I have failed to write for a long time. Being pregnant with a toddler to watch over took it out of me, and now caring for a newborn as well as a toddler has me running. I never have a moment with two hands and a laptop, so I have resolved to just go ahead and write with one hand while I nurse the newborn and the toddler sleeps. These moments are few and far between, but it is not nothing! Now I have to gather some thoughts that reach beyond the mundanity in theSisyphus like tasks of stay at home motherhood. The laundry, the spit up, the diapers, the naps, the feedings, the endless cleaning. These can overwhelm, but they are not interesting and are not all of who I am or what is important in this stage of life.
What is important, what I want to remember are these first smiles and the gradual awakening of my child to the world. His eyes see more every day, and I see more of who he is. His fat little body gradually gaining muscle and coordination. And the way my toddler wraps his arms around me and says ‘luf you’. How everyday is a new lesson in the lightning speed of his development. His vocabulary expanding every moment as he soaks up the world we show him. How my heart hurts because I can’t give each of them all of me, and how proud I am of how much I do give them. I want to remember this time when my body is slowly becoming my own again, and how I know right now that I will never give it up again to the complete tyranny of carrying a child in my womb. How I am teaching it to be one again as it recovers slowly from being two. I cry because I still don’t recognize myself in the mirror, but celebrate the new strength I am gaining daily. I want to remember the pain that I felt bringing our second and final child into the world.
And it is important to stop and feel how our family is now complete. I get to watch my boys become brothers and hopefully enjoy eachother as they become life long friends. Now my husband and I will slowly find our way back to one another through the separation of pregnancy and early sleepless months with a newborn and the wreckage of my body. I will find my way back to my work and pursuits as an individual rather than a mother as my children grow up and away from me, the separation that begins the moment they are born. How we, all four of us are building and growing and becoming more our family.
It is hard to find moments to recognize these things in the sleepless flurry of tasks, but I must. It goes by in a heartbeat, the moments are long and the years are short. It is precious and grueling. I feel bludgeoned on some days and blessed on the same. I am watching through tired eyes as these early moments as parents of young children swirl around us and pass in a flash.