Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Notes on the two people who make my heart sing



We're travelling in the car, westward, on a visit. Aoife is quiet in the backseat, which is rare. Suddenly, her little voice pipes up.


"I sink my boogies are de-yicious!" she announces.

I stifle the urge to giggle. Explain to her that boogies are full of germs, and should not be consumed. Pass her a kleenex to finish blowing her nose into.


When I look in the rearview mirror, I see her licking the kleenex. This revolts me slightly, but I kindly remind her about the germ thing.

"I'm trying to get my boogies out of my mouth," she explains, and I do believe her. She wants to do the right thing.



A reader wondered how weaning was going. I swore up and down that if I wasn't pregnant by September that I would wean her, that's for sure.

And you know what? She is weaned, functionally, and it's not by me putting my foot down. She still nurses once a day, sometimes twice, but here's why she's weaned: when she falls down, I can pick her up, smooch her, pat her little bum, and she runs back to play. When she wakes up in the morning, I can pull her into bed with me, curl her into my tummy and she'll lie there, enjoying our time together, without needing to nurse to make this moment complete. It's so comforting and wonderful to me to see this transition happen, this move away from the breast and out into the world, before I actually tell her no, you won't nurse anymore. I'm only using nursing now to try (usually in vain) to get her to take a nap in the afternoon. So I'm offering it then, but if we cut out the nap, I don't know that she'd even remember to ask for it two days out of three (although on the third day she probably would). So that is the place she is in with that. And I'm not planning to cut her off anymore. I simply do not beleive that nursing from one breast one time a day could possibly inhibit my fertility. Done.
This is how I always am in the end, I make up my own mind. It's why I've never read one single book on raising a baby. I just do what I think I should be doing. My body taught me that when Charlotte died. I know what to do with my babies.

Dancing with my Liam...

And here he is, my delight and joy. There's this person in my life who asked me today, do you really love a little boy the same way you love a little girl. Can you tell she only has daughters? How emphatically can I answer this question with a YES, YES, YES!!!!! and try to explain to her this sweetness of loving a little boy? Of having this lovely, soft innocence gaze up into your eyes and to know he will grow to be... of all things... a MAN? Oh, it blows my mind and baffles me every single day, and somehow makes me love him more. This, and the fact, that my body grew a penis. That's just plain weird. And also mind boggling. So yes, of course my dear, you absolutely do, do, DO love your little boy just as much as your little girl.

And then I was asked, by someone without children, what I sacrificed to have children. I said, nothing. I sacrificed nothing. I kept everything, and gained everything. If there were things that were difficult to maintain, I figured out a way to get them back.
But what I really wanted to say was, the much, much bigger sacrifice? Would be not having children. I can't imagine my life without them, and I can't imagine sacrificing the opportunity in fear of other sacrifices. There is nothing like it on earth. Absolutely nothing.

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

Beautiful. I so get how much you delight in your children. It was my birthday the other day and everybody kept asking why I wanted to bring my 2 little girls with us, and wouldn't we want to go out with just us? And I was like, "No". I truly enjoy their company, and wanted them present for my party. I couldn't imagine life without them. I have gained everything because of all three of them (my son was stillborn almost 6years ago).

I like your last paragraph so much I want to quote it! It perfectly sums up my passion for my children. So well written!

Meg said...

My husband and I feel the same way! People are always saying that we should go out by ourselves, but we actually enjoy being with our kids and are happy to bring them with us or stay home and play. This was a wonderfully written post!

Rixa said...

Yes, I also feel that having children has not been a sacrifice at all. I get perplexed when I hear moms talk about the hardship, the sacrifice, the good-but-trudgingly-boring-duty of raising little ones, how they have had to put their real interests on hold. I'm having the time of my life, and I will be so sad when I no longer have my children around me.

Birdies Mama said...

Carol, I love you, I just do!

Pixie LaRouge said...

I want to run around, waving this post in everyone's face, screaming "Yes! Yes! Yes!" This is how parenting is supposed to be. Yes, I enjoy an afternoon on the motorcycle, just my husband and I, but the best part of it is laughing with the kids as we tell the tale at the end of the day. I can't imagine not having children to share the world with. How else could I experience everything for the first time, over and over again!
Lovely, lovely post!

Hennifer said...

I just have to say that I really related to your nursing bit...

My daughter, 2 in july, has just been weaned. I'm not even really sure how it happened. We tried a few bedtimes without it, stories instead, sometimes a big brother tucked in. I tried to be more aware of how much I was offering "mama milk" just to ease through transitions. And that was suddenly it. Every 4th day or so she'll ask for mama milk. Sometimes she is easily distracted, other times she is not.

It is beautiful and sad all at the same time

Natalie said...

Agreed!