Friday, March 30, 2007

My sweet little Moo

My little moo! If you could only hear the sighs that I make when I say that. He is growing so big. Today he took, what I am calling, and unofficial first step. It is crazy how that one action has sent me reeling in memories of the last 16 months of his life. J learned to walk much, much earlier. He was fully operational on that front around 10.5 months. M on the other hand is so like his Papi, he will do it, but on his own terms. I admire that quality.
As I started to soak up these memories like tiny bits of sunshine I found myself reliving them. From the moment that we found out that we were pregnant. The excitement in our son’s eyes when we told him that he was a big brother. How fun it was to surprise everyone with our good news in creative little ways. The thrill I felt when I knew we were adding another boy to our brood (anyone who knows me knows that the thought of having a girls terrifies me). The sadness we felt when we were told there was a problem in utero. The gentle whispering of the Spirit when we felt that everything would work itself out. There was lots of exhaustion as we saw every Perinatologist in the greater Indianapolis area. The fear we felt as we went into labor early, followed by the sweet relieve of labor-halting drugs! Anticipation was the next emotion as we met our sweet little on merely days before Thanksgiving. He is the greatest anniversary and birthday present I have ever received. More emotions followed as the first year of his life progressed. Joy as he nursed like a champ. Deprivation as we went without sleep for what felt like years. Heartbreak as we watched him struggle to gain weight, and triumph as we found good doctors to treat him. Elation as he took his first bites of real food and we knew that weight would no longer be a struggle. Thrill as he rolled around on the cheap carpet of our townhouse in graduate school. Reprieve as he learned to sleep through the night. That was thanks to a gentle nudging from Auntie Natalie. Victory as he proudly crawled around our house, like a lion surveying his jungle. As a mother who talks A LOT I felt certain self-importance as he navigated his way through all the words that verbal adults use in a single day and started to gleefully scream, “Dah” or “Momma”.
Now, his first steps are upon me and all I think of is the moment that Dr. Genaris placed him on my chest. I just kept repeating, “its okay baby momma’s here.” I know that walking is a feat that requires a lot of a little body. It also carries with it something that as a mommy I cannot handle…falling. With falling comes bruises and scrapes. I want my children’s little bodies to stay as perfect as they were when entered this world. Of course, Jason tells me repeatedly that falling is how you learn. The reminder that in that fall is a metaphor for what life sometimes requires of us. As a mother walking also means no more carrying them on your hip, feeling that in God’s perfect design that part of your body that you worked so hard to rid your self of really was very handy. Warm snuggles, and much desired cuddles ebb away. My desire for his independence is battling with my instinct to comb his fine red hair, ritually grooming my young one. I am forever his protector, but not from the cold reality that is my pavement. Gravity is no respecter of motherhood.
I just pray that as he discovers his new talent that I will be blessed with a steel stomach and an iron will to restrain myself from grabbing his tiny body as it makes its way to the ground. It is true that learning to walk is the first great lesson needed for adulthood. When you fall down, quickly get back up. Nothing was ever accomplished laying on the ground wondering how you got there. The most important lesson learned is that when you are down is when you get the best view of Heaven. Always look to the one who created you with a desire to better than you were that time before.
My tiny moo is growing up, it’s a fact of life. The forces of human development are against me. I will cheer as he walks, tear as he runs, but all the while have faith that my job as mom is never really done!