Way Back When #3



Girls are both sick, so off we head to the after hours clinic tomorrow for a lovely Saturday morning. Flying in less than a week though, so I want to be sure all ears are as clear as can be (especially little Alena and her dainty head) and well, I’d rather spend three hours in a (free) clinic here than one in Florida.

I’ve been weepy these past few days, mostly at the fleetingness of my children as babies. Leila seems so un-toddlerlike these days, with her long legs and skinny torso (where did my chubby baby go?) and all of a sudden Alena is nearly ten months old and all of these moments fly by so quickly I just wish, oh just wish for a reserve of quiet evenings in a rocking chair with a sleeping baby laying on my chest or a minute to kiss Alena’s kicking, wiggling thigh. Is it crazy to miss this before it’s even gone?

I’m weaning Alena, in an abrupt decision that was not mostly mine. She basically hates boobs, all of a sudden. I gave it some thought and decided I’m ok with weaning now as opposed to in two months (as was my plan) but it’s the finality of it now. In another few days, I may never breast feed another baby.

After Alena was born, I laid in the hospital bed watching her sleep, swaddled in her bassinet and I felt so… empty. I had been pregnant for so long (it seemed) and then suddenly… nothing. And now, although I’m ready to move on, it’s that feeling all over again. The memory of a sweet-breathed infant falling off the breast in slumber, milk dribbling out of the corner of her mouth, the contented sigh, the knowledge that I’m all she needs, it goes as quickly as it came, I’m afraid.

Do we all wish this? For pockets in which to keep our most precious memories? In my pocket, I would include:
bike riding in the summer with Amanda, the freedom that it brought and that innocence that lived in us those days
playing with my cousins and brothers in their basement, always damp, a mat rolled over the cement floor
Christmas mornings
a BBQ in my grandmother’s backyard, a cook off between my dad and uncle for the best burgers (my dad won)
the day after my grandmother died, in our pool with my mom, hugging her when she told me she didn’t know what to do without her mom, and the feeling that my hug was making her better
my dad tucking me into bed in the summertime after a bath, pulling the blind against the sun and feeling like I was missing out on something because it was still so light
the summer my dad was diagonsed with prostate cancer, all of us drinking too much wine with dinner and then in front of the campfire playing bocce and laughing, because what do we have if we don’t have each other?
the lazy mornings in our breezy apartement in Halifax before I got pregnant, we’d cuddle with Milo Saturday morning, the three of us in bed, blinds moving in the wind
sitting on my mom’s lap in my aunt’s kitchen sipping from Mom’s teacup while they talked
unhiding my older brother’s Christmas gift from my closet every single year so we could show each other long before Christmas morning (we did this until we were adults)

There are regrets, too. Mean words I would take back a million times over if I could, days stood in funeral homes, visits to a children’s hospital, moments that fell, empty into a place where I should have been to catch them. Conversations I’ve had in anger, pushing too hard against people I love (most of whom have forgiven me). Letting myself become too preoccupied in my own life to be there for a friend in her hardest hour. I’m truly ashamed of that one.

But as much as I wish to re-do certian things, my chances of that are as slim as leaning into either of my growing girl’s infant smell ever again. My only choice is to move forward, to cherish all of my blessings and to not make the same mistakes again. To pray for thanks, for patience, for strength and for forgiveness.

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