cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

wistful - May 29, 2005

Let me start by saying that my plan is to have three children, with about three years between each, and then decide whether more should be birthed or adopted from the foster program. This means I could very well be the mama of the very young for a decade, or longer. Yet, I feel as if I'm in some complicated mama time roller coaster, reaching for the next stage yet desperate to hang onto the stage I'm in.

Everett has been growing up by leaps and bounds lately. And yet he's never quite old enough for anything. I am so looking forward to Everett being old enough to read, and to go to kindergarten, and to run track and learn how to high jump. I want him to be able to pull his pants up on his own and answer the phone and draw a picture of me.

And every time I think these thoughts, or I think about how happy I am that something got accomplished; he climbed into his own car seat, or, he expressed his feelings, I look at Truman and think about how agonizingly long it will be until he, too, masters that feat. And, oh my, when he does...I'll be achingly exhausted from the birth of yet another baby, with years of milestones yet to come (should everything, that is, go as planned).

Larissa has a beautiful post about wistfulness, and Saudade, "a nostalgia for a fleeting beauty as it passes." For her, the mom of one only, she is sad every day because this is the last first time. And I feel that too, but in a much different way. Today was the last first bath Truman will ever take. And I've already lost him as a teensy baby. Never again will I hold Truman, the seven-pounds-and-a-bit baby. He's already far upwards of eight and his legs get chunkier every day. His baby tai chi is becoming less jerky. His eyes are meeting mine. Where is my tiny infant? He's gone, gone forever.

At the same time I long for those days when he'll smile at me. When he says his first few words. When he can look at a book and mean it. When he can ask me for a hot dog with checkup. When he puts his arms around me and hugs me (on purpose).

I want for my children to experience life, I am desperate that they get to do all the wonderful things there are to do in this world. I want for them to experience the richness, fullness, beauty of life. I can't wait for it. But how can I know what beauty and fullness Truman experiences in the discovery of that bright light outside the window? How can I compare that to the day he discovers how to read, or does his first calculus equation? Each step along the way is to be savored, and the process, the moments in between, oh, those are the richest of God's gifts.