This Mothering Gig

on 14 May 2010

I'm having one of those days where I stand on the verge of tears and wonder what I have done.

Yesterday we bade farewell to the Bink.  And so far the Boy is doing just fine.  He woke early this morning at 1am and cried and cried like his tiny little untested heart was breaking.  I tumbled out of bed and held his long, gangly body in my arms as I quietly rocked him back to sleep.  I haven't done that since he was sick last fall.  And before that it had been since the winter before when he was just 6 months old and still small and round.

It felt wonderfully familiar.  But I digress.

He did just fine again today.  After his altogether too short nap, he got down and looked under the crib and his dresser calling, "BINK?  BINK?  BINK?"  I sat in the floor feeling small and mean and explained to him that binks are for babies and he's a big boy.  He doesn't really need that bink.  He looked at me as if to say, "What are you talkin' about, woman?"  And quietly went on his way.  He asked for it a few more times but for the most part...he's just grand.  There haven't been any screaming fits.  No long crying jags.  Just the occasional pitiful request for his bink.

And I think I may have met something every bit as hard as holding him down for the shots.

I told Chris today, after the looking under the furniture but before his dinner and bath, that I feel this crushing empathy for the Boy right now.  What he wants is so small and so simple and he's had it for so long that he can't understand why he can't just have it now.  And I feel the weight of that in grown-up proportions.  What we want seems relatively small and common to us.  Nothing fancy or unusual.  Basically what we've had all along.  But for whatever reason we can't have it yet.  And oh it's hard.  And made harder still by replicating the difficulty for our child.

He had an awful time going to bed tonight.  He was wired from not having napped well and there was no bink to signal to him that it was now time to be quiet and get ready for bed.  We read and cuddled and said prayers and sang a few songs and then I lay him in his crib.  He fussed and fretted.  Not active crying, but just that festering discontent.  After a half hour or so it became outright crying and I went in, feeling sad and mean all over again.

I picked him up and carried him to the rocking chair.  The Boy and his Blanket.  I sat and settled him against my chest and quietly rocked and rubbed his back.  I whispered the things you whisper to the ones you love when the ones you love are distressed, and he pushed his face into my neck as snugly as he could and as I rocked and rubbed his back he grew heavier and heavier and heavier.  I knew he was asleep.  He was all heavy and slightly twitchy, but I needed to sit there in the dark and rock him and comfort him in some small way while I still could.

I asked Chris today, why does it seem inevitable that you always hurt the ones you love?  Even when you know that sometimes it's for the best, when you tell yourself that it's a short-term hurt for a long-term gain, why?  Why is it necessary at all?  Life gives us enough disappointment, enough denial, enough hurt, why can't we find only peace and comfort at home?

And I know...well, I think I know.  Because he can't very well go off to college with his blanket and his bink.  Because I'm raising a confident, competent adult, not a perpetual child.  Because the disappointments, denials and hurts only get bigger and more damaging.  I think maybe we're all just feeling a little raw and ragged around the edges. 


Sibley Saga .... said...


I totally know what you mean about raw around the edges. Some days are just so haaaaAAAAaarrd!

Brett said...

Good for you! I know it's tough.. but it would be tougher if you wait. I hope he's been doing better for you.

And btw.. I think it's okay to bring your blankies to college. It's even okay to still sleep with them if you've been married for 7 years. Maybe that's just me. Paci, not so much.