laughing. He won't remember it, but I will. He probably won't even remember the next few years, so should there be another child, he won't remember feeling jealous or slighted or neglected. But I will. So perhaps it isn't about John at all. It's about me. And again I wonder if I am the only one who feels this way or if all mothers feel this attached to their first born. I am not sure who has more separation anxiety, me or him?

He's only one, and still my baby. There is still time for me to love him and play with him. I really do enjoy every day I get to spend with him, even if some of those days are hard. It's still better than if I had gone back to work, so I am grateful. And I will still hold on to our nightly ritual as long as I can, just so I can kiss his forehead and lay my cheek on his cheek while he sleeps. He's my little boy, and I just love him.

7 comments:

Kristyn said...

I think its a common feeling. I (being the neurotic one I am) completely freaked and panicked about having a second child. I was so worried that it would "ruin" the relationship I had with Ashlyn...we were so close. Although our relationship did change, its still great..just different. Kids grow up too fast and the independence from us is so scary...Ashlyn starts full day Kindergarten on Tues and I've been in tears all afternoon (while she's in her room for quiet time of course...have to be positive about the whole thing when she's around) after visiting her school (remember, I'm neurotic ;) Parenting is so wonderful and so hard!!! I think we all have the same worries as mothers even though we often feel we're the only ones!!!

Janice said...

This is a beautiful post.

Bekahandboyz said...

I know you don't know me well. But I know Cameron and you are loved by association :) I now have 4 little boys and love everyone of them but I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face b/c I remember these feelings and still feel them at times. I know exactly how you feel. You were just more eloquent that I could ever be. My 1st son, Zechariah is still dear and precious to my heart. I feel sad that I am not able to give my other boys my whole heart, my undivided attention. I realize that they are so unique and need different things in their lives. So far I have been able to fill their needs. I too get weepy thinking that just a few yrs down the road my Zechariah will not want to hold my hand or let me kiss him and think I'm smart and cool. I pray he does. Each one of my boys are a gift. I will forever love them. I just love my boys.

You are an amazing mom and I love reading your blog.

Nicole Cave said...

Each stage is as great as the last. It is always sad when they change a little but also rewarding as a parent to watch the changes and progression.

Beth, Cody, Morgan and Pepper said...

Also being the mother of a first born boy, I completely understand. I loved all the days I had with Morgan just spending time together, teaching him, watching him learn new things and exploring the city. Now that my attention has to split between the two little ones I appreciate that time even more. I love them both but I think Morgan will always have a special space in my heart for teaching me to be a mother.

Mom said...

That was beautiful and so true. I look at you and your brother and remember you being little and needing me. Now you two are grown with children of your own and, at times, I wish I had the time all over again so I could hold you and love you like little kids love to be held. Treasure this time because they grow up so fast and then you have to sneak hugs and kisses. I love you.

Stephanie said...

I love this Nikki, thanks for sharing. You are such a great wife and mother, and Cam and John are so lucky to have you. This is a great juxtaposition to the episode of MTV's "16 and Pregnant" I just watched (wish I was kidding). Thank you for reminding me what motherhood is really about. I'm looking forward to it.