You were such a sweet little guy when you were this little. You couldn’t roll or squirm away from my snuggles and kisses. You just loved staring at me, and I loved staring at you. Your eyes were so big and curious and blue; I could look at them for hours. You just started discovering facial expressions. From a blank stare, your face would transform into the most brilliant smile when I would coo at you. You also discovered the ‘sour’ expression, from which we all got much glee.Your biggest joy was eating, and of course, snuggling. You would sleep in my arms for hours and hours; so content nuzzled up to your mama’s skin. I loved the feeling of you in my arms, pressed against my heart; where you belong.
Now I look back at these photos and what life was like then, and I remember thinking I couldn’t love him anymore. That he couldn’t get more interesting and exciting and beautiful and wonderful than he was in that moment. And while, yes, my experience at the time was fantastic, and he was definitely perfect- he’s changed so much since then and we’ve grown so much in our relationship.
Back then, even at two months, I was still so unsure of myself as a mother. I felt, partly, like someone had put this doll in my arms and said, “feed him when he cries, change his diaper when it’s dirty, and don’t wake him up if he’s sleeping” – and that was it. I had nothing else to go off of. Oh, sure, I have four little brothers that I grew up helping care for, and yes, I did my fair share of babysitting in my youth, but none of that really prepares you for being the SOLE caregiver for a human life.
As a big sister, mom and dad were always just a holler away, or maybe at work or the shopping mall- but they were always coming back and I didn’t have any real responsibilities other than to keep my brothers from killing one another while they were in my care. As a babysitter, the parents always came back in a matter of hours; if I was lucky, the kids were in bed the whole time. Worst case scenario I had to feed a baby some food, change one diaper, and plunk it in a crib. Done.
There were no parents coming to get this little boy. No one to give me a well-detailed schedule telling me when and how to feed him, what time he should go to bed and nap at, how long he should nap for, and if this or that were normal. No one to tell me how to do this.
And even two months in, I was still struggling.
I was drained mentally, emotionally and physically. While, yes, he was a fairly ‘easy’ baby as far as babies go, he was still a baby and I was still recovering from his surprise, two-week-early- arrival.
I am not really sure where I’m going with this other than to say that it took me a long time to feel comfortable. To feel confident in what I was doing. Even now, I struggle and I imagine I will struggle forever. Even when my kids are old and have kids of their own; how can you ever really know if what you’re doing is the best for them? It’s so hard! There are so many choices and things that could go wrong. It’s hard not to worry that you’re screwing your kid up royally by putting him to bed at the ‘wrong’ time or feeding him the ‘wrong’ baby-cereal (or cereal at all for that matter)
Now, now, I feel much more like a mama. I feel like I know my baby so much better than I did before- which I suppose only makes sense seeing as how we’ve spent every day for over seven months together… instead of just one or two. But it just seems crazy how much things can change in such a short span of time.
Maybe I’m feeling reminiscent because he looks so big lately; like a toddler more than a baby sometimes. Plus, when he holds his head just right, he looks so much like his daddy that it breaks my heart a little- in the best way possible. And I imagine what he will be like as a man; a good man, just like his daddy. Realizing that that’s actually going to happen one day makes me so freaked out.
Okay. Well. That was really rambly; I’m sorry. Hope you enjoyed the adorable photos, anyway. 🙂