I’ve been a bevy of emotions the past week. Mostly, it’s been stress; work has been uber-hectic and I’ve given up swearing for Lent and Bryan was out of town and the weather’s warmed up and all I really want to do is hit the beach and pretend I’m 18 again, like I do every year around this time.
But there’s also been other things. My biological clock, par exemple, TOTALLY took Daylight Savings Time to heart and sprang forward. Say, oh, about two years. And suddenly, I’ve been in the middle of having a debate — with myself — over having another baby.
UGH. Even writing about this has me conflicted. I feel guilty for even considering another child, when I love the one I have SOMUCH that I can’t imagine there’s enough room in my heart for another. But then there are the very real truths that my baby — my heart, my everything — is no longer a baby, and I worry that I’ll never have that again.
I think Bryan and I have made parenting choices that we’re very proud of. I don’t know that I would do much differently, but for instance, we decided to faithfully follow the rule that we would always put the baby down, in his crib, while he was still drowsy so he could put himself to sleep. And while it was a great idea, and worked like a charm, there are some nights that I wake up and so fiercely want him to sleep next to me, like I’m losing yet another hour of his childhood by staying confined in my bed while he sleeps in his own.
OH! And then, I went to pick him up from daycare midday last week, and he was in the middle of a nap. The girls informed me that he had just fallen asleep, and invited me to wake him up as a surprise. I scanned the cribs, but didn’t see any baby in there that resembled mine. They giggled at me (silly mother!) and said, “No, honey, he’s over here,” and HE WAS SLEEPING ON A COT LIKE A GROWN CHILD. Lost in sleep, on a cot, and all I could think was, “NO, WAKE UP, YOU WAKE UP AND YOU GET BACK IN A CRIB RIGHT NOW.”
One night before Bryan left, I fed a sleepy baby and he passed out on my chest. Rather than hurry to put him down, I just marveled at him as he snored softly. Bryan hissed at me several times to go put the baby down, but I knew, I just KNEW that I wouldn’t have many more chances like this. He would soon be too big to fit so neatly on me; he wouldn’t want his lame ole mom to cuddle him; something else would hold his attention. So I held him, loving him so much that I felt like parts of me shattered on the inside, like icicles falling from the eaves when someone closes the door to hard. Bryan happend to snap a picture, and I looked at it later:
And I realized that he is really not a baby any more.
This was also the last night, I decided, that he would need a bottle.
The change didn’t even phase him. He has not noticed there haven’t been any bottles.
I was devastated. Still am. Still cannot pack up the bottles.
You know, maybe one is enough. Maybe the one child, whom is just perfect in my eyes, is enough for me.
Because maybe I can’t handle this heartache multiple times.