Bottle it up

on 10 June 2011

Life with a Big Boy isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

Sure,  he's cute.  He's darling.  I love him more than words can say.  And yet...there seems to be a never-ending string of minor injuries and dangerous curiosities.   He's perpetually falling down and tearing up his fine legs.  (Legs I worked rather hard to build.  IN MY WOMB.)  He's fascinated with candles, and the other day he managed to drip hot wax down his shirt and on to his toes.  He wasn't burned (thank Heaven and Earth), just rather annoyed at the congealed wax on his foot.  He's constantly taking things apart and then requesting that I put them back together again.

(I suppose I should be flattered by least He thinks I'm useful.)

I spend all day every day wrapped up in his whirlwind as he blows from this to that and back again.  More often than not, it feels like nothing so much as whimsical chaos.  He's gangly and his legs hang over the arms of the rocking chair.  He speaks in full sentences with LOTS of active verbs.  He laughs these enormous full-throated, toothy laughs.  He's learned MINE and I DO IT and NO and he is always speaking in all caps all the time.

The other night, he was in the bath.  I was watching him from the rocking chair.  We had spent the 30 minutes previous engaged in a Tickle War to end all Tickle Wars.  We hadn't tickled and played and wrestled like that in a while and I had missed it.  I was watching him play with his toys and his bubbles and for a moment.  Just one.  It didn't last long.  But for a moment he looked like my baby again.  All smooshy cheeks, chin to chest, eyes focused in earnest examination.  I remembered that face, that expression, that boy.  The one who used to be chubby and cautious and never needed to be told "no" twice.  The one who didn't walk for ages because he didn't want to fall.  The one who's favorite place to be was right between my feet on the floor.

And oh, how I've missed him.

Everyone says it.  When you have a baby.  They all tell you to enjoy it.  It doesn't last.  It goes so fast.  Enjoy it.  But it's so HARD.  It's a constant battle to keep them clean and fed and reasonably happy.  And then there's Everything Else.  And you try.  At least I did, I tried to enjoy it.  We tickled and wrestled and made blanket forts and ate cookies.  We went for walks and drives and swims.  And I thought I was enjoying it.  I knew it wouldn't last.

But I think what Those People really mean, is that you should bottle it.  Put that moment in a bottle and stopper it up.  Keep the whole moment, perfectly preserved somehow in our memories.  Because those smooshy boys?  They grow up, they grow gangly, they grow fast and before you know it, you're little more than swept up in their whirlwind, hoping they'll stop long enough for you to kiss them before they go back to growing.


Metta said...

Thanks Melissa, for the imagery. *sigh* So true...

Brett said...

I'm not very good at remembering the past, especially my kids in the past. Thank goodness for pictures. Most of the time when I have a "memory," I'm just remembering a picture. Is there something wrong with me? Such a sweet post. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again... C sure is lucky to have you as his Mommy!