Monday, March 17, 2008

Month 10, day 4.

This is how time works for me.

So March for you, it's the third month, right?
For me, it's month 10.

March 13th was the day my baby turned 10 months old.

January? That's month 9. July? Month 2. And so on.

What did this mean to me, these months? These birthdays that symbolized some kind of a landmark, landmarks in what I now know is just a continuum that varies drastically from child to child.
When I was in my sitting time, those months meant so much, and brough so much wonder, and speculation, about what things might be like. What she should be doing. It was strange, and I wonder now, having two more children, how it might have been different if I had had any idea what I was missing.

Was it easier, somehow, that I didn't know how much better it could get? That I didn't know that the raw, primal, surreal love that crashes into you at the moment of birth grows, and changes, and smoothes itself to form into an entity all its own? Did it make my road smoother to not know that with each passing day that I would have held my daughter, my love for her would have grown more fierce and mature, more complicated and kind, more forgiving and more elaborate? Perhaps. Even now, I do see how my love for her has done just that, as I have watched the ways in which she has changed me. But it has taken time. So much time, and so much heartache, to realize this.

When Liam was born I grieved all over again, knowing now what I had missed. Realizing the magnitude of what I had held in my arms only a year earlier, feeling the pulse of him where she had lain still. As he grew, I cried with each step. Cry.

Today he got angry with me at supper. He didn't like what I had made for him, and this wasn't actually true, because he wouldn't try it. And I became frustrated, having worked for some time on what I felt was a nice supper, and I told him my feelings were hurt. I took his plate, dumped it onto mine. My feelings really were hurt. I wanted to cry for it. He didn't like the food I had prepared. He would eat peanut butter, or go to bed hungry. Which would you choose?

In the midst of the peanut butter sandwich, he reaches his two, still dimpled hands across the smooth, cherry table, and grasps my hands, "I love you, Mimi," he says, "so much. I love you." His big, blue eyes are full of forgiveness, forgiveness to me for having prepared an unsavory meal in his eyes, forgiveness in himself for acting like a tired three year old at the end of the day, and pleading for me to open up to the love he is so blatantly pouring onto the table.

These are the kinds of moments I never pondered before, the ways in which I would feel sad, and frustrated with my children, and how the situation will turn itself around and create renewal. I squeezed his hands, and leaned over the table to kiss their dimpled tops. I told him how much I, too, loved him.

But he will never know how much I really love him, will he?

Really the reason my writing has been so bad lately is because the tulips are starting to push through in the warm soil outside my sunroom window, and the 7 foot snowbanks have shriveled to 4 foot snowbanks, and the water runs down my driveway in rivulets, adding to the roaring river at the bottom of my yard. The door and windows stand open for some time each day. The deadness of winter is opening up for spring.

But spring, for me, is month 11. Month 12. Month 1. Spring for me does not necessarily bring life.

I dread May.

It shows itself in many ways, and it always begins with me hiding. As I was hiding. And so I emerge, once again. I will write my way through this May.

1 comment:

Becky said...

You write so beautifully.