30 January 2013

Time - Pour Your Heart Out

Yesterday, I was a little girl, hair permed within an inch of it's life. Slim with lots of energy, I played outside all day, every day.  I searched the front yard for tiny strawberries so I could pick them and eat them with milk and sugar.  I made up stories about secret passageways in castles and would use the area between the driveway and the hedges as that passage.  I fought with my sister, could sometimes get mean.  I was too sensitive and would cry if someone was even the smallest bit stern with me.  When my parents fought, I was always convinced that it was my fault.  Who else's could it be?  I did well in school, read far beyond my grade, and wanted to be a teacher some day.  And a mommy.  Because mommies were special.

In just over a month, I will be 39.  Edging so close to 40, but not quite making it yet.  The hair has straightened.  The slimness of early childhood spreading into the fat of middle-age.  I no longer have acres and acres of property to look for strawberries in.  I don't even have a place to call my own.  And my imagination has seemed to stagnate a little.  No more castles - though I do find time to be a Pokemon master or an evil monster once in awhile.  My sister and I get along, though I wouldn't say we're close.  I'd like to say that the mean streak disappeared with childhood, but it sometimes rears it's ugly head, and it makes me cry.  I haven't lost my sensitivity, though I'm a little better at fighting back tears when I'm hurt.  Just not every time.  I know now that my parents' problems weren't my problems.  Sometimes, things aren't meant to be.  But they still are role-models to me, proof that just because a relationship ends doesn't mean that the friendship has to as well.  I still love to learn, though I don't give myself nearly enough opportunities to do so.  And I still love to read - and I make those opportunities happen.

Yesterday, he came squalling into the world.  8 pounds, 2 ounces, 21 inches long.  I have a fuzzy remembrance of , as my husband so eloquently put it, a "cream cheese covered grape" being shown to me over the draped sheet.  The doctor said he wasn't a newborn, he was a two year old.  My mind still wasn't all there, dulled by the drugs that I needed in order to have the C-Section after we realized he couldn't come into the world in the usual way.   For the longest time, I thought his eyes would stay blue. I'd so wanted a blue eyed boy.

He wasn't always a happy baby.  There were times when he would scream and cry and I would sit in the chair in tears because I just KNEW I was doing something wrong.  But those times didn't come as often as they could have.  What happened more often were the moments that made me smile - the first smile, the first word, watching him cruise around, hands on the couch, watching him take his first steps.  Knowing that, from the moment he first arrived, my life would be different, and that this would always be my baby.

In two weeks, he'll be seven.  Gone is the happy baby, content to play on the floor at my feet.  Now much of his time is spent laying on the couch, DS in hand as he happily catches Pokemon.  Gone are the blue eyes, mellowed into a beautiful hazel.  Gone are the moments when I didn't know why he was crying and it made me feel helpless.  Now I know why he's upset about something - though I can still feel helpless when I don't know how to fix it. No longer do I see so many firsts at once.  His smile and laughter, his walking and running - these I get to see every day. I also get to see the intelligence and humor, the love and joy.  I regret that I can't snuggle him in my arms for hours at a time.  Or carry him up to bed when he falls asleep downstairs.  I have to accept quick hugs, silly kisses.  I have to wake him up and prod him to get upstairs into his bed to sleep.  Or throw a blanket over him to keep him warm as he spend the night on the couch.  And for all that he's still my baby, there are times when I miss my little baby.

I see so much of who I was yesterday in who he is today.  The intelligence.  The thirst for knowledge.  The sensitivity.  The love of reading and the way he can lose himself in a book.  I see the imagination, even if he doesn't have the huge yard to let the imagination loose in like I did at his age.  I see the temper, the frustration that I remember well when things don't work out the way he'd planned.  I worry about him sometimes because I know the problems I had in my childhood.  I don't want him to have the heartache that I did.  But I also see differences.  He's sillier than I am, having his dad's sense of humor.  And he makes friends more easily.  I also don't think it bothers him as much when someone doesn't like him.  He doesn't seem to have the need for acceptance as I did.  But then again, maybe I didn't feel the need as much then.  Sometimes it's hard to remember seven.

I sit here today and wonder where the time went - both for him, and for me.  The little girl is now the woman.  The baby is now the boy.  It doesn't seem like enough time has passed for this to be reality.

Time is funny that way.

Acting Balanced