Sunday, January 29, 2006

The irony of motherhood

The last two days I've seen glimpses of a different little boy than the one I've come to know. It's pretty typical for Sam to crawl commando-style across the room huffing and puffing at me as if to say, "I'm going to get you!" When he arrives at my side, he'll swat at my face, grab my hair or put his fingers in my mouth. He does these things unknowingly, and not at all meanly; these behaviors are just his boyish inclinations. But yesterday, I saw a flash of the gentle infant who I used to hold in my arms. Just before his would-be naptime, he came over, put his face right up to mine, looked in my eyes and put his head on my shoulder in a hug without arms. Pure joy, I thought.

This simple gesture was more emotionally communicative than most anything he'd ever done. It felt like his way of saying "Mama, I'm a little tired and I'd like to feel your warmth for just a minute." My guy is fiercely independent even from this very young age and this small gesture was gratifying because he was more than just my little wild boy, he showed he's a boy who needs me too. It struck me that he isn't like the needy toddler I imagined before I met him. Some kids weep as their parents exit the room or they cling to their moms in uncertain surroundings or when strangers are around. Not my Sam. He's never displayed even an inkling of separation anxiety. If we're out at a park or someone's home, all he wants to do is get down so he can wander off and explore. Now I love that adventurous spirit but surely it wouldn't be so terrible for my guy to glance back to make sure Mama's still around. Would it?

Perhaps it's because he's certain I'll always be here for him. And, God willing, I will. Even so, there are days I ache to know he cares for me even a fraction of how I care for him. I suppose that feeling pain and pleasure is the irony of motherhood. And if this little phase (if I can be so hopeful to call two days a phase) ends abruptly, as I suspect it might, I'll just have to enjoy the special occasion hugs and think of them fondly the next time he gets a good, firm grip on my nose.

Friday, January 20, 2006

"buh" is for balloon

I finally realize how it is that parents can distinguish their children's first words even if they sound like nonsensical babbles to the rest of us. Previously I believed it to be some secret language spoken by babies and understood only by their auditorily gifted parents. Now I see the way it really works. Newly verbal child points or stares at an object and repeats a specific sound. When asked what that object is, future linguist repeats the exact same sound. In our case, it also didn't hurt to have 5 dozen birthday balloons in the house to cause me to consider that the repeated "buh! buh! buh!" could be something more than just normal verbal experimentation. No, he was only saying "buh" when referring to the balloon. Hey, I'm adaptable. Can I count that as a new word?

Everyday Sam is actively learning this challenging language we call English. With the exception of balloon, he's mastered several other more recognizable words including clock, sock, cup, pa, plant and bye. "Clock" in particular is repeated ad nauseam, even in the opinion of his adoring mother. Does he want to teach me the fine points of time management? Does he want to convey his preference for fine Swiss movement? Whatever the case, there sure is some importance he's attaching to the clock. I guess that will remain a mystery until he's got some more words.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A year ago today

Sweet baby Sam,
One year ago tonight I held you in my arms for the first time. You were a little wide eyed monkey, fragile and soft against my skin. Every breath was a new experience for you. Today I looked at you while you played on the living room floor thinking about how far you've come. Now meeting new people, saying new words and taking assisted steps are your new experiences. I pray that in twenty years you'll be experiencing other firsts like traveling the world and falling in love. It's a wonderful life you have ahead of you; thank you for sharing your first year beside me. Watching you come into yourself will continue to be your Mama's greatest reward.

Happy Birthday, my love.

*Photos* from Sam's 12th month and his 1st birthday party
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...