God knows, God knows I want to break free”
Rider has gotten to a point in which he’s pretty darn happy. He usually only cries or whines if he’s tired or hungry, and you missed the early tired or hungry cues to nip it right in the bud. Say you have a whole day of catching the early cues, or sticking to some sort of schedule that works that one day (because nothing is predictable with babies except unpredictability), it will be like catching every green light on Route 9 from Northampton to Hadley (or insert your own local and annoying major road filled with big box stores). However, it can be done, occasionally, and that means a whole day of no red lights. Or no baby cries. And that feels pretty darn good. These days, he makes Pterodactyl noises. There’s happy Pterodactyl noises when he sees me and then smiles and kicks, and he’s so contained with joy that he doesn’t even know how else to express that joy than with Pterodactyl noises. Kicking and beaming; shrieking those Pterodactyl noises.
Sometimes the Pterodactyl noises get more shrill. This can be medium to late tired or hungry cues. Or if he’s just eaten and just gotten up from a nap, then you know that it’s rollie-pollie time. And that’s because all he wants to do is move. He wants to roll and roll and roll. He can’t quite roll over from back to stomach, although he’s gotten about 95% there (just can’t figure out the trapped arm thing) but he flips over quite fast from stomach to back. It happens so fast, you miss it. He is now full speed ahead, half rolling over, and half frustrated he can’t quite go the other way. Did we miss a hunger cue? A tired cue? If all else fails, put him on the floor and watch him roll and half roll into exhaustion. This baby of ours. Swaddled by night; breaking free by day!
I’ve gotten to a point in which I’m pretty darn happy, or at least I am through the circumstances of not always feeling so well and it being my least favorite season and this whole darn pandemic thing, and not seeing my loved ones and not traveling and not going out. That it?? I can work with that, though, or most of it. Sometimes I miss my own early tired or early hunger cues. And the thing is, I just want to roll, or roll with it. I can’t get from one side to the other, but I’m about 95% there. And in the other direction, I flip so fast, you barely see it. It’s all of the things we have and can do. And all of the things that are just out of reach, but I can get so close. I can almost smell and taste it all – the freedom. Feeling great and light. Laughter and hugs. Warm air, fresh sunshine. Warm sunshine, fresh air. It’s not just one roll that will get us there, but so many of the almost rolls. Baby steps and baby hugs and baby rolls – will we know when we’ve gotten there?
I think, quite like Rider, one day we’ll just be there and we’ll know. There will still be so many challenges and milestones and frustrations and tears. This hurdle, though, will end. We’ll roll over. Untrap our arms; untrap ourselves – to see the light and the heat from a whole new angle.
The truth is, I just want to roll. I want to lie on the floor and roll and roll and roll. And then be swaddled tightly at night. I want to roll without hitting walls and fears and that super pointy furniture. Pandemic here, anxiety disorder there. One great day of breastfeeding here, one terrible day following that there. One beautiful day here, and losing a whole year of potentially beautiful days there. That’s just it right now. Pandemic restrictions or government restrictions and self restrictions. I can dream about all the things I cannot do right now, or I can just think about how I’m rolling slowly there. Maybe I’m only one full rotation, or one trapped arm away.
I dreamed last night that he wasn’t mine. We were a foster family and he was a foster baby, and his parents wanted him back. He was actually a twin. Joseph and Josephine. I wanted them both, but they weren’t mine to have. Yet, he was my Rider. I remembered my pregnancy, his birth, and every hug and smile and milestone. I cried and cried until I woke up. I pulled him into bed with me and squeezed all the soft parts of him that are mine, but aren’t mine. Borrowed time. Baby soft rolls, and rolls. So of course I want to grab him while he’s there for the reaching. Protect him from pains and fears and hard and pointy objects. Terrible people, some terrible politics, and icy roads too. Illness and hunger; exhaustion and stress. I just want to roll and roll with him, and keep rolling until sunrise or spring. Roll into the light, and whatever form it takes.
I’ve fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know it’s for real
I’ve fallen in love, yeah
God knows, God knows I’ve fallen in love.”