‘Cause isn’t one of the points of dating to get to know one another better? In the morning, he gave me the full on charm:
Scarlet went off with her grandparents today. To frolic in fields of wildflowers and donkeys and goats and I think one horse, and maybe even a pig or two. I stayed behind with Des, eager for a chance to get to know him even more, because while eating and sleeping take up a lot of his time, his loud and sunshiny older sister takes up the rest. Just the two of us today.
So I took him to the one place that seems to hold my intrigue; the place I never seem to get to every Thursday at 1:00 pm – Beyond Birth. And there I sat for the third time this baby around, at the place I sat several times three years ago. It so sealed my fate. I still see those echoes of the past when I sit there. It’s pretty glorious. Yet, on with the new as well. Today I learned that Des responds very well to being in my arms while I bounce on an exercise/yoga/birthing/whatever you want to call it ball. That in those moments in which he wants to sleep but has to be shown the way, in which he’s not crying or shrieking, but actually yelling at me, “Laa Laa Yaah Maa Maa” that bouncing on the ball with him is instant success.
I also learned that he likes to stare at me upside down. If I lay him on a blanket with his head towards me and his feet facing the opposite wall, he’ll stretch his head up, lock eyes with me, and stare at me as if he’s never seen me before.
And I’ll stare back because I’ve never seen him upside down either. We’re just staring and seeing new sides of each other.
It’s hard to sit in that room and not compare the group of women to the group of women I met three years ago. I mean, it’s nearly impossible. And yet they do hold their own in either direction. It amazes me how healthy it is for me to sit with other moms and babies. For one, getting out of the house. For two, getting out of the house with Des. For three, comparing him to other babies around his age and realizing just how normal he is. When all I have to compare him to is the memory of infant Scarlet, I start to wonder and Google and panic and call doctors. With other babies, it all comes together. Today I saw:
1. Babies with immature digestive tracts? Check.
2. Babies who cried? Check.
3. Babies who stayed at the NICU after birth? Check.
It really, really helped.
We talked about adjustment a bit. Adjusting to new babies and adjusting to their constant adjusting and then adjusting to going back to work or not and then adjusting to other children, and the list goes on and on. And it was odd timing because I got a text message during all of this from my mom, who had landed after a flight with her nearly 99-year-old mother.
Talk about adjustments. My Nana just got on a plane for the first time in several years. She moved north today for the first time in decades. She has been living life without her husband of 70+ years. Now that is adjustment. That is bravery.
I don’t know if he’ll be able to make lasting memories with her, but I hope he does. I don’t know if he’ll ever see me act as bravely as she does, but I hope he does.
I don’t know how all of these cycle-of-life, new and the old, baby steps, adjustment thoughts connect, but I know they do.