Away He Goes

September 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Me, Transylvania | 13 Comments
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Mostly, these days, I sit. I hobble from the bed to the couch. And sit. I hobble from the couch to the bed. And sit.

While I’m sitting, Lollipop might sidle up and ask me to read her a Fancy Nancy book. Or play Candy Land with just the yellow cards, because those are my favorite. Or fasten the Velcro on her princess dress of the hour. Giggles might steamroll by to race cars or show me his new favorite rock. And Bun might toddle over, belly leading the way, to construct, deconstruct, throw, and eat Legos.

And then they’re all on their way again, off on their next great adventure, even if it’s just to see how many bubbles it takes to fill the sink. Or how many Cheerios are hiding under the couch. Or how many trains they can shove in their pillowcase.

And I sit. And watch. And let it happen, let them go, let them be.

It’s a perfect metaphor for mothering, all this sitting back and watching. I don’t like it one bit. It’s too soon. I’m supposed to have more time,  especially with my baby.

Since he learned to walk two months ago, Bun has wanted to go. He doesn’t want to sit or be held or be kept from going. And that, of course, is the crux of it. He wants do do what I can’t do. Before, when both of my legs worked, I could scoop him up and rock back and forth in the familiar foxtrot we spent his first months perfecting.

Now, I hold him for seconds before he squirms and cries to get down, to get going. Not even the familiar comfort and softness of Mommy’s arms can dissuade him from exploration. It makes my heart hurt more than my broken leg ever has. Because it’s my only chance. I can’t lay him in his crib. I can’t press his sweet, sleepy cheek to mine just as he wakes up. I can’t smell his soapy sweetness as I dry him off after a bath.

I can only capture him as he wobbles by and hold him tight until he complains. No quiet snuggles, no silky curls tickling my cheek, no chubby baby hands wrapped in mine. Only stolen moments and loud protests.

And by the time I’m able to pick him up, to hold him, to dance with him again? My baby won’t be a baby anymore. He’ll have traded his chubby thighs for lanky ones, his clumsy and adorable waddle for a purposeful toddler’s stride.

He’ll have grown up right in front of me. Literally.

How do you handle your children growing up? How do you manage to steal snuggles? And how do you find comfort as you let them go?



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  1. Oh, Stacia, oh. Hold him hungrily with your eyes. He will want to snuggle again,I hope soon. I hope so soon.

    It’s so hard to watch them grow, to let them go, to be a humble spectator when you want to be part of their game. But it is their game, isn’t it? I wish the metaphor were less literal for you. It’s a gorgeous one. And painful.

  2. In general, I do well with my growing children — they are more self-sufficient, they can help me (they LIKE to help me), and so on. I do miss my little baby boy right now, but he’s not quite walking, and he’s very attached to me still. So I take every single snuggle and kiss I can get, from my boy and both my girls. My oldest sometimes needs to be reminded to give me a kiss before she walks into school. But she’s still willing without an eyeroll! *hugs* to you and heal up fast!

  3. I completely understand. Miss D. was like that–the minute she began walking, the cuddles ended, and I was so sad! But he’ll come back to you, I promise. xo

  4. That old cliche “if you love something, let it go…” is so true when it comes to mothering, but you have to find that balance of letting go but letting them know that you’re still willing to hold them tight when they need it. That fierce fight for independence by our toddlers repeats itself as preteens, then as teens, then finally as adults…just consider this practice, as painful as it is somedays. Honestly, though, I’d rather have an independent child with an adventurous spirit than a clingy one who’s afraid of life. Hang in there, sweetie.

  5. Stacia…your baby is your baby forever…he is only testing his independence. Enjoy watching him 🙂 Love the pic!

  6. love it. such good writing. and good mothering, too. (:

  7. Stacia, your post brought tears to my eyes. You are an amazing writer. Hang in there, hope your leg is feeling better.

  8. Got me, of course, here on my own baby’s first birthday. He was scream-y at bedtime, wanted nothing to do with snuggling up on my shoulder. It’s a new thing that I do not like, having to finally lay him down in his crib while he’s still awake and fighting sleep. So I get this, I do. Can’t imagine having to be even more distanced from your baby’s last moments of babyhood as you are. But I have to think there are a few blessings as well, such as that quiet focused time you are forced to give each of them each day right now, rather than rushing around to the next task. One of my cousins learned to count by changing the channels for his older brother when he was in a body cast. See? Good things as well!

  9. It’s very hard to watch them grow up…but it’s also wonderful, don’t you think?

  10. I get stray struggles whenever the heck I can. It’s usually when he got hurt, but oh boy he can still snuggle well when he wants to. He wraps his chubby little arms around my neck and melts my heart.

    Healing is slow, isn’t it?

  11. Tell him to stop growing right now. He’ll look at you like your crazy but you might feel better because you at least tried. Sometimes I make myself sit and enjoy the moment because I know there is nothing else I can do, because it will pass by, whether I pay attention or not.

  12. Oh Stacia, I hope your leg is better. I have stayed on top of your news through FB but am just trying to get caught up with your blog now. My back had gone out once or twice when my son was a toddler – not the same as your leg injury – but I remember how frustrating it was to not be able to move with him.

    It’s so bittersweet, isn’t it? Today my son was writing a b-day card to his uncle and he wrote, “Next year I am going to turn 8.” His handwriting had gotten so beautiful, and he was writing a long note with the speed of an older child. When did those 7.5 years fly by?? But I was sitting on his bed, because he insisted that I be there with him. I bet your baby is not going to want to explore too far. He will always look back to make sure you are still there.

  13. […] promised myself I would remember every single sensation of that first deceptively simple hug. Because there was nothing simple about it. I worked my muscles and my psyche into exhaustion for […]

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