After coming to terms with the truth that my babies will one day leave I’ve started feeling a little bit like an addict. You see, I've sitting in bed taking desperate whiffs of my Theo’s scent, feeling deliriously in love and then coming down to thoughts of him leaving home and telling me it’s not really okay for me to be calling him ‘Bear’ now he's 26.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This might sound like I'm like I am this crazy fanatic parent who’s just besotted by every aspect of mothering… I'm not.
Just last night after I’d finished thinking how lovely my children were – more pressing thoughts came to mind. While nursing Theo in bed and cuddling my Peach (who was asleep behind me), I’d lost all circulation. Nursing a boy on one side, and holding Peach had left me contorted and sore. My arm was bent on an insane angle and my back was starting to ache. I tried to move my arm back over but Peach let out a whimper letting me know it had to stay.
Goshdarnit! I thought. Can’t I have a moment of rest? Can’t I have a sleep all alone in a great big bed with duck down bedding and 5 oversized pillows? Can’t that beautiful bed be in a house on an island with light blocking shades? Can’t I sleep in till 10am every morning and never wake to another crying child ever, ever again? … is that too much to ask?
I lay there still contorted thinking about how I ended up sore and uncomfortable instead of in a luxurious bed all alone ... or better yet, in my luxurious bed all alone with my husband ;)
Theo stopped nursing just about the same time as I was picking out imaginary linen for this illusive luxurious bed. Before I was able to decide whether Egyptian white cotton would trump an Indian silk throw Theo had rolled away from me and I was able to turn and settle into a comfortable position. Décor selecting and wishing I were elsewhere went out the window as I lay with my sweet two snuggled and sleeping on either side. Theo in the crook of my arm, and my hand holding Peach’s I knew at once that this was where I wanted to be.
Sometimes I forget this though. Sometimes I get caught up in wishing the day would end, wishing I could be babyless for a day or two or sometimes just flat out wishing I could advertise my children for sale.
I remind myself “Remeber, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being” (Kittie Franz) and make that conscious decision that because I am painfully aware things won’t be this way forever – both the enchantment and challenge of mothering will be gone in the blink of an eye – I cannot stand to get caught up in just 'getting through' this time; I will cherish my babies, relishing this time and making sure I get every last kiss I can planted on their chubby little bellies.
1 week from now I won’t remember that discomfort of last night.
1 year from now I won’t be appreciating an extra sleep in.
5 years from now I won’t be wishing I could have squeezed in some more housework or reading or time alone.
10 years from now I won’t wonder what it would have been like to have my children sleep in another room, got them baby sat more often or focused on my career instead.
No; alone in that luxurious bed, I will long for these moments and these days. I will savour these days forever. The delight will be polished each time I bring these memories out and the arduousness shall be all but forgotten. Time and age will claim my babies one day, but it cannot and will not rob me of *now* .
And I know that when I finally do climb into that luxurious bed all alone - I am going to have picked down to the very last detail the finest linen in all the world ;)
Photo by Hailey Bartholomew
Georgia's touching observations and marvelous tales of motherhood can be found on her blog, Gregarious Peach.