Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The momma's boy paradox

Yes, I'm THAT mother.

When you get married, you believe that you're going to be with that man for the rest of your life. That's a satisfying feeling.

When you become a mother, you quickly begin to realize that the person you love more than anything, or anyone else, is the one you will have to let go of. I suddenly understand why that's so hard.

My little man is all of four months old. He smiles at me, and I adore him. Even when I'm in the foulest of moods, his smile makes me giggle and laugh. And suddenly I'm overwhelmed with jealousy of a woman that's probably in her cradle right now, or not even born yet - the woman that will take my son from me.

Do I want to have a Momma's boy? Heck, no! Do I want to have Howard from The Big Bang Theory, and have my son living at home into his 30's, doing all his laundry and cooking his food, regardless of his success? NO! That's pathetic. Do I suddenly understand the compulsion to allow your son to live with you into his 30's? Yes, I'm afraid so.

Which leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that I'm looney tunes, and I'm going to have to fight my impulses. I do not want to be the mother-in-law from hell. My mother-in-law has done exceptionally well at letting her boys go, and has been wonderful to me. She is like my third mom, actually (because I have both a mother and a stepmother who are very good to me as well).

Still, all of this? This desire to hold my son tight and make him stay a baby, while simultaneously standing proudly by as he grows (that stifling paradox of motherhood)? Makes me suddenly have so much more sympathy for you, Mrs. Wolowitz.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Four months

Dear TK,

You are now four months (and four days) old.

You were born just before one of the hottest summers I have ever known; it has been over 100 degrees almost every day for months. This week feels like the beginning of fall because the temperatures have dropped to the 80's. Oddly enough, school starts today.

Yesterday we had a huge, if very short, summer rain storm. It was just like the ones I used to take your Aunt Kelsey out in to play when our parents were at work. We'd rush out, play in the rain and the water slushing down the street, and then rush inside and throw our wet clothes in the dryer. I can't wait until you're old enough to do it, too.

I really look forward to your growing up, but at the same time, it's sad. I love your tiny baby faces.
I know these expressions won't last forever.

On the 6th, you started making chatty baby sounds, and babbling noises. You still only do it mostly in the morning when you're in a really good mood, but it's so adorable. You're smiling at us, and finally showing us that you know us. You squeal and squee and make a sound that your Daddy says sounds like a monkey noise (hoo, hoo, hoo!).

You have just reached the stage where you can hold your head up, and the Bumbo has become pretty fun. You also finally enjoy your swing, much to our relief. Before now, you demanded with your tiny fists and screams to be held around the clock.

Nana just finished her first visit. It was wonderful spending time with my Mom. I honestly was scared to have her visit for almost two weeks - I get tired of pretty much anyone in that much time - but she was a wonderful guest. She was so loving with you, and I learned so much about who I am from spending more time with her. I have to admit I got a little spoiled, having a third person to help so we (your Daddy and I, at least) could get enough sleep.

Speaking of sleep, you slept through the night last night for maybe the second time. I flew out of bed this morning at 5am to make sure you were alive. Then you went and slept for another hour, until I was so hopped up on coffee that we bounced around the room together like bunnies.

And, for all that even now you seem to have more energy than I do already, I am amazed by you. Aside from the fact that you're still smaller than other four month olds, people would honestly never know you're a preemie. It's a miracle, and I couldn't be more grateful for it. No one but other preemie parents (and perhaps the NICU nurses) will ever understand what a real miracle it is. Above all, I will give you those extra kisses every day and night for as long as you will let me, because I am so, so grateful for every day we have together, my baby.